Teenager Lands Modeling Contract Thanks To One Instagram Photo

The 19-year-old model has just signed a modelling contract with one of the most prestigious agencies in the world.

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Despite thinking she looked 'average' and a 'deer in head in headlights' in a photograph taken at a university festival, US teenager Anok Yai has just been given a contract with global model agency Next Models, whose models include international stars including Alanna Arrington, Anja Rubik and Crista Cober.

The Telegraph reports the 19-year-old was walking through a festival at Howard University in Washington, D.C, called Yard Fest, on Friday 21 October when she bumped into photographer Steve Hall, who was taking photos for his fashion website, The Sunk.

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Complimented for her model looks by the photorapher, Yai agree to briefly pose for the image-maker and didn't think much of their chance encounter, until her Instagram began to 'blow up', with Hall's original shot of the model - posted to the social media platform - receiving over 14,000 'likes' from followers.

In under a week, the model's Instagram following has risen from 300 to 59,000.

Not bad for an 'average' girl, right?

Saw her right at the end of Yardfest. Stunning @anokyai #huhc #huhomecoming #theyard #fro #curlyhair #darkskin #sudanese

A post shared by TheSUNK|The Shit U Need 2 Know (@thesunk) on

Having caught the attention of numerous modelling agencies following her Instagram success, Yai announced yesterday she had been signed by the famous agency.

Hi Howard #howardhomecoming

A post shared by Anok (@anokyai) on

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'I got an email from a modeling agency. They said they were interested in having me and they had me call them. And they just set up tons of interviews and it just went on from there,' Yai explained to the Washington Post.

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'When [the Instagram post] got to a couple thousand and it just kept going higher and higher, I was surprised,' she added.

'And I was happy. I always wanted it to happen, but it was something I never expected.'

Light of my life. Fire of my loins

A post shared by Anok (@anokyai) on

The model was born in Egypt and is of Sudanese heritage but moved to the US when she was two-years-old.

The student grew up in Manchester, in New Hampshire and dreamed of becoming a model, having watched America's Next Top Model with her sister from a young age.

Grad night throwback

A post shared by Anok (@anokyai) on

However, despite her aspirations to work in fashion, she felt she'd never make it as a model and decided to study biochemistry at Plymouth State University in order to become a doctor, instead.

The leaves match my skin 🍂

A post shared by Anok (@anokyai) on

Announcing her new job as a model on Instagrakm, the student said: 'Thank you to everyone that's supported me along the way; hope you follow me on this journey.'

And what a journey this looks to be, Anok.

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