Senior Model Lessons Learned – Sarah Beth

July 19, 2018

Happy Thursday everyone!  Today I would like to introduce you to my fantastic senior model, Sarah Beth, who goes to Ravenwood. We spent a wonderfully pleasant (not too hot!) morning at Sinking Creek Farm and it was awesome!  The sunflowers were coming awake, the vineyard was ready, and both Sarah Beth and I got into the creek which I think was so worth it!

I am so lucky to have Sarah Beth on my team and I almost didn’t get her. You see, when you put these model teams together there are a few goals. I, personally, wanted smart girls who were active in their community and schools who wanted to be involved. But, the typical reason for the team is to get girls who are very active on social media so they will help you market to your core audience with their organic social posts (tagging me, of course!).  These teams are a senior photography industry standard.  Sure, I get it.  Take their picture and they tag you on Instagram. More seniors book. Sounds great. I went into my first team very naively.  Surely every rising senior is active on Instagram, right?  Wrong.

Well, I was communicating with Sarah Beth’s (Wonderful!) mom and she turned down the opportunity because her daughter didn’t have Instagram and wasn’t on social media.  Her mom was…but Sarah Beth decided at the time it wasn’t for her. I had made it a requirement in the application and Sarah Beth wouldn’t fit that qualification.  Well, at the same time I was being turned down, one of my best friends was having issues with social media and her then 14-year-old daughter. I saw first-hand what comes with the good of social media…which is also a lot of bad.  Peer pressure magnified x 10.  FOMO causing depression.  So-called friends taunting and the “mean girls” thing becoming a little too easy.

This caused me to reevaluate my senior model program. I thought long and hard about what my goals were in addition to growing my business. Yes, I would like for some girls to help me with marketing. But why deny other girls a fantastic experience, which I knew I was going to provide.  I KNEW my team was going to be fun and we were going to do a lot of different things throughout the year and I wanted all girls to have that opportunity to be part of my group. I truly believe that through photography, self-confidence can be strengthened and I wanted to be a part of that positive experience. So, I contacted Sarah Beth’s mom again. I explained to her that through learning about social media via the perspective of my friend and her daughter, I had reevaluated my program and was no longer making being active on social media a requirement. Basically, the only requirement is that my model team are paying clients.  Sure, I still want smart, ambitious girls who are active in their community.  And I could tell through my discussion with her mom that Sarah Beth was one of those girls.

So, lucky for me, Sarah Beth submitted an application. Sarah Beth is a leader of FCA, she is in choir and an acapella group, she is active in her church youth group and a community service club at the high school. All the things I am looking for in a model rep.  But, more importantly than her resume, I have gotten to know Sarah Beth over the last several months and she is just a JOY to be around. Her smile is contagious. She comes to the photo shoots with enthusiasm. She is exploring the world (yes, Italy is amazing!) and she is just so kind.  Kudos to her parents, Candi and Jay, who have done an amazing job. And I should mention shat Sarah Beth is the oldest of five!

Thank you to my dear friend (Pi Phi Sisters forever!) who got me to see social media in a different perspective. And thank you to Candi and Jay for giving me a second chance and allowing Sarah Beth to be part of my team.