Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.
America's Next Top Model is a reality competition show that features aspiring models competing for the title and a chance to kick-start their careers. Over the course of the show's seventeen year run, many memorable contestants have appeared and there have also been a slew of fun and iconic photo shoots. In retrospect, some of these shoots have not aged well but many remain just as unique and stunning as they were back then. Let's take a look at some of the greatest photo shoots on ANTM.
Floating in Water (Cycle 7)
Cycle 7 of America's Next Top Model was not only full of memorable contestants but also some iconic photo shoots. When the girls traveled abroad to Spain, the remaining contestants paired up for a pool shoot that involved floating in water. Who could possibly forget when CariDee pushed herself to the extreme in order to get a fantastic photo, almost getting hypothermia in the process? Though the shoot was definitely intense, the models came away with some absolutely stunning photographs and it demonstrated their commitment to the craft.
Falling Fairy Tale Shoot (Cycle 6)
What could possibly be hard about taking a tumble while wearing a sexy outfit and striking a fierce pose in the process? During Cycle 6, the contestants were tasked with embodying fairy tale characters whilst gracefully falling for a photo. The end result was some seriously spectacular shots of the models mid-fall, with cycle winner Danielle and runner-up Joanie serving up some majorly epic shots. The photos were gorgeous and the whole vibe and aesthetic of the shoot was seriously memorable. The wardrobe and concept was fun and definitely stands out for ANTM fans.
Circus Freak Show (Cycle 7)
As previously mentioned, Cycle 7 of ANTM was full of fun and wild photo shoots. Arguably one of the most edgy and unique concepts was the circus freak show shoot, that had the models embody "circus freaks" while contorting their bodies. The episode was definitely fun and daring, and most of the contestants rose to the occasion and served up some majorly epic performances. CariDee worked an elephant snout, Melrose rocked an "older face" and young body, and A.J embraced her dark side as a cannibal. The whole theme was a wild and fun ride for viewers to watch.
7 Deadly Sins (Cycle 4)
Both tragic and memorable, the 7 Deadly Sins episode during Cycle 4 of the show truly challenged the contestants and pushed their boundaries. Not only were the models tasked with posing as a sin, but they also had to do so while lowered in an actual grave! Poor Kahlen had the most difficult time, as prior to the shoot she found out a childhood friend tragically passed away. Somehow she was able to push through her grief and emotions, and delivered a stunning shot in which she portrayed wrath. The whole theme and concept remains a fan favorite.
Underwater Smize (Cycle 11)
During Cycle 11 of ANTM, Tyra was not afraid to embrace edgy and unique photo shoots. One particular challenge that stood out was the underwater smize episode, in which the models rocked dramatic hair and makeup and posed half underwater. Judge Nigel Barker was the photographer, and the girls had to really emphasize their eyes and emote intense emotion. The photos turned out stunning and the mist and water element gave the shots an edgy vibe. The judges were very impressed with Lauren Brie, who contorted and smized her way to the top that week.
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Posing with a Tarantula (Cycle 3)
Cycle 3 was full of iconic and confident contestants, most notably winner Eva Pigford (now Marcille) and the vivacious Toccara Jones. Eva was known for her daring and bold personality, and she constantly embraced each photo shoot. However, her self-assured attitude took a hit when the models were tasked with posing with expensive jewelry and a tarantula. Poor Eva had a meltdown mid-shoot and broke into tears, but she still managed to pull it together enough to deliver a seriously stunning photo that left the judges in awe. The diamonds and tarantula shoot was fun for viewers to watch, and remains a fan favorite.
Elephant Photo Shoot (Cycle 6)
Tyra sure loved to challenge the model hopefuls, whether it'd be with what they were wearing, where they were shooting or what they were posing with. During Cycle 6, the remaining hopefuls were tasked with modeling on elephants for Gillette Venus razors. Earlier in the episode, Danielle had been rushed to the hospital after suffering dehydration and food poisoning. Instead of bowing out of the shoot, she pushed through her illness and participated in the challenge. The end result was a gorgeous photo that truly highlighted her dedication. Joanie also served up a beautiful shot, nabbing best photo.
Paint Shoot (Cycle 12)
During Cycle 12, it seemed that Tyra was determined to come up with very editorial photo shoots. One of these memorable challenges was when the models were asked to not only nail a beauty shot, but also do so while covered in different colored powders. The mixture of the paint aspect and focus on the face made for some pretty gorgeous photographs. Having to model through the bold colors was difficult for some, but cycle winner Teyona and Fo were the models who the judges applauded most. Allison also came up with a lovely shot, but was ultimately criticized for relying on one look.
Posing with Crocodiles (Cycle 4)
Tyra is not afraid to put her hopeful contestants through the ringer, and seemed to love adding a danger element to her photo shoots. During Cycle 4, the remaining models traveled to Cape Town, South Africa where they had to pose as animals in the South African safari with Lubriderm lotion. Instead of only embodying their given animals, the contestants had to also shoot alongside a crocodile. All of the models rocked their looks, with Naima and Christina receiving the most praise at panel. The photo shoot was so unique and it was fun watching the girls embrace their animalistic side.
Hot Air Balloon (Cycle 11)
Cycle 11 of ANTM featured some very talented contestants and majorly edgy photo shoots. Never one for simplicity, Tyra loved adding unique touches to her challenges and the hot air balloon shoot was no different. During the episode, the models were tasked with hanging from a rope ladder in gorgeous dresses and heels, with an image of a hot air balloon later digitally composited in. The girls had to hang and contort their bodies in unique shapes and poses, and at panel the judges were very impressed by the end results. Overall the photos looked gorgeous, with all the different elements making for very editorial shots.
Political Issues (Cycle 8)
Cycle 8 winner Jaslene Gonzalez wasted no time showing off her modeling skills in the season premiere, during a shoot that had the model hopefuls pose for controversial political issues. While many of the contestants experienced first shoot jitters, Jaslene impressed the judges when she served up a powerful shot featuring the death penalty. Though few of the models managed to pull off a good shot, the stunning photo of Jaslene proved she was a front-runner in the competition and ultimately demonstrated just why she deserved to take the crown that season.
Windblown Head Scarves (Cycle 13)
Cycle 13 of ANTM featured a major change during the season: all the contestants for the cycle were of 5'7" height and shorter. The model hopefuls had to really bring it to each and every photo shoot, and prove they could make it in a height-obsessed industry. For one of the shoots, Tyra challenged the girls with modeling with head scarves for a beauty shot. The best picture would be given immunity at panel, an incentive that had the contestants serving up some majorly impressive looks. Brittany was ultimately deemed the best and won immunity, with Laura, cycle winner Nicole, and Erin also proving to be standouts. The photos had an almost Renaissance feel, and the models soft beauty was on full display.
Did I miss a great photo shoot? Let me know in the comments below!
© 2020 Rachel M Johnson