This is the first article, of many, on one of the moderators in Jurgita which I am hoping you will find very interesting and informative shedding a bit of personal light on the many multi-talented people who help to make Jurgita happen and keep it alive in the back rows.

I am sure that you have all heard of, or at some point in any of the Jurgita forums/topics you have enjoyed a post with Yana Popova or read any of her interesting articles or even had a peep into her portfolio.The 22 year old, 5ft 7"' Yana Popova was born in Ukraine in the city of Berdyansk on 28th November 1984. She now resides in Donetsk, Ukraine, her mother tongue being Russian and her second language English. Yana has no middle name but out of curiosity I searched the meaning of Yana on the net and discovered that her unusual first name means "*gracious and merciful"* and comes from Slavic origin.

Yana first became interested in the modeling world at the tender age of twelve and at age fifteen realized that her biggest dream was to make it her career. She hasn't done any professional work yet to date despite her keenness to try any modeling related work and this is mainly due to the unfortunate lack of opportunity for aspiring models in her country and the fact that local photographers are not very creative when it comes to portfolios for up and coming models there and are not willing to do TFCD.The most information they are willing to part with is a bit of advice on good lighting and an appropriate studio background. Yana also comments that model agencies in her country are very expensive for example, the most prestige one will charge $200 per month and its a catch 22, as you need to be in an agency in order to get any type of modeling/commercial work. Yana was sensible enough though to realize that she had to have something to fall back on other than posing in front of a camera and is very capable in other things having studied at University and is presently working for a support team for a site similar to Jurgita. Yana discovered the Jurgita site in June last year and joined as a member progressing to where she is now where she involves herself in many challenging tasks within the Jurgita organization, namely the organizing and planning of the ever so popular modeling contests, "Photo Model Spring Contest" and the present "Miss Perfect Contest" currently online.

Yana doesn't only enjoy being in front of the camera but also likes to be behind the camera and has a passion for photography. She owns a Nikon D50 camera which she says is all she needs at this moment and hopes to be able to spend more time on this hobby in the future and you never know may even become a professional one day!! Her favorite subjects are taking pictures of people and animals of which she has a smooth black and white fox terrier which she practices on and would one day love to own a horse but would need to get a big house outside of the city. Keep working at it Yana, you never know.

On a more serious note, Yana is presently in a relationship with someone she met at work and will not disclose too much on how soon the wedding bells will be ringing..we will just have to wait and see on that one. She is certain on one thing though and that is that when the big day arrives her wedding dress will have a low sexy back....ah ha now we know where the sexy back theme came from in the last modeling contest !! Speaking on contests, one of the questions for the models were "Describe your ideal man?" so I took the opportunity to put Yana to the test and ask her one of her own questions. All she answered was that there must be an understanding of one thing and that is...."The woman is always right!!! "

On the family side of things, Yana describes her mother as a real lady and constantly instilled in her to always wear make-up, not to forget to wear perfumes and to always dress nicely. Now we know where the flair for fashion came from. Her father always taught her that the right way to a man's heart was through his stomach and that a woman's role was to always cook for her man and look after him by being good in the home etc.. Her two grandmothers also gave her words of wisdom ~ the one being a successful business woman always told Yana that in order to reach your goals in life there was only one helper and that is yourself. Her other grandmother told her to use simple rules in life and that was to always be kind to people but Yana says sometimes she forgets everything she's learnt as sometimes she is not always an easy going person :)). However, Yana does set her goals high and says that it is her failures in life which drives her to continually work harder and reach for her dreams. Her favorite saying is: "You are the Best ".

Yana's favorite all time model is the 5ft 11" Gisele Bundchen from Brazil and her favorite actress is Angelina Jolie. Because she has never ventured out of Ukraine and Russia she has never had the opportunity of meeting any famous celebrities but once had the pleasure of being at the same resort with some Russian actors in Berdyansk where her grandmother worked but sadly they wouldn't let her take any pictures of them.

When Yana manages to steal some spare time out of her busy schedule she enjoys a massage and partakes in pilates and yoga for 30 minutes. She admits that she does not exercise as regularly as she should and is fully aware of the benefits of exercise and healthy eating...speaking of which, she loves vegetables and fruit and fish is her favorite protein food with fried potato being her favorite carbohydrate food. She doesn't have a favorite treat though and says that her tastes change from day to day but at the moment her weakness is oriental sweets!!

On a final note I asked Yana what qualities she thought made a model successful and her answer was that she didnt think a model had to have special qualities but just the right parameters. Some models are shy, emotional and bitchy but become famous models and she also puts their success down to being in the "right place at the right time." Yana also believes that this same theory can be applied to all of our lives in the real world.