by Olivia Pla
Before beginning the story of how I came to be a foot model, I would like to clear up some rumors: yes, I am serious about this and yes, the following events are 100 percent true.
It all began during winter break 2014. One cold Friday night, as my friend Scarlett* was cutting my toenails, she asked me if I had ever considered foot modeling. I scoffed. Someone with such obvious talents as myself had definitely considered that career path before. However, I was never sure how to successfully launch my career. Scarlett immediately googled “How to become a foot model” and pulled up wikiHow’s seven steps to becoming a foot model. Step one was to “make sure you have the right genes” for beautiful feet. Check. Step two was to “see if you have a good arch.” Again, we checked that one. Step three: protect your feet from blisters. Since I wear moccasins or flip flops 90 percent of the time this will clearly not be an issue. Step four might be a problem as it advises to “keep your feet clean and wear newer shoes.” I can’t say my moccasins are especially new or that my feet are always clean but I’m sure a quick scrub every now and then between the toes will suffice. Step five is to work out your feet and ankles since “just because you are a foot model does not mean you can ignore what the rest of your body looks like.” One of the top reasons I decided to become a foot model was because literally no exercising is required. Therefore, I decided wikiHow was probably confused and moved on to step number six. Finally, I was advised to begin my portfolio, and that’s where the real magic began.
After some intense (post–no shave November and December) shaving and nail grooming the next morning, we began the photo shoot. Many props were needed including several pairs of shoes, a white sheet, bronzing oil, and background scenes for my feet to frolick in. We decided to drive to Scarlett’s house in Capitola so we would be close to the beach for some barefoot photos. Upon arriving, we set up a white sheet to get that professional studio feel. We began by testing out a variety of poses and using several pairs of shoes. Scarlett and I then decided to go a little crazy and take some photos in the backyard for my feet in a more casual setting (Who knows where my feet will have to venture in the future? Consider it training.) We were feeling especially rebellious that day, so we used some props we found like flower pots, banana trees, and an abandoned bathtub Scarlett has in her backyard. Once we finished these photos, we made the fateful decision to venture down to the beach…
Like the good planners we are, we did not anticipate anyone being at the beach in downtown Capitola on a Saturday afternoon, on coincidentally the warmest and sunniest day of break. To our complete surprise, it was packed with families and dogs rampaging the beach. We decided to take a break and eat some pizza, hoping that it would clear up a bit before we did our shoot. To our surprise again, the beach was STILL packed 15 minutes later. But Scarlett and I decided that the potential of a beautiful shot on the beach was worth the embarrassment.
Before I continue, I would just like to say that I am not embarrassed of my modeling, I was just worried that people would get the wrong idea when my friend followed me around taking photos of my legs and applied oil to them.
Anyways, the beach was less successful than we thought it would be and we left with only one good shot. We did, however, succeed in making sunbathers around us leave. After returning home that evening, we sorted through over 300 photos to find 30 of the best ones for my professional portfolio. As for now, my manager and I are planning on approaching an agency about my exceptional talents in the near future. What is step seven you ask? To prove all the haters wrong and find someone who will hire me.
* Name changed for safety reasons