KENNESAW, Ga. -- Sean O'Pry went from being a Kennesaw high school student to an international male supermodel in just over two years.
And if that isn't incredible enough, consider this: he didn't set out to be a model. He was neither seeking nor dreaming of international fame and fortune.
Instead, like millions of other teens before the age of Facebook's Internet dominance, he simply posted a picture on MySpace.
That's where it all started -- a single photo of a strutting 17-year-old on the way to his junior prom. The picture was spotted by modeling scouts and forwarded to agent Lana Winters-Tomczak. She said when she saw the picture, she knew immediately what she was seeing.
"I said, 'If he really looks like that, he'll be a supermodel. I really need to talk to his mom," Winters-Tomczak said Wednesday via telephone from New York.
Tomczak made a personal visit to Kennesaw in 2006, and convinced Sean and his parents it wasn't a scam. He'd never been to New York, or even on a plane for that matter. But three days later, he had a contract and bookings on the way from big names like Calvin Klein.
"I got very lucky there in the beginning," O'Pry said Tuesday in an interview with 11Alive. "I think I may have taken some of it for granted when I started, but what this job allows me to do for my family, I realize now it's a very good blessing that's been given to me."
From his immediate takeoff, O'Pry had a seemingly endless list of shoots with Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Vogue magazine. He was also all over Madonna in her recent music video for "Girl Gone Wild."
In 2009, O'Pry was named the most successful male model in the world by Forbes publications. He's also topped the models.com list of the most successful international male models.
Since he reached his immediate success, he's never stopped traveling. Just this month alone, O'Pry said he'd been to shoots in Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy, Canada and the Bahamas.
"A lot of people would say, 'Oh man that's crazy,' but a lot of the times when I'm in those other countries I'm there for work, not for pleasure," O'Pry said. "But I've been to Red Square; I've been to Rio for Carnival. There are so many cool things that I've been able to have at this young age."
The 22-year-old said even with all those experiences, he still misses life in Georgia, and hopes one day to be able to wind down and enjoy more free time with family and friends. But for now, he plans to continue as long as the phone calls keep coming. And he said he's still adjusting to what he called a "different reality."
"It's unique that somebody in another country that I've never been to knows who I am," O'Pry said. "If my career were to end tomorrow, I'd be happy with what I've accomplished, and I'm thankful for every day that I'm able to do this job."