Dutch model Valerie van der Graaf stepped foot on the set of her debut SI Swimsuit photoshoot in 2014. For the occasion, she traveled to Barreirinhas, Brazil, an idyllic white sand and clear water location, to pose for the camera of talented photographer Raphael Mazzucco.
Though it was her first photoshoot with the brand, it was far from her first experience in front of a camera. She was “spotted on a social network website” by an agency when she was just 15 years old, she said of her start.
She had already been in the industry for six years when she got the call up for SI Swimsuit, and she was enjoying her success. “I just love being a model, it’s really cool,” she said. “Which other 21-year-old gets to go everywhere?”
And getting the chance to pose for the magazine was just the cherry on top of the whole experience. “It’s a big opportunity and it’s amazing. So many people read it,” she gushed. “I’m so happy to do it.”
She brought her characteristic good energy to the set in the incredible Brazilian location, a fact that editor in chief MJ Day was sure to note during the photoshoot. Her positive attitude and her incredible talent as a model—combined with the beautiful location—made for one epic feature.
Posing in a series of dark string bikinis and black one-pieces, she really shone against the bright backdrop. But don’t just take our word for it, see for yourselves. Here are a few of our favorites from the trip.