What It Takes To Be A Senior Spokesmodel

Emmi Highness, Writer

The average high school kids’ Instagram feed is currently filled with gorgeous, professionally taken photos of groups of girls in a wheat field, and you may be curious of where they all come from or what it’s like to in that wheat field. 


Clarissa Hunnewell, one of the leading senior photographers in Montanaruns what she describes as an “exclusive spokesmodel group.” The team is made up of senior ambassadors. “A Senior Ambassador (or Senior Spokesmodel as I like to call them) is a Senior who is a part of my Senior Spokesmodel Team. For Class of 2021, their team is called Team Twenty-One,” Hunnewell said.   


Spokesmodels are, by definition, well dressed, young women who promote brands. In this case, they are Montana seniors promoting Clarrissa Hunnewell Photography. Hunnewell is based out of Great Falls, Montana but travels around the state for shoots. The Team Twenty-One girls are all seniors who applied and interviewed to be spokesmodels and are from all over the state. “Any female can be a part of my Spokesmodel Team as long as they are a part of the graduating class that I am currently looking for. Applications usually open late December/early January,” states Hunnewell.  


Being a spokesmodel is a whole other experience than just getting your senior photos taken. It’s a yearlong commitment, but Kumi Rose, a Helena High senior and Team Twenty-One spokesmodel says, “it is such a fun experience and Clarissa…does an amazing job. She gives you so many opportunities to have a great time with her.”  


As a spokesmodel, the responsibilities include “to show up to photoshoots, support Clarissa Hunnewell Photography, support your team and share your experience and images with friends, family, and social media. The goal is to spread the word about your experience!” And at least for Clarissa Hunnewell, “There are no rules or posting schedule that we make our team follow; we want your posts and referrals to be genuine and authentic!” 


Hunnewell focuses on making senior photos and being a spokesmodel a fun and memorable experience. That’s why along with themed group photoshoots throughout the year there are team dinners and parties. As well as the opportunity to have a 30-minute mini-session of your choice which could be anything from a shoot with your best friend or prom pictures. 


Most importantly, being a spokesmodel is about having amazing senior photos taken. Hunnewell offers her spokesmodels “their own, individual, three-hour senior session, complete with professional hair and makeup, up to 4 outfit changes and 4 different locations. You will also have first choice of Senior Session dates before they are open to the public, guaranteeing you will receive the date you want.”  


After all the shoots are finished, the photos go into editing and then can be used freely by the spokesmodels. They are mostly posted for promotional use to the Instagram’s of the spokesmodels and Hunnewell’s business Instagram. They are also allowed to be printed for use. Rose said she likes the photos for her Instagram, but they are also wonderful to have for the memories.  


For all the fun of being a spokesmodel, there is also a cost. Every spokesmodel pays the usual amount for a senior photo session, which is an undisclosed amount from Hunnewell, as well as an additional $500 deposit to be a spokesmodel. This is why although being a spokesmodel is open to everyone, it is an opportunity that may not be achievable for all.  


Although there are many senior photographers in Montana and locally that offer different spokesmodel opportunities, Hunnewell says she is “looking for fun, happy girls who aren’t afraid to be in front of the camera and are grateful to be a part of this opportunity.” 


Hunnewell’s advice to anyone who is considering becoming a spokesmodel, “Apply as soon as applications open and make sure to be very detailed with your answers. Usually, there are only 10-15 girls on the team, so try to make yourself stand out and explain why YOU deserve this opportunity. Have fun, don’t hold back! This is truly a once in a lifetime experience.”  


Committing to being a spokesmodel can be both timely and expensive, but if you have any desire to be a spokesmodel, or just get your senior photos professionally, taken Rose says, “I totally recommend Clarissa for juniors searching for photographers…” 


After learning the ins and outs of the spokesmodel world, maybe being a spokesmodel is the path for you, or maybe it isn’t. Maybe the idea of just getting professional senior pictures interests you. Regardless of your feelings on the world of “spokesmodeling”, there’s no denying that a lot of time and effort are put into the photographs.  


You can find Clarissa Hunnewell on Instagram @clarissahunnewellphotography  

You can find Kumi Rose on Instagram @kumiirose