Jessica Magary’s recent beach portrait session at First Landing State Park, Virginia

This woman makes my All-Star list of people to work with and a truth about modeling.

Hands down. No second thought. No further consideration needed. Jessica is, by far, one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. I’ve told her numerous times that she should be living and working in New York City.

Beauty is a given. Books could be written about her splendor. What makes her stand out, in my opinion is her work ethic and her attitude. She is always on time and is always prepared. She knows how to move and how to work the set. She is always open to suggestions on poses or can work her thing and let the photographer do theirs.

Jessica Magary's beach portrait session at first landing state park by mark knopp

What really puts her head and shoulders above everyone else, aside from her height, is her attitude. She is always in a great mood. I’ve never, ever seen her down or distracted. I know she has had bad days. We all do. She doesn’t show it, though. When she’s on the job she is totally, fully involved in the session. Outside influences are put aside and she gives it her honest all.

I’ve never heard her complain about the uncomfortable poses I ask her to get into, the heat, the glaring sun, the cold water, the blowing sand, the dirty alleys that smell, the constrictive outfits, the early hours, the late nights, et cetera.

One of the hard, cold, glaring truths about the modeling industry is that the “glamour” that people think exists during a session really doesn’t. It’s hard, hot, uncomfortable work in locations that are less than ideal. Honestly, after one of my sessions, the model and I are pretty much wiped out. It takes just about everything we’ve got and we’re both ready for some food, a drink, and a nap. I think everyone in the business would agree to that.

The true test of a great model is to make something look like anyone can do it with ease when, in fact, they are truly suffering and most people wouldn’t last 3 seconds doing it.

Laying on the beach? Easy. Laying on a beach on a Saturday or Sunday at 6 am when it’s the best light which means getting up at 3 to do hair and make-up, eat, get to the location by 5 to warm up, pick out outfits, get the lighting right, et cetera, before the big show at 6? 90% of potential models fail at this point alone.

Laying on the beach in a pose to show off all the right angles? Yoga is helpful, by the way, for that. That’s hard. Add to that looking into the sun with a sea breeze full of salt and sand blowing into your face drying out your eyes and making you squint all with a comfortable expression on your face? Jedi level stuff here.

I’m often asked what is the most important thing someone can bring to a photo session. The truth, as far as I’m concerned, is a great, go-get-em, nothing is going to stop me, let’s have fun and rock this thing, attitude. It’s the mind-set that separates the ho hum sessions from the rockstar sessions.

Looks are nice. A wide range of outfits can be beneficial. The right attitude is unstoppable.

Jessica is the quintessential model. She makes it all look effortless.

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