The Ultimate Teen Experience…
One of the most common questions I am asked is how to keep a teen excited and to want to stay involved in Model Crew since they are often in it for more than one year. To be honest, when I created my teen line and ultimately began adding teens to Model Crew this was not something I had even thought about. Like so many things with me, when I decide I want to do it I just do it!
So when I started my teen line 4 years ago (it will be 5 in June omg), I let it guide me. I knew it was needed. I just didn’t know how it was going to mold and fit into the framework of my existing business. So when I get asked things like “how do I keep them interested and excited” I explain how I keep it unique to us. And I thought who better to explain the process than a teen who has been involved Model Crew since October of 2014. This is also the teen that I created my Teen Spirit line around almost 5 years ago. She has literally grown up in front of my lens since 8th. grade. Sophia is graduating this year. She has been such a positive example to all the model crew members and is always a joy to be around.
I had several questions for Sophia but I wanted more input as to what you would like to know. So I sent out some Facebook messages and asked a few photographer friends (Thank you Sarah, Megan and Thomas) what they would like to ask Sophia and compiled her story. Now she might be a little biased towards us…full disclosure! But I think it is always good to hear what the teen’s are thinking about the experience.
In Sophia’s words..
What is it like to be a teen model crew member and then moving up to senior model crew?
Both a member of both model crews had been an incredible experience. Starting out as a teen model crew member really helped me to “learn the ropes” of style, hair, make-up, and posing. It also helped me become much more comfortable in front of the camera, and familiar with what Jeremy and Vickie were looking for in a shot.
When it came time for your senior photos where you still excited?
Oh my goodness, YES! I think everyone looks forward to their senior portrait session. It’s your chance to show off your own unique style, in your choice of location(s), and be yourself!
Was it hard getting referrals each year?
Not at all. Jeremy & Vickie’s work really sells itself. When you work with a top-quality photographer, that follows (and sets) trends, people just naturally want what they see captured in my portraits.
What stood out most about model crew?
In model crew, each photo shoot is an adventure. We get to be involved in the planning, and contribute our ideas. It’s awesome to see the shoots come together!
What was your favorite part of model crew throughout the years?
My favorite part of model crew is definitely the themed group shoots. I LOVE getting the opportunity to try out new looks, and styles that I normally might not have been brave enough to try.
Did you make new friends along the way?
I have made SO many friends. And they come from all over Indiana. It’s been an incredible opportunity to get to know new people, and I’ve had a lot of fun with all of them.
What did you learn or gain from this experience?
Being a model crew member has brought me real self-confidence. I’m an introvert, by nature, but I get to really “come alive” in front of the camera. It’s truly helped me become a much more out-going person.
What was it like being part of 3 fashion shows?
The fashion shows are truly amazing. I felt like a model! It’s a fun, exciting, and just really incredible experience.
What advice would you give a fellow teen who is thinking about applying?
GO FOR IT! Don’t be afraid to put yourself, and your style, and personality, out there. You CAN do this, and you’ll be so glad that you did.
In 5 words describe your experience in the last 4 years
Amazing, empowering, esteem-boosting, collaborative, FUN!!!
Once you got started on the crew, did you feel like you had to have prior modeling experience to do well?
Nope! Jeremy and Vickie were warm, and welcoming, and took the time to get to know ME, and what worked for me in a shoot. It’s a team effort, and they want you to be comfortable, and get great images.
Your favorite individual shoot?
Oh dear! How do I choose?! It’s a real toss up between my very first Teen Spirit session, and a 70’s boho/Woodstock shoot (I totally got to rock my inner hippie!). Every session has been so different, and fun. It’s hard to pick a favorite!
What was your favorite group shoot theme?
My favorite group shoot would definitely be the Footloose Prom. There was music, and dancing, and what girl doesn’t like to wear a prom dress?!
What were your expectations in being in model crew?
In the beginning, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I was excited about being photographed, and getting great images. I had no idea how much more I would get out of it.
How has model crew changed your teen social media life?
Well, I definitely get called by my Instagram name (“SoSeriouslySoph”), more than I do my actual name these days. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to post one of my model crew photos, and see people’s comments, and reactions. People have been really positive, kind, and encouraging, which is great to see.
What is the one turn off you see photographers doing on social media?
This is an easy one… making kids look older than they are. Some of the senior photos I’ve seen are borderline sketchy & inappropriate. Kids are already under a lot of pressure to grow up too fast. I hate seeing cutie-patootie girls in flirty/sexy clothing, sets, and poses.
What has helped you get the most referrals? More time in front of the camera? Sharing online? Your parents talking it up?
I think sharing online, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, has really helped me to generate the most referrals. People like what they see & they ask for it!
What keeps you coming back year after year?
Is this a trick question?! Jeremy and Vickie have become like family to me. Every shoot with them is a blast. They are constantly coming up with new ideas, and it never gets boring.
What has been your favorite incentive you have earned and why?
My favorite incentive has been the bonus shoots. I love the chance to get to do a shoot that no one else gets to do! It makes me want to be the first to hit the required amount of referrals!
Are you ready to incorporate teens into your Model Crew? Be sure to check out last month’s blog post on how I am incorporating more teens this year HERE!
Want to start your teen program correctly and learn from the best in the teen and tween market? Then you need to attend Modern Teen Summit! There are currently 7 seats left for this full day intensive educational event. This will be the toolkit you need to get your program off the ground!