Although she did not place at her first modelling competition, Napier native Amanda Taylor is now reaping the rewards with her newfound confidence.
"I used to feel very self-conscious, and now I've done that I feel a lot better. Now I'm just looking after myself and doing what I can to become more confident."
The Maxim's Swimwear Model of the Year competition in March was Ms Taylor's first real foray into modelling, which she said was "overwhelming but fun".
The judges told her for a first modelling competition, she had done very well. Since, she has been paving her own way with photo shoots and hair modelling.
The 22-year-old already has another four or five booked for the New Year.
"It's opened up another door."
When Ms Taylor is not modelling, going to the gym, or working hard to get her name out there she is the manager at Caf DMP.
But her newfound love for modelling won't be the main focus of her life.
"If I get booked for photo shoots I get really excited but I'm not going to live my life through it.
"I would become a fulltime model if I could, but it's not going to bother me if I don't do it.
"I'm not going to hold off on other things, and I'm not going to change who I am."
Ms Taylor works hard to keep herself fit, but she said this was more for the health benefits than for her appearance.
"I just want to be myself."
Back in March it was her friends who urged the reluctant Ms Taylor to do the Maxim competition.
"They kept pushing me and in the end I just decided to give it a go and have fun."
For the 22-year-old who never went to the beach without a cover-up, the competition was nerve-wracking at first.
But with her new self-confidence, this summer when she goes to the beach: "I'm just going to show everyone what I've got."