Photo by Sara Yung
When senior Megan Megremis attended Creekside Middle School, she enjoyed being on stage and performing in musicals such as “Annie Jr.” and “Seussical Jr.” in seventh grade and “Peter Pan” in eighth grade. For her, the chance to collaborate with other cast members to convey a message through musical and theatrical plays was very rewarding with the hard work and dedication she put into each performance. From there, her interest in modeling sparked when she began to convey the same messages through photos.
Megremis said, “I really enjoy being in front of the camera. I was always in performances in middle school, and I really like being in front of people on stage and things. Once I got introduced to the modeling industry, I just really enjoyed it and took with it.”
To the Runway
In November of 2013, Megremis signed herself to the Helen Wells Agency, a local modeling and talent agency. Throughout the next two years, she met other models and photographers, traveling around Indianapolis for photo shoots through which she continued to show her passion for acting.
“(Modeling) is a lot of acting and expression. It’s not just standing up there and posing. You have to put yourself in the moment and just be present there. You have to express what the photographers want and be sure to be giving them good shots,” she said.
Seeing the results of her photoshoots, Megremis said the photos reflect her long preparation to become a model. She acknowledges her efforts and perseverance to look past the misconceptions and expectations people have for models.
“I’m not like what you think a typical model would be. Just being short is something that a lot of people don’t take seriously,” Megremis said. “Just finding people who are willing to work with me and have an interest in me is really awesome because sometimes my height limits what I can do, but I’m really serious about (modeling) and finding people who recognize that is really special.”
About two years ago, fashion photographer Devin Mazza contacted Megremis through social media to collaborate with senior Matthew George, a model Megremis met during her sophomore year. They spent the next two years modeling together. George introduced her to more modeling opportunities and people in the business, including Selani Thomas, founder and CEO of Forward Fashion Magazine L.L.C.
Photo by Sara Yung
After modeling for Thomas’s magazine, Megremis, who is 5 feet, 3 inches, said she became more confident and now accepts her height. Thomas said the purpose of modeling is not simply to pose for photographers, but for models to feel confident in their own skin. Thomas said she understands the pressures students encounter regarding their imperfections particularly since she founded Forward Fashion magazine as a high school student.
“A model is not just a pretty face, pretty body, whatever usually comes to mind when you think ‘model.’ To me, being a model takes an extreme amount of skill. They are artists in their craft. They have to be unique and know their bodies. Be comfortable with who they are no matter height or size. That all doesn’t matter,” Thomas said via email. “I truly believe that a model just needs three skills: confidence in his or her body, the ability to network within the industry and the ability to not take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Like Megremis, George said his interest in modeling stems from being in front of cameras and taking photos.
“While growing up, I always loved being involved in anything that I can take pictures in, like for families or friends…just because I always wanted to represent something else that someone else worked for,” George said. “I modeled because I enjoy representing people’s clothing and people’s designs.”
For Forward Fashion magazine, George and Megremis model clothes designed by young entrepreneurs who wish to pursue a career in fashion. Thomas said by representing other people’s clothing, she seeks to remove models of their insecurities and encourage them to reassure others in the process.
Thomas said, “Never in life up until this moment have I realized the importance of creating leaders. Once you truly believe in someone, and you open the door, it’s like saying, ‘Welcome to the best version of yourself, and that’s beautiful to see.’”
With the guidance of and collaboration with Thomas, Megremis and George said they learned to become more confident and encouraged others to feel self-assured.
“I’ve had to deal with intimidation from other models and had to put myself out of my comfort zone to be able to fulfill and create opportunities,” George said. “Modeling has given me more courage to do things and go out of my comfort zone. It has given me opportunities to grow within myself…and it just helps me find and secure more of who I am. It helped me find more confidence in myself, and it has helped me motivate people.”
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