Introducing My Class of 2016 Fab Grad Spokesmodels!!

Here they are! I’m so very pleased to introduce y’all to my very fabulous, sweet & beautiful Class of 2016 Fab Grad Spokesmodels and share with you the wonderful time we had at our group session…


This is my second year running the Fab Grad Spokesmodel program (what many know as ‘Senior Rep’s)… it is something that has VERY quickly become one of my favorite aspects of the year, oh so very dear to my heart and something I pour a great deal of myself into (probably much more effort & financially than the ol’ hubby would like 😉 but worth it for SO many reasons). It’s easy to believe in these girls and I genuinely want to make great memories with & for them!

I’ll start by sharing that I don’t accept just anyone ‘willing to sell me to their friends to get a discount’ into the program. I post serious applications for girls genuinely interested in my work and have casual interviews with the girls (& their parent(s)) that I feel might be a solid match. As it should be, given that this is my business, my art, my reputation, my heart & soul outside of my family – I take who I accept very seriously. And the girls that I have accepted have not let me down. They are so very extraordinary… they are ambitious & driven & talented & genuinely have the most amazing characters! I couldn’t ask for any better representatives of my work!

Other than the wonderful character, it also intrigues me to have a variety of girls in my program. I believe that ALL girls & women are beautiful & fabulous, with so many things both unique & similar to offer this world. I love it when my program can show that! While this year, having 2 actresses & 2 ballerinas and then 2 of the girls from the same school, I honestly worried initially that while I was beyond thrilled to have each of them, I might not have enough of that diversity that was so important to me. The girls quickly showed me that their main key interests may be similar but wow are they so very unique beyond that! We have an entrepreneur (yes – started her own business at 15!!), a class president, a Tae Kwon Doe 2nd degree black belt & potential Distinguished Young Woman (who we’ll most definitely be rooting for come August!!!)… you know, just to name a few of their other accomplishments/interests. And it shows in their individual portraits too – while having coordinated outfits in a theme, they all shined so differently. Each set of portraits is cohesive to the others but also so very individual and different! Lots more to share in their individual spotlight blogs throughout this summer… you won’t want to miss them!!

Our Session… Part 1: Camping Girls!

So… when planning our group sessions, I could totally go all out planning what I want. However, I’d rather find a common interest or spark. We need to do a theme that I can feel & be good with for my business BUT I also want the girls to look forward to it, enjoy it, love it & have the best memories possible from it! So… after being accepted into the program, the girls & I met for a little pizza party here at my house and went through an initial list of ideas I had. Much to my surprise, they all LOVED the one I least expected, the one I’d just kinda threw on the list last minute. Camping! Yep… Camping! And from there we kinda pulled a Jen on it & took it a few levels beyond that 😉 (see Part 2 below 😀 ).

We were joined again this year by Hair & Make-up Artist, Denise Hutter of Images by Denise and also a fabulous new talent, Beccah Thiel! My very dear friend & amazingly talented photographer in her own right, Eabby Jacobs of Eabby Verhoeven Photography , as well as her assistant, Sarah also came out to assist! So very thankful for all of them!!

We stayed at Crosswinds Campground at Jordan Lake and captured our session with the surroundings of a campsite, woods & lake! The girls wore boots & jean shorts along with tops that subtly coordinated with their later looks. It was awesome!! Equal amounts of laughter & bug spray were had and it was quite the successful day!

Jen Mink Photography Fab Grad Camping Fun!
LOL – there were many more pics of this marshmallow one taken, however, I confess… I was laughing so hard at the girls reacting to Lizzy throwing in the air over them that almost all of them are blurry! Note to self: when throwing in a funny surprise – grab a tripod to steady the camera! 😉
Jen Mink Photography Fab Grad Camping Fun!
LOL… The girls needed to get a lil’ silly at the end of this look! 😉


Our Session… Part 2: Lake Goddesses!

Yes, you read that correctly… Lake Goddesses! Now, y’all know this would not be one of my sessions if we didn’t have something over the top styled out theme like! It’s so my thing & I can’t help myself. As important as it is to capture these girls in their everyday look, to me – it is equally as important to let them play, to be creative & step beyond the every day. We would transform them from fun camping girls into stunning lake goddesses… YAY!!! This time we kept my brand colors in play BUT took them to a soft place with white, pale pinks & mauve. We got beautiful drapey dresses from Sew Trendy Accessories … actually getting the maternity versions, unlined with center slits so that I can have a larger range of use for them & the girls wore leotards underneath… I’m SO glad we did!! Definitely added to the soft, airy ethereal feel we had going. Then… I made the hairpieces myself (2 of them inspired from Pinterest images with my own twist and 2 simply by the materials I found & ran with!)

Initially all set to shoot in April, Mother Nature had other plans. Having the outgoing girls that I do, matching up all our calendars proved to be rather challenging. But… it finally came… in June we got to have our session & while school was already out, it still worked out for the best! The campgrounds we’d reserved would now be open an hour later this time of year, allowing us to capture a little bit of the sunset time! We were still rushed with nightly locking of gates at the campground & I would have liked more time, but I am so pleased with what we did get to capture!!

I would dream about this portion of the session & how it would go… and now I dream happy memories of how beautifully it went…


Behind the Scenes Fun…

One of the most important things about a great session is the fun we have behind the scenes – from goofing off & being silly, to getting to know each other more, to being pampered and feeling like models. To me… it’s that connection & comfort that makes the portraits all that much better!



Our Lil’ Special Guest Appearancer…

You might have noticed a little girl here & there in a few of the images above. Like myself, my family also becomes very attached to & invested in these girls as well. None more than my Lizzy though! She’s 5 now, a true girly girl and most definitely one of those little girls that adores & idolizes the big girls! In addition to all the other ways that the young ladies in my program have amazed me, it is how they have been with Lizzy that touches this mama’s heart the most & makes me melt. More on this topic at a later time… for now, I just had to share that these girls are SHINING examples of the role models I would want Lizzy looking up to. The lake shoot was quite appropriate as she most definitely thinks they walk on water! Just look at the way she looks at them…


Don’t forget to check back in to learn more about each of these girls individually… I’ll be starting with Audra next week!! And… of course… if you’re a High School Senior or know one needing their Senior Portraits – I’m now booking these for the Class of 2016! If you go to school with or know Audra, Jayden, Nola Grace &/or Olivia… stop & say ‘HI!’ to them… grab one of their rep cards (you’ll be glad you did – they have a discount for your session on them too!)

CONGRATULATIONS, Girls… I’m SO beyond thrilled to have found each of you & proud to have YOU representing my work this year!!!!! Thanks for taking this ride with me & thanks for some wonderful memories from this session in particular… as Lizzy would say ‘THAT was the BEST.DAY.EVA!!!’ 😉


ps… in case you haven’t seen the girls condensed reveal video I shared yesterday, here you go 🙂 …

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