Year two of my high school senior model program started last week with the model’s first shoots, and we are off to a fabulous start. The program is all about empowering these young women through photography and meeting these girls over the last week has made me more excited than ever about that dream. I have been blessed again with another incredible team of sweet, enthusiastic, and gorgeous girls to photograph and empower for a whole year!! For the first of the model shoots we partnered with two phenomenal local boutiques to show off the upcoming fashion trends for spring and summer and give the girls the full model experience. The girls got to go to the boutiques and be expertly styled by the owners, complete with jewelry, shoes and accessories!

Half the girls modeled looks from Blanka Boutique and the other half from Rowan. Lily’s look was styled to perfection by Jennie the talented owner of Blanka, a perfect little boutique in the Montecito village.  I pretty much wanted to photograph every item in her store and it is the number one place I would send a client to shop for their portrait session.

I will be introducing one model every monday, for #modelmondays.  And today I’m so pleased to introduce you to the first of my 11 senior models for the class of 2018! Lily McWhirter is a junior at San Marcos High School and a talented actress and the sweetest girl you will ever meet. You can get to know Lily better by checking out her answers to the questionnaire bellow. I asked each of my models to fill one out so I can introduce them properly.  I especially love Lily’s definition of beauty and that the person she most wants to meet is Malala Yousafzai!

– Hometown: Santa Barbara!

– Nickname: Lils

– Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or Combo (what’s your favorite social media): Instagram!

– Dream Job: My dream job would either be acting/singing in some capacity, or pursuing traveling journalism and covering world events.

– How Do You Define Beauty?: Beauty is happiness. I think when love and happiness are present, everything glows with beauty. An authentic, radiant smile is the most beautiful thing.

– I chose Lucia Kiel Portraits and this program because it is such a unique way to highlight different forms of beauty and allows an opportunity for girls to love themselves and be confident, even when the world pressures them to do the opposite.

– My biggest accomplishment so far in high school is landing one of the lead parts in the spring musical. I worked very hard and wanted it so badly!

– Unusual Talent That I Have:I am very good at accents!

– My favorite place on earth is Mollejones, Costa Rica. I went there this summer on a service trip and in the two days we stopped there, I met the kindest, gentlest, warmest, and happiest people I have ever encountered. They have this great love for the Earth, their village, and literally every person they meet. They lack the inhibition we have about being judged and instead love with all their hearts, because why wouldn’t you?

– My favorite song right now would have to be “Oh No” by Jack and Eliza or “This Is How I Let You Down” by the Franklin Electric.

– The person I most want to meet is Malala Yousafzai, the young women’s rights activist from the middle east.

– My favorite things in my closet are my Levi 501’s! They are a little distressed and I LOVE them. Another favorite is this floral Free People dress I bought in Miami.

– Something I Wish I Were Better At: I wish I were a better dancer! I’ve always admired women who are very graceful and flexible, as I am very clumsy!

– 3 Things I Can’t Live Without: ice cream(!), my mom, and music.

– Something I Always Have In My Purse: I always have these little butterfly clips in my purse, my hair is kind of wild and you never know when you’ll need a good clip.

– Favorite App On My Phone:I actually don’t have an iPhone, I was too addicted so I got rid of it a few months ago!

– My goal after high school is to find happiness doing what I love. I have a lot of things I love so I can’t wait to figure out where that journey will take me.

– My Hobbies: singing, playing guitar, playing volleyball, acting, reading, writing, drawing, hiking

– My favorite fictional character would have to be Rudy from the Book Thief. An odd choice, but I admire his optimism and love for life and living every moment with every bit of himself.

– The last good book I read was “The Lonely City” by Olivia Laing.

– What I’m Excited About For My Senior Year: I’m very excited to see where I’m going to college, and to take the next English class on my path: English 111. The teacher is absolutely amazing. I am also looking forward to being apart of Kids Helping Kids.

– A Random Fact About Myself: I have double jointed hips!

– My Friends Would Describe Me As: Calming, funny, busy, energetic