KSP Senior Models

Class of 2019 KSP Senior Model Application Process

Oh, hey there. 

I'm guessing if you're here, you want to know more about the new processes of being a KSP Senior Model. Or maybe you are just curious in general about who they are or what they do. Hopefully I can explain and answer all of your questions.

This model program is basically a trade. I'm asking you to represent my studio and my work. You are asking me to give you quality pictures that you are proud to show off. In exchange for this trade, I give you money off every time you do some legwork advertising for me. You even have the opportunity to grab gift cards this year! You bring in more people? You get more money off your final print and product order. Under the KSP Senior Models tab right here on my website, it gives a more in depth explanation as to what it all entails, what the benefits are and all of the requirements are on the application. So feel free to read through those. The actual application is located at the bottom of the page on the KSP Senior Model tab. It is password protected, please contact me to receive the password.

The main purpose of this post is to explain why there are a few changes. So stay with me, we are almost there. Every year, we've chosen 12 models to represent the studio. And that number served us really well whenever I wasn't as well known. I'm still pretty low-key where not every single person and their brother comes to me for senior pictures. But, now that I've been here for 6 years, more people do know who I am and what I have to offer. Because of this, we just don't need as many people. Is this a bad thing? No, absolutely not. If you're chosen to be a KSP Senior Model, that just means you have the potential to get more referral credit when more people return your card. I only see this as a positive for everyone that applies.

I've explained this next section in more blog posts, private messages and personal conversations than I can count, but I will never get tired of telling people I don't pick people because of what they look like or what they wear or who their parents are or because we are related. In fact it's none of that and a lot of times (most of them actually) I don't even choose. Here's why (stolen from one of those oldie but goodie blog posts): 

Firstly, it's never, ever an easy task to deny someone who has put in effort. I hate it. But, to make the most sense for this program and to give every senior the time and attention I have come to be known for, we have to narrow down. If I could take 37 representatives (the number of applicants last year) I would. But I can't. So, our goal this year is to ultimately get to 12 schools or regions and narrow down further from there. 

We go and get a fresh, new, sparkling map of South Dakota and upper Nebraska. I unfold said map on my table and then I map out where all of the applicants are from. By the end of the narrowing process last year, our map looked like it had traveled to China and back in the pocket of a nomad. But that's neither here nor there. We draw circles of overlap, create regions and sort applications. Quite a few schools were combined this last year because there were just too many. Then, ANY application, no matter who fills it out, that is left blank, in part or whole, is automatically disqualified. That happened this past cycle and I was really bummed. But hey, that's life. Follow directions, kids. 

From there, we look at every single application. If I (Katie) know any of the applicants, if I'm related to them in anyway, (and hey, I'm from a huge family and I am related to half the state soo...) if I met them even once, if I shot their sibling's senior pictures, if they are friends with me on facebook, their application, along with all the applications from their school, go to panel. So, if "Kara" from Armour added me on Facebook 25 minutes before applications opened up, guess what? All of Armour goes to panel. I never, and I mean NEVER want someone to look at me or this program and say, "you got chosen only because of this." No. No. Absolutely not. Every single person we have ever chosen has always gone through a rigorous task of either me or panel asking ourselves, "is this person the best fit for us?" Nothing else.

The panel of judges is comprised of three people who know me REALLY well. They know my business model, they understand the kind of people I want to represent me and my studio. All the applications are placed into a folder with their school's name and with just the first names of the applicant. Why? Because I never want the panel of judges to go on social media to see what someone looks like. (Not that they would.) This is NOT about appearances. It IS about role models. 

Each panel judge ranks the applications from highest down. The applications with the most marks are then chosen to be KSP Senior Models. We had so many different schools apply last year that we had to split it into regions. All of those regions were then sent to panel. Wagner, Armour, Parkston, Scotland, Gregory, Winner, Kimball, Colome, Dakota Christian, Corsica-Stickney... were just some of the places we really had to narrow down from. And that wasn't easy.

It is never, ever easy to tell someone no, I said that above I know. But I really want to drive that point home. That's the part I hate about the program. Especially for me because I'm a yes person. I will ultimately tell you yes if I think there is a way to make it work. And in this case, I just can't take everyone. And it's my greatest hope that everyone understands that I truly wish I could. That I would never intentionally hurt someone by not picking them. 

I hope this answers a few of your questions about the process. If it doesn't please, please feel free to stop by the studio at 106 SW 2nd Street in Wagner (by appointment). Give me a call at 605-469-5243. Send me an email at kswatekphoto@gmail.com or message me on my business page on facebook. You can find the link to that all over this website, just click the facebook icon at the bottom of the homepage or click the facebook tab at the top of your page. 

I am wishing all the best to everyone who chooses to apply. I thank you entirely for the support and look forward to meeting you all. 

Go APPLY! Click the KSP Senior Model Tab, scroll to the bottom, click the application and request the password from me. Return it by email, the regular mail, or in person! Go!