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My Very First Magazine Cover

It seems like yesterday and at the same time it feels like forever ago . . . I was 14 years old and shooting my very first modeling job. The shoot was an editorial booking for a trade magazine called Sportswear International. They loved me and booked me several more times after this initial job. The shoot was at Jones Beach (on Long Island) with the photographer Roger Eaton. There were about five models in total booked, and we were styled like hippies from the 60’s. I loved seeing my face transform before my eyes in the makeup chair during prep time pre-shoot.

The hairstylist for the job, Edward Tricomi (of the famous Warren Tricomi salon), was included in the pics since his own cool personal style so fit that of the shoot. There was definitely a laid back party atmosphere to the set and I soaked up every part of it.

All of the shots were doubles, triples or groups with very few singles since there were so many models, and the magazine wanted us to appear like a traveling band of hippies. I think one of the male models brought his guitar and played during the shoot. We danced, laughed and lounged on the sand.

As much fun as the day was for me I was also a bit apprehensive about kissing some of the male models for the pics. The other female models were older – 19 and 20 – compared to my 14 years . . . they were going for it but I was just too shy. There’s actually a shot of me cracking my index finger knuckle – hilarious to think about now. Fortunately as I got a bit older I was more relaxed and comfortable with kissing the boys on camera, and it became fun!

During the shoot, Roger would shoot close-ups of all of us, so we never knew which pics or how many would actually go to print. Imagine how thrilled my agency, my family and I were to find out a few months later that I had made the cover!

It was a moment I’ll never forget. My Grandpa Leo came over to our apartment with a gift-wrapped box and a huge smile on his face. I opened it to find the magazine with me on the cover! He was so happy to give me a copy of the magazine, that I pretended it was the first time I actually saw the issue. Although of course I had seen it already at Elite, my agency at the time. A sweet memory that I will never forget.

Maria NaccaratoComment