By Maria Grippo
Photography: Melissa Robinson
If you frequent the Internet, you’ll be aware that social media stars are the new reality celebrities.
Everyday people like you and me are self-branding and building businesses through selfies, blog posts and YouTube videos. Sydney-based golden girl Renee Somerfield launched her modelling career through photo sharing platform Instagram, where she regularly posts hundreds of pictures showing off her enviable, often bikini-clad figure to her 670,000 plus followers.
Earlier this year, Renee appeared on the January cover of glamorous men’s magazine Maxim with fellow ‘Instafamous’ Aussie models Sheridyn Fisher and Ellie Gonsalves, who have more than 650,000 and 350,000 followers respectively. But despite her sudden rise to fame, the 5’10 beauty admits that social media was not originally part of her plan.
“I jumped on the Instagram train really, really late”, says Renee. "It was probably no more than a year ago, but it's grown so quickly"
But her rise to insta-fame has certainly transferred to real life, with modeling schedule that keeps her very busy - sometimes working up to 14 hour days. She's recently been in Brisbane shooting campaigns for lingerie brand Honey Birdette and the look book for online fashion hub, Sabo Skirt. She’s also been on Gold Coast shooting for her very first film role - alongside Hollywood action star ‘The Rock’.
“I thought I saw him yesterday,” laughs Renee. “I was like, wait - is that him? It wasn't. It turns out his cousin is his body double. But hopefully I’ll get to meet him tomorrow – I’m really excited”.
Despite her good looks, Renee is keen to prove that she is more than just a pretty face. As a vegan and an animal lover, she is set to shoot her first PETA campaign in a few weeks, one of many jobs in her busy schedule.
So how does one attain the heights of social media success? The sun kissed bombshell has been a vegan for the past five years and attributes her plant-based diet as the reason for her glowing complexion and slender physique.
Renee admires Victoria’s Secret supermodels Miranda Kerr and Candice Swanepoel and follows the lingerie giant, as well as various ‘fitspiration’ accounts to keep herself inspired.
As for her advice for budding Instagrammers looking to build a following on their profiles?
“I don't really follow a set formula; I just post things from my day to day life. But I think [the key is to] just be yourself. Find an inspiration,” she says. “And make sure to constantly post different things. I’ll never post in the same place. You need to keep it fresh.”