Model's Diary

Denis Cebulec says: “No, I’m not a Supermodel”

deniscebulec_mainModeling is often associated with supermodels who ruled the 80s and 90s, lived the glamorous lifestyle, and starred in shows in Paris and New York.

Since capitalism has been the dominant force in the world for the past 20-30 years, many things have changed. This is especially true of the fashion and marketing industries. Here’s where I come into play. No, I am not a supermodel. No, I did not start at 17 but I still consider my experience in front of and behind the camera as pretty unique. Signed up with one of Europe’s leading male modeling agencies. How did I get here? Honestly? It’s an interesting story.denis cebulec

I grew in a small Slovenian town, just 10 minutes from the Italian border. When I was a child, sports were my main focus. I was the type of kid that tried one sport, and within a second or two could be pretty good at it. After completing my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, (science of movement), I didn’t know what to do. Then, I earned money by myself, went on an exchange semester to the University of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands and traveled the world for a little while. While studying, I worked in a skateboard store and as a cafe barista. This is where my love for coffee was born.

During my last year of study, I was lost. The relationship I had at that time was with my Austrian ex-girlfriend, who lived between Graz and Ljubljana. She told me she would do photoshootings every so often for different sports brands, and that they paid well. “The best part” was that there wasn’t any need to pose because the shoots were sport-related. She encouraged me to try it with the potential of earning some extra cash.denis cebulec model

I didn’t know what modelling was, so I was a little sceptical. But the idea of doing sports without posing seemed pretty cool. Sports is my lifestyle. She did me a favor and asked if she could possibly join the agency after speaking with her model agent in Munich. She saw my unprofessional portfolio and told me that a casting was taking place the following day in Munich, for a catalog shoot in the Caribbean. I could attend if I wanted to. The casting was announced on a cold Wednesday afternoon in November. I was 400 km away in my student dormitory in Ljubljana. When I heard that the job was located in the tropics, i said to myself “I have to try it at least once.” I had to drive to Munich to do the casting. It was about 5 hours by car. I had no car. So I checked out the bus connections and the next morning, I was on the very first bus to Munich, leaving at 3am.denis cebulec model

I was determined to try, even if it meant I wouldn’t be hired. I figured I could still go to Munich and see the city, which, from what I’d read, is a stunning place. The casting went well and the company wanted a man who could do many different types of sports. For example, he needed to be able to run, play tennis, basketball and road-cycling. He also had to know how mountain biking and downhill skiing. All in one. As I arrived at the casting and saw all the models, I thought, “damn, at least, I got to see Munich.” The plane was full of four models, photographers, and the marketing team for the production.denis cebulec modelo

My first job as a professional model was a turning point in my life. I was working with friends from Germany and Austria on the other side. After waking every morning at 4:30 am to the sound of the ocean in our Caribbean villa and shooting photos and motives all day long, I knew this was my dream job. You learn so much from being on a production such as this. I still remember the way I observed and watched Andre who is a photographer I am very close to. Then I thought: “Damn My job as a Model is pretty cool but his job even cooler!” As of yet, I had no idea what modelling was. My self-esteem was also not very high. I did not consider myself one of the “models”. I considered myself a guy that was very good at many sports and knew a lot about them.denis cebulec model

I was able to see how this catalogue was produced, and it brought a whole new level of interest into my life. Photography. Photography. It was more important to me that I be there and share this unique experience than the money. My portfolio looks much more professional after the production with the pictures from the trip. It was through this that I got my first job at an agency.

Thanks to the modeling jobs I had done, I was able to buy my first camera after a few months. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I saved some money to fulfill my dream of travelling to New Zealand. Six months in a van, learning as much about photography and surf as possible was the only thing that mattered.denis cebulec model

I knew the day would come when I had to return to Europe to decide where I wanted to live. In fact, it was a half-year later. I could have chosen either Germany, Austria or Slovenia. I decided to move to a beautiful town nestled in the Austrian Alps, Salzburg.

Slowly I started getting more modeling jobs and my portfolio improved. I went through many ups and lows but managed to combine photography with modelling. You can learn a great deal from the different models sets if you are interested. With a little effort, you can learn a lot from the top light masters. In the “early years”, my highlight was working on a Ralph Lauren coffee campaign in Munich. At the time, I was booked to be a model. When the brand’s official photographer had problems, I offered to take the pictures myself, despite being a novice. Up until this point, I made money from modelling.denis cebulec modelo

It’s still a mystery to me how I managed it. After I shot this Ralph Lauren project, the team at RL invited me to take photos in Spain, Italy UK, Germany Switzerland and Sweden for this Luxury Brand. It was the early days of instagram, and I began sharing both my behind-the-camera life as well as my in front of it. I was not sure about modelling as I wanted to pursue a career in photography. I shared more about my photography than myself.denis cebulec model

You can build some pretty good skills and connections after working in the fashion & business industry for a few years. My modelling photographs also improved over time. This led to more interesting projects and experiences. Through some clever moves, I was able to sign up with a top male model agency. Freelancers cannot plan too far ahead, and most jobs are found at the last minute. Modeling gave me the opportunity to travel around the world, and meet some of the most creative and interesting people.

After spending many years on social media trying to find out what I wanted to represent, I finally found my niche. I combine fashion and lifestyle into other aspects of my life. I am thankful to be able make a living as a model , photographer , and content creator.denis cebulec modelo

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