Model Q&A: Sperenza

Sperenza | VIP Member | Verified Credits (50)

Model: Sperenza; Photographer: Rjay Gamboa

Where are you from? Where are you based now and do you travel for shoots?

While I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I reside currently, I was actually born in England and moved to California with my parents when I was nine-months-old. So, I have very British features/skin-tone, but a California girl style. Like a British ice cream bar dipped in California chocolate!

I absolutely travel for shoots. I recently got back from a trip to Paris, Berlin, and Tel Aviv with a very close photographer friend of mine who I have been collaborating with for a number of years now. I find that Model Mayhem is a wonderful resource for finding gigs, as well as fellow photographers and models to network with. I have traveled throughout the state of California, nationally, and internationally for modeling gigs.

Model: Sperenza; Photographer: APlusPhoto

I find that it is almost imperative to keep one’s portfolio fresh and diverse, especially if one has been modeling for more than a few years and has never ventured past their local area. I am fortunate to currently live in an area with a lot of modeling opportunities, but for models who don’t, I also strongly suggest traveling outside of one’s locale for work– if not for the variation, for the excitement of doing work in a new city! However, be careful– I always travel with a buddy, and if not, I stay with a trusted companion. While I’m a little O.T.T., make sure you always vet your photographers prior to working with them, whether at home or while traveling. A gig is never worth risking your safety for.

Who or what inspired you to become a model?

Like many other young girls, I’m sure, I don’t remember a point in my life when I didn’t want to become a model! I just didn’t see it as a viable option for me as I knew I wasn’t going to be 6-feet tall, and I had (well, still have) odd ears that point out on either side of my head. My main inspiration who got me to even think about stepping in front of a camera is my best friend since we were both twelve and fellow (incredible) model, Devi. My inspirations since I was a little girl were the great supermodels of the ’80s and ’90s; Kate Moss, Gia Carangi, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, and Linda Evangelista. My love of couture as a small child poring over Vogue magazines most definitely amplified my desire to begin modeling. I admired models with unconventional looks who bravely pushed the envelope in the industry by altering our societal notions of beauty.

Model: Sperenza; Photographer: jmijares

How and when did you start modeling?

I was having trouble finding work while I was in college Devi had been modeling for about a year or so when she suggested that I give it a shot. I thought that there was absolutely no way in hell that anybody would want to photograph me. I never even considered the fact as to whether or not I would be any good at it. I was, and still am, a relatively shy person, but not when it comes to modeling, although the idea of getting nude to have somebody take photos of me scared me quite a bit. However, I bit the bullet and channeled my favorite divas for a shoot with a photographer who Devi had gotten me into contact with. That was nine years ago, and the rest is history!

What type of modeling do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy any type of modeling so long as it results in provocative images that both capture the viewer’s attention and imagination. I have found that this works intrinsically– the more I am enjoying myself during the photoshoot, the higher the probability that we will capture some incredible images. I love fine lingerie, but I also love the feeling of being free enough to be nude, especially out in nature or just outside (especially abandoned urban areas). I would have to say that I enjoy modeling boudoir and fine art nudes the most.

Model: Sperenza; Photographer: Blue Note Images

What do you look for when deciding to work with a photographer?

I often engage in a fair amount of correspondence with the photographers I work with prior to shooting, both as a means of gauging how the shoot will be and how to model for it, in addition to getting to know the photographer. As I mentioned in my answer to the previous question, I feel that my best photos result when I am at ease with myself, the photographer, and the gig itself, as that is where I can be in a space where I can focus best or be, “in the zone,” creatively. If my correspondence with a photographer prior to meeting is good, then nine times out of ten, I will end up having excellent chemistry working with them once we meet up to shoot, and I often shoot with photographers more than once. I love working with photographers on a continual basis, as both of our styles change through the years, and, through my experience, my work only gets better with each successive shoot I do with the same photographer. My best photographs, in my opinion, have been taken by photographers who I have not only worked extensively with, but love working with! Victor d’Allant (Picture by Victor), Nintendo, and Scooter Vagabond.

Which models or other artists currently inspire you?

I’m a classicist at heart, so the models and photographers who currently inspire me the most are the supermodels of the ’80s and 90’s, and the photography of Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, and Robert Mapplethorpe. I recently visited the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin with my favorite modern-day photographer, Victor d’Allant, and it was a dream field trip.

Model: Sperenza; Photographer: Picture by Victor

What would be your dream shoot?

Speaking of dreams… Helmut Newton, Paris, 1977.

How important is social media in your success?

It has become more and more important over the years. When I first started modeling, Instagram was just beginning to gain traction as a social media platform, but not so much for models or modeling. Therefore, Model Mayhem and Craigslist were my two primary sources of finding modeling work. Craigslist has definitely back-peddled a bit in terms of availability of gigs for models. I have had to put much more work into my Instagram in the past six years or so, and while I find that I’m finding more and more gigs and photographers on there than I did in the past, I still find Model Mayhem to be my primary social media outlet for my modeling.

Model: Sperenza; Photographer: Scooter Vagabond

What else do you like to do outside of modeling?

I have always been a writer, and I have recently been collaborating with Victor d’Allant on writing short stories or captions to accompany the photographs that he is taking of me for a big book project tentatively called, “Sophie’s Choice.” I’m a bit of a music junkie and love traveling and seeing live music performances. I collect vintage couture clothing and jewelry, Blythe dolls, and various tiny figurines from Japan. I’m a cinephile, so prepare for some dramatic flair when shooting with Moi! While I started photography on the other side of the lens when I was in high school, I got a Nikon 53 series a little over a year ago, and while I haven’t begun photographing other models yet, I have a lot of fun doing self-portraiture.

What’s the best career advice you can give to new models?

Don’t let any discouragements actually discourage you– this is absolutely cliché, but true; take it one step at a time and always keep your head high, because this is a highly competitive industry. Do your best to find what is unique about you and your style of modeling, and harness that as your modeling niche. And above all else, Safety First! Your well-being, your health, nor your life are ever worth a modeling gig or risking working with a photographer who seems even remotely shady or unreliable.

Model: Sperenza; Photographer: Nintendo

Check out Sperenza’s Model Mayhem portfolio to see more of her work. You can also follow Sperenza on Instagram.

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MM Edu brings you tips, advice, and knowledge in modeling, photography, post-production, style/makeup, and Using MM. The expertise comes from our beautiful and brilliant members!

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One Response to “Model Q&A: Sperenza”

  1. April 08, 2020 at 1:28 pm, Lawrence K. Nutter said:

    Lovely portfolio, lovely model, good work.


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