A few years ago, this thing started happening within social networks where girls fancied themselves as makeshift models, whether they deserved the title or not. I think this was a direct result of the digital photographers’ boom, the widespread consumption of prosumer DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark II, and the scarcity of viable models who knew how to position their form. Model Mayhem was a logical solution, as was Tumblr, and what eventually became Instagram. Suddenly, “photographers” had a hot-blooded subject to shoot, and halfway-decent women (and men) could identify as “models.”
A number of women achieved success and notoriety in this strange universe, buttressed by the Internet and social media followings, and thriving outside of traditional print media, modeling agencies, or advertising campaigns. Names like Jen Selter, Bryana Holly (bHollyb), and Madzilla may come to mind. But out of that selfie-centric revolution, Alysha Nett has been the one to watch; the pacesetter. The native Midwesterner got her start on MySpace, but it wasn’t until a former boyfriend photographer started capturing her and pushing her through Tumblr that the world really took notice. In the years since, Alysha’s career has taken her from Kansas to Philadelphia to Los Angeles. And in that time, she’s gone from tattoo Tumblr chic to Streetwear darling to venerable model, scoring magazine covers, The Hundreds T-shirts (!), and shout-outs by Esquire Magazine.
It doesn’t surprise me one bit. Alysha Nett is consistently one of my favorite people to photograph. She is a true master of her art form. She understands her figure and movement better than the most veteran models I’ve shot, and best of all, she’s kind and funny and a great friend. Alysha’s the Tea Leoni with tattoos, the bad girl we can bring home to mom, the approachable hot chick. She’s the best of all worlds, and that’s why I shot her again for a T-shirt – to be released in late 2015 – out behind The Hundreds Homebase. I was going for one specific shot, but as most Alysha Nett shoots go, we kept riding with her improvisations, I tried to keep up and document her process, and now you get to enjoy the results!