Friday, January 8, 2016


Dauntless. That is the word we believe best describes her. Never before have we seen someone so determined, fierce and fearless - yet, reserving all of her supple sensuousness. Like soft kisses on Spring breezes and fragrant scents of flowers - but flowers with steel stems. Beautiful, soft, rare, infinitely graceful but strong, confident and never yielding. She is a rare gift; an amalgamation of stunning elegance and strength of character. Olya Pickering is the 2015 SIRCUS magazine Model Of The Year.
We came to know Olya just shy of two years ago. We needed a very specific model for a publishing project we were working on at the time. We had photographed several people up until that point but we needed one person who could really capture a specific concept we required to finalize the publication. When we discovered her online we knew we could not complete our project without her and no one else would do. No other person had the look or body type. No other evoked the sense of strength and grace we were confident she had. After a time, the stylist says it has to be her. She has to be the one to wear these garments. An arrangement was reached and we would soon have our model.

Olya was just as we suspected she would be. She was as confident, beautiful and as determined as we imagined. We had never witnessed anyone take on a project with such bravery. She never flinched, never complained. Even early on in the shoot, we knew that Olya was destined to be a Cover Model and given time potentially a Model of the Year candidate. Had our arrangement allowed it at the time she would have been. It wasn't until 2015 that we worked with Olya again and she deservingly graced the front cover of Sircus Magazine Issue 11 and produced some of the boldest and most tasteful fitness pictures we have ever taken. We knew all along but this was even further evidence of her unrelenting self confidence and fearlessness.

People often ask me about Olya and we tell them first and foremost that she is authentic. She is kind and bold, but doesn't brag about what she has done or what she is doing. Often times, models brag about what they've been working on or they make almost impossible demands about needs and wants before even knowing what the project entails. Not Olya. Not ever. We've never had a disagreement, a cancellation, a bout of sickness, nor an unscheduled mishap.

Do you know how many misunderstandings we have had about image use with Olya? Zero. Do you believe she was timid or shy? Never. Do you know how many times she complained about the heat or the cold when we're shooting? None. How often is she late for an assignment? It never happened. How many shoots did it take before Olya pouted because she didn't have a makeup artist again or a specific type of hair stylist? None. At this time, how often do you believe that we would try within reason and all of our power to give Olya anything she wanted when she wanted it? Infinitely. When everything is said and done, who do you believe will get the first call when a new project is on the horizon? Olya Pickering. She is consistently the most daring, steadfast and trustworthy model we have ever had the pleasure of working with.

A few weeks ago we asked a stylist to describe Olya in five words or less. She replied, "timeless beauty, fearless and steadfast." We later went on to ask a hair stylist that once styled Olya's hair for us on what she thought of Olya and the stylist replied, "extremely kind, determined and gorgeous." We went on to speak with a makeup artist about Olya and her reply was "she is always so calm and confident, polite and professional. She has wonderful skin and hair and really takes care of herself." Testimonies like these go on to solidify our belief that she is everything we think she is and more.

We are not suggesting that 2015 hasn't had an immense amount of talent. In fact, 2015 was a fantastic year. We were elated to work with Actress Elizabeth Rhoades, who we can already foresee as a 2016 favorite. We were also delighted to work with our 2013 Model of the Year again last year, fashion, swimwear and glamour model ShyAng3L. There was also the forever beautiful Kim Jonet, and Chase "Whitehill" Rubeor, the first-time SIRCUS magazine Issue 9 double cover model along with many others. But "The Model of the Year" is about so much more than that. It's about distinction and how people conduct themselves before, during and after a shoot. It's about how they communicate and behave one on one as well as in a team environment. It includes how well they convey ideas, retain a post shoot

professional relationship and even how well they are perceived to work with other photographers and creatives. Are they crediting collaborators and referring other creatives when applicable? Is she supportive of artists and respectful of creative property? Is she difficult or arrogant? Model of the Year is about a person's professional character and how easy they are to get along with and work with. It's larger than anything we have done for the entire year and we believe that it is only proper to recognize an individual that goes above and beyond and when and where possible, award excellence. In a sense, it's akin to an endorsement and anything we put so much effort into creating, growing and nurturing deserves our scrutiny. We take it personal which is why we spend so much effort vetting and when it is deserving, acknowledging the best talent.

We have now known of Olya for almost two years but it was only recently in our exclusive SIRCUS magazine Issue 11 interview, that we had a chance to sit down and really find out who she is. Authenticity confirmed. She has this deep life-long belief in working hard, believing in oneself and never giving up. It shapes her competitive fitness philosophy and keeps her unwavering in achieving her goals. It also makes her very driven and a person of strong character. Intelligence, kindness, confidence, bold and beautiful; all the things that make Olya Pickering our Helios & SIRCUS magazine indisputable 2015 Model of the Year.

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