Students model professionally

Jaylyn Edwards

Thirteen years old, crouching down to give the illusion of a young girl, five foot four, now senior Sky Turner reflects on her first commercial shot when she was unexpectedly taller than her partner.  Turner was nine years old when she was scouted by an agent at her beauty pageant and has been modeling since.

Courtesy of Mandy Lynn photography 

Unlike Turner, sophomore Emily Brumback was introduced to another agency in New Smyrna by a friend and has been modeling for over a year. She finds modeling an expressive outlet for herself and a way for new opportunities.

“What inspired me is that I’ve loved taking pictures and I loved fashion, so modeling is a great way to express my love for it,” Brumback said.

Nowadays the modeling industry is gradually changing and becoming more diverse. It can still be hard for aspiring models to get into if they do not fit the mold looked for.

“It’s actually come a long way since I first started, I just wish there was an in-between,” Turner said. “They want the really skinny people, then they want the people who are plus-sized but then the people who are like in the middle there really isn’t a place for them. I wish it was more inclusive.”

At times, rejection can occur without any warning and any reason.

“All the other girls showed them their pictures and I was standing there waiting to give her my picture and she was like ‘no’ so yeah I got rejected,” senior Arianna Griggs said. “The worst part is being judged. That is what modeling is but like at first I couldn’t handle it.”

Courtesy of Jacob Sierra

Despite the occasional burns of modeling, Griggs believes modeling helped her to appreciate herself more.

“The biggest thing I’ve gained is confidence,” Griggs said. “Before I started modeling, I was like ‘eh’ but then I started to see myself and got to show off my personality and just became more confident in myself.”

Like her fellow peers, senior Kaitlyn Mould gained experience as she began modeling in September of 2019, even though her main goal is to get into acting.

“[Recently] I was a background extra on this TV show called Saturday Night Takeaway,” Mould said. “It’s not famous here in the US, but it’s a bigger show near the UK area. We filmed it at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in front of the castle.”

By continuing to earn money, Mould hopes to transfer to a bigger company to gain more opportunities in both modeling and acting.

Courtesy of Premiere Model Management of New Smyrna Beach

“Another girl I know got cast for Legacies [a TV series,] and I want to get into that company, but I don’t have the money right now,” Mould said. “It’s cool just knowing that someone you know who is with the agency that you’re with got booked for that show.”