April 12, 2013 - 6:00 PM
Journeying outside of Canada for the first time will bring a budding Vernon model one step closer to becoming a calendar girl this fall.
Johnston, 23, recently earned third place in an online, international bikini model calendar contest. She is one of six winners out of around 50 contestants who will get an all inclusive trip to the tropics. The competition was based on 40 per cent popularity (determined by the number of likes on the contestant's picture on Facebook), 40 per cent participation, and 20 per cent by a panel of judges.
"For me, it was done mostly by networking. I have a fan page on Facebook, and I was getting people to share the photo everywhere... (Also) the judges 'liked' my photo, so that gave me a bit of a clue."
Johnston looks forward to travelling for the first time, networking with people in the business, joining workshops and vying for a spot on the 2015 calendar.
"I'm not guaranteed a spot, but I'll work for it," Johnston says.
Her trip to Mexico will allow her to make connections with photographers, other models, and agencies. She says Hugh Hefner has been known to make appearances at the events, and wonders if she'll get a chance to meet the iconic Playboy.
It'll be a whole new atmosphere for Johnston, who works as a spa practitioner at Crave Massage and cashiers at the Superstore.
She's been dipping into the modeling world since 2010. "I found this profile of a girl younger than me with this great portfolio,"Johnston says. "It caught my interest, so I thought I'd give it a try."
She says social networking sites make it a lot easier to get into modeling. She's able to market herself and find out about modeling opportunities like the bikini contest.
"It really helps having Facebook."
Social media is something Johnston has down pat. The biggest challenges, she says, are during photo shoots.
"Trying to get the right facial expression is hard. It's easy to just smile with your friends, but in a shoot it can come out awkward," Johnston says. "I practice in front of the mirror, and it helps to think of emotions, even though that sounds a bit corny."
Johnston describes her style as "comfortable but catchy" with a hint of hippy. Her competition photo reflects that look with its cascading willow branches and flower child aura.
"I really like the softness of it," Johnston says, adding it's not as sexual as some of the other contestant's pictures.
Mexico marks her first trip beyond the border, and she knows if she wants to be successful at modeling she can't stay in Vernon.
"I like fashion modeling. I'd like to work with local boutiques to model their clothes, but it's hard here," Johnston says. "Bigger cities have more jobs. I've thought of going to LA, but it might end up being Edmonton."
Johnston has entered another contest for Solis Magazine's fashion model of the month for May. You can like her photo by clicking here.
You can visit her fan page here.
"My first time modeling was a highschool fashion show," Johnston says. She's come a long way in just a few years, and momentum's only building.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com or call (250)309-5230.
Monique Johnston grabs a casual coffee at Blenz. In a few months, she might be mingling with the likes of Hugh Hefner.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON /InfoTel Multimedia)
Monique Johnston's contest photo for Solis Magazine's fashion model of the month search.
Image Credit: Contributed
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013