THE KELBY MARIA BLOG

a wedding photographer for joyful brides and a avid fashion lover
 Based in Portland, Oregon. Available for travel.

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THE JOURNAL

What is a Senior Spokesmodel Team? An Inside look at the KM Team

Having a Senior Spokesmodel Team is one of the highlights of my year, and from a recent poll on social media, I found out that there’s a large number of you who don’t know what a Senior Spokesmodel team is! So I decided to write this post explaining in’s and out’s of a senior spokesmodel team, and what exactly it’s like to be apart of my team! what-is-a-senior-spokesmodel-team

There are quite a few spokesmodel teams out there, and kind of like ice cream, there are several different kinds. The skeleton of it is a group of local Oregon high school seniors who are chosen through an application process and book their senior session with the photographer. They receive free shoots, and access to fun exclusive events through their senior year while sharing their images from the shoots with friends and family!

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Back to talking about ice cream,  I wanted the flavor I offered to be more than “just taking pictures.” Going back a few years, I can vividly recall times in my life were those friends who were closest to me were speaking lies in my life…and when it all boils down, I was being sent a very, very clear message:  I wasn’t enough.

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I know we’ve all felt that message being given to us by someone in our lives at some point in time.  And it was from those experiences that created a fire fueling my passion to create this team that not only spoke in love and truth but created strong friendships with those who had the same vision of positivity and encouragement.

what-is-a-senior-spokesmodel-teamSo after the launch for the class of 2020 team,  I spent hours reading applications and three days doing skype interviews with girls all over Oregon. And I got to choose 9 amazing girls that came onto my team for this  year and let me tell you, we’ve had an incredible time.

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Doing monthly events and shoots together

(and even traveling to Bend this summer!)

we’ve bonded and created what I like to call, our KM Family. I refer to my spokesmodels as “my girls” because they are…and wherever life takes them, they’ll always be a KM girl.

(Please take a moment to note the special appearance of  Dan the Pumpkin Man)

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When I started to write this post, I asked some of my girls what this year has been like from them, and I want to share some of their responses so you can see what’s it like straight from the source!

So here’s what they said it’s like to be a KM Spokesmodel:

what-is-a-senior-spokesmodel-teamWhen I applied to the KM Team, I had no idea I would gain 9 best friends. I have blindsided with the love and kindness everyone on the team has, especially Kelby’s. When I got into the group, I honestly thought that we would just take photos and be friends. I was also worried about coming into a group of girls because in the past I have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to friend groups. I’m talking friend groups who all talk about you behind your back and are toxic and controlling. So, while I was overjoyed to be apart of the team, a part of me was worried that it would be the same as the other friend groups I was in. And let me just say, this team is the exact opposite of those groups.

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From the first shoot, I have felt so loved and appreciated, and like I can truly be myself.

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I am constantly blown away by everyone’s positivity and passion for life and I consider myself extremely lucky to be apart of this team. I know that if I need help, advice, motivation, etc. that I can turn to you guys and you will be there. You are all so amazing and hold a special place in my heart, and look up to and admire each one of you. And Kelby, thank you. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into this team, and for believing in each of us. You all mean the absolute world to me. So, in short, the km team to me means a place where I am loved, appreciated, valued, and a place where I belong. “

-Nicole

what-is-a-senior-spokesmodel-team“Being a KM Spokesmodel is so much more than just taking pictures. Being a KM Spokesmodel is so much more than just making new friends. Being a KM Spokesmodel is all about building your self-confidence and building strong relationships. 

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You learn how to support other girls in feeling good about their bodies. You get to hear people’s life stories and goals for the future. You get to be a part of a group of girls who are going through their senior year just like you and who are experiencing the ups and downs of what that comes with. You are given such an amazing opportunity to grow into an adult with a solid support system and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. 

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I have learned what it’s like to feel loved by people who only want the best for you. I have learned how to have self-motivation and what it takes to be successful.

And the best part is I am surrounded by hard-working, independent women of all different races, beliefs, and life experiences. I am learning how to deal with things I’ve never had to deal with before and I have been blessed to have such an amazing role model through it all. 

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Kelby puts her heart and soul into this team and it really means a lot to know that someone sees so much potential in you that you didn’t know you had. It means so much to know that there is someone who has been in your shoes and wants to help you down the right path.  And it means the world to know how much she cares about you. Kelby is such a positive influence to anyone she meets and I again, am so grateful to have her in my life. I look up to her more than she knows and glad to say I have made a life long friend. “

-Sofia

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Being on the KM team is more than just a photography opportunity it’s a family. For me being on this team has brought me so many new relationships that I know will last a lifetime and has reconnected me with old friends and I am forever grateful for that opportunity. It is also such a great support system and I know if I ever needed something you guys would be there for me.

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 I cherish every moment I get to spend with you guys. my first thought of the team was “oh we are just going to take pictures and I’m going to post them for people to see and then recommend them to take their senior pictures with Kelby” but it is so much more than that. this group has brought out my confidence so much more.

You guys make me feel safe when I’m with you, knowing I have you guys supporting me and my dreams for the future is such an amazing feeling to have. We are a family not just a group of girls.

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I want the next team to know that they are going to get a great mentor who loves and cares for them and that they will be meeting their new best friends and creating great relationships.

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 I just want to say thank you guys for helping me be the best version of myself and pushing me to be the best me I can be. I love you guys all so so much I don’t have enough words to describe how grateful I am for each and everyone one of you! 

-Jalen

what-is-a-senior-spokesmodel-teamI was talking with my girls, I confided that this might be the last team I have… when other parts of my life/business getting busier I was seriously considering not continuing the program.

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I was quickly stopped in my tracks by them telling me that I needed to do it again… so I’m so excited to let you know that the December 28th, (with massive credit to my 2020 girls for making this happen)  applications will open for the class of 2021!

If you’d like to get first dibs, join the waiting list here:

2021 KM Spokesmodel Waiting List

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