Featured Review – Talia, Class of 2018


Dear Senior,

When I applied to be a Mary O. Spokesmodel a year ago, I was hesitant. My mom encouraged me and said, “What’s the worst that could happen? Just apply, you fit the criteria.” So, I sent in my application filled with all my involvements in school, hobbies, etc. When I was accepted, I thought “What now?” When we met with Mary and I was still thinking things like ‘this wasn’t for me’ or ‘I’m not model material’, but when we sat down in her house, there was a beautiful bounded book full of pictures of a naturally beautiful girl. She wasn’t a stereotypical “popular” girl type like I had seen on other photographers’ Instagrams. She looked real and unique with her own style. Imagine that! That’s exactly what it’s like being on her team. We do our own hair and makeup how we want, wear the clothes that match our own style, and the only expectation is that we be ourselves.

She wasn’t a stereotypical “popular” girl type… She looked real and unique with her own style. That’s exactly what it’s like being on her team.

As a Mary O. SpokesModel, you will make tons of unique memories, make new friends, and get to break out of your shell. What’s special about her program rather than other local photographer’s programs is that every session is with the whole team. She doesn’t make cuts or schedule special sessions based on photogenicness. Being with the whole team makes the shoots so much more enjoyable and allowed us, girls, to encourage each other which really does help with getting genuine smiles and creating a positive environment. You will also get to feel good about the positive presence in the community with the service project you do. This year we made and delivered holiday cookies to fire and police stations across the city and you could tell they really did appreciate the gift during that crazy time of year.

The great part about shoots with her is that Mary is really not looking for you to be a professional poser or anything other than your beautiful and unique self. She will do all the hard work because she has the eye and experience to pose you, tell you what to do with your face, etc. All you have to do is give her your eyes and smile. She learns how to get you comfortable, or rather comfortable being uncomfortable, and knows what will make you look best. Being a spokesmodel was something I anticipated to be way out of my comfort zone because while I don’t consider myself to be shy, I would say I am pretty reserved or modest. This experience helped me to build confidence. It helped me realize that you can let your beauty and personality shine without dulling others, no one has the right to make you believe you have to dull yourself to fit in or protect other’s feelings. In this environment you get to be silly and do poses you see on the cover of magazines that you never thought you would do and the other girls stand by and hype you up! It’s so fun. Every girl loves to get dressed up and take pictures with her friends and she gives you the opportunity to do that 6 times throughout your senior year.

Then, after plenty of practice, you get your dream session. When you go into planning your session, you can tell that this one is really about you and she knows how to make it special and totally 100% you. You have your hair and makeup professionally done and feel so ready to take on the day, because it accentuates your natural beauty, but it doesn’t make you look cakey or fake on camera. She scouts the locations you choose and makes it very easy for you, just bring all the outfits and things most important to you; a soccer ball, books, instrument, anything you can think of and she makes it work. And the product is really so good it’ll be hard to choose. The reveal of the pictures is so awesome because she makes a whole slideshow of the pictures you’ve taken throughout the year and seeing the transformation is wild. This experience even helped in my scholarship interview because it was something unique and outgoing. Bookworms, there is no reason this experience cannot be for you. I really encourage girls to do things like this. Try things out of your comfort zone because it helps you grow to be more sociable and comfortable talking to people, representing a program and representing yourself; all the things very important to young women about to go into the real world. There really is nothing else that can give you these experiences, memories, and lessons.

-Talia, Class of 2018