Could you be our Face of 2013?

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It’s that time of year again when we ask gorgeous and the glamorous Wearside boys and girls to strike a pose for our annual model search.

WE first started the search for Wearsides next top model in 2007 and since then the beauty bar has been raised year on year.

This year we are giving Face Of a facelift and bringing in the top North East model agency Tyne Tees Models, as well as award-winning photographer Scott Spock, plus celebrity make-up artist Amanda Bell to help judge our entries and offer some amazing prizes.

The competition, in association with Reds Hair and Beauty, aims to give everyone a chance to strut their stuff on the catwalk no matter what shape or size they are.

If you are confident, love fashion or just want to see what it’s like to step into the shoes of a model for a day then this is the competition for you.

Of course looks are the main model asset, but out judges are looking for more than just a pretty face.

Mum-of-one Sophie Wharton put herself foward last year and could not believe it when she not only got to the final, but she got her hands on the coveted title of female Face Of.

The 20-year-old from Seaham said: “I was so nervous on the day of the final, especially when I saw the other girls – they all looked so confident. I never thought I would win.

“But I would say if you aren’t confident you should still give it a go, just make sure if you do get to the final that you enjoy it and have fun because it’s a fantastic experience. I did and it’s opened so many doors for me.”

Since winning Sophie has done a number of photoshoots with top photographers including David Lawson. She has also worked with the Sunderland Echo and Dalton Park and she has done a number of bridal shoots.

“David put me on a huge billboard on the side of his shop,” said Sophie.

“It was amazing to see a giant me – I was really happy. A few people have recognised me since I won which is nice, but it’s still strange when I open a newspaper or a magazine and see myself in there.”

She added: “Winning has given me opportunities I would never of had before and I’m so glad I put myself forward.”

Sophie had been studying health and social care at East Durham college before she had her daughter Olivia Lily who is now two.

Winning the competition and getting a modelling contract has meant she can start doing something for herself again.

“It’s nice to have a few hours being pampered and not being a mammy,” explained Sophie.

“My daughter loves seeing my photos, in fact my whole family does. They have all been really supportive which is great.

“I’ve loved the whole experience and I would tell everyone to give it a go – you have nothing to lose!”

In 2009 we had our first male winner and since then we have opened the door for both a male and a female to get their hands on the title, as the level of entries have got better and better.

This has made the judges’ job harder as they have to pick from our gorgeous girls and guys who make it through to the final.

This year’s judges include Sunderland Echo editor John Szymanski, Reds salon owners Harry and Susan Hall, elite make-up artist Amanda Bell, photographer Scott Spock, Harry Collinson from Sunderland’s Collinsons Jewellers and a representative from Tyne Tees Models.

Harry Hall, from Reds, said: “We’re looking for a quirky look this year. Someone who we can use to promote Reds. Everyone should give it a go It’s not just a beauty contest there is a lot of personality involved as well.”

All of the judges are offering our winners a prize as part of out top-notch prize package and these include:

•One year’s free hairdressing at Reds.

•A year’s modelling contract with Tyne Tees Models.

•A model portfolio shoot in the studio and roof set with four high fashion retouched images in print courtesy of Scott Spock photography.

•Jewellery from Collinsons Jewellers.

•A make-up lesson plus make-up for the shoot with Scott Spock thanks to Amanda Bell.

Ravi Gill, 18, made it through to our final 40 in 2011, but last year he was shortlisted to the final 12 and he won the judges over with his confidence and charming good looks.

He said: “I have really enjoyed being the Face Of 2012 and the publicity has been great.

“It’s nice when people recognise you in the paper – it gives you a real feel-good factor.”

Ravi, from South Hylton, has brains as well as looks and is studying for an international baccalaureate at St Robert of Newminster sixth form.

He still found time to strut his stuff on our catwalk and he came top of the class again when he scooped the Face Of title.

He said: “The final was really nerve wrenching at first, but once you go out there in front of everybody it was great and I really enjoyed it.

“I had no clue that I was going to win, but it was brilliant when I found out the judges had picked me.”

He added: “There were a lot of girls in the final so I would encourage more lads to come forward.

“You have just as much a chance of winning as the girls, so you have nothing to lose and the prizes and the experience if you do win make it well worth it.”

How to enter by text or email

If you think you or someone you know has got what it takes to be the next Sunderland Echo Face Of then send your entries in to us, which should include a full length and headshot picture, contact details, height and a little bit about you or the person you’re entering

Text: SEFACE(space) include your name and address, attach your photo by MMS and send to 88833.

Text Charges: Texts cost 50p plus standard network rates.

Entries received after the closing date will not be counted but you may still be charged.

If you do not wish to receive details of any other products or services, please text EXIT at the end of your message.

By sending in your photo you are expressing consent that it may be used by Johnston Press Limited.

Service Provider: JMedia UK Limited, SW4 7BX. Tel: 0844 800 1188

OR

Email your picture and details to cara.houchen@jpress.co.uk