Text by Riza Oliva, Copyright 2021
Reach For The Stars
One day, you wake up on top of the world and to think it all started from a bucket list one summer. My modeling career did not begin as a dream but as an item on my list that I wanted to check off. I always loved photography and taking professional photos was always something I wanted to try. Right before my birthday, I created a bucket list which included skydiving, traveling more and doing my first photoshoot. Little did I know, that shoot would bring more opportunities to my door. I never expected to be a model because of my height, I am 4’1. Growing up, I admired those girls in magazines and on the runway who were 5’11 or 6’0 in their beautiful clothes and high heels. Who would of thought that decades later, I would be one of those girls walking New York Fashion Week. I did not get here solely because of my looks, there are a billion girls out there who are beautiful and confident. I started modeling with zero confidence and social anxiety. You don’t know how many times I deactivated my Instagram after posting a photo from my shoot because I was so afraid of what my family or people around me would think. You really have to have a “I don’t give a fuck” mentality in this industry. I worked really hard, did a lot of research, and took a lot of opportunities that came even when I was afraid. I think my biggest motivation was proving all of my doubters wrong. People had made fun of me for wanting to model, I almost lost my family and probably lost some friends along the way. They say it gets lonely at the top but I think you just learn who will support you through all of the changes in your life and that’s not many.
About The Author: Riza Oliva is a professional photographer, actress, model, business owner and mom based in Philadelphia. To read contributing writer Katie Kerl’s interview with Riza Oliva, click here: https://tonyward.com/interview-riza-oliva/