National Model Competition

This modeling competition is unlike any you’ve heard of before.

It is a national search for confident teens who have a story to share. It is a celebration of what makes you unique.

This is for those who consider themselves to be:

Original | Confident | Independent | Creative

This is for the Undiscovered!


National Model Competition, Tara Giles Photography, Puyallup

{{ California }} from Katherine Mendieta on Vimeo.

The experience of a lifetime!

Tara Giles Photography is offering entry into this competition to current Senior Models and Class of 2017 and 2018 clients only! The video above was taken during the photo shoots with the National Model Winners last year.

There are multiple levels to this competition.
Applicants, National Finalists, and National Competition Winners

Contest Applicants will receive:

  • An invitation to a group Photo Shootwith all TGP contest applicants, tentative date: June 6, 2017
  • 6 printed Comp Cardsthe same ones that I will use to submit your images to the contest based on the judging criteria.

 National Finalists will receive:

  • An invitation to the Destination Photo Shoot in Palm Springs! this will be held sometime between January 21-27, 2018. (The exact date will be announced in June.)
  • $500 for travel expenses!to be used towards your flight and accommodations for the Destination Photo Shoot.
  • Public Announcement as a National Finalist!your story and images will be shared online for all to see

National Model Winners will receive:

  • $500 for travel expenses to Palm Springs!to be used towards your flight and accommodations exclusively for this experience
  • AND… 

Winning teens will be modeling for, and be photographed by, some of the leading Senior photographers from across the country (including Tara Giles Photography!) in Palm Springs during the week of January 21-27, 2018. Your images and story will be published in the national SEEN Magazine, a style and culture magazine for a new generation of the Undiscovered. (To give you an idea of how big this is, issue #6 featured celebrity figure Jen Saviano, from ABC’s The Bachelor, who has an online clothing boutique and lifestyle blog.)

The National Model Competition Winning models will be fully styled for the Magazine photo shoot and Seniors Ignite Shootout. (The Seniors Ignite Shootout is a group of photographers gathered in one location for education and portfolio building.) Seniors Ignite will provide all hair and makeup, as well as a minimum or 2 fully styled outfits for each model to wear. Models will also receive walking and posing instruction prior to the shoots.

Winning models’ stories and image editorials will be published in the national SEEN Magazine in print and online. They will also model for an exclusive Fashion Campaign for SEEN Magazine.

Winning Models will receive all digital images from the Lead SEEN photographers, as well as the Shootout Photographers for their personal use. They will also receive a complimentary digital copy of the issue of SEEN magazine that they are featured in.

SEEN Magazine offers these unique individuals a platform to share their vision and their story with a broader audience that is completely outside of the photography industry. The style + culture magazine features up-and-coming artists, creatives, musicians, dancers, actors, models, philanthropists, dreamers, photographers, and much more as it focuses on the stories of a new generation of the Undiscovered.

The Details:

National Finalists and National Model Competition Winners will be announced in November, 2017.

If a representative (Senior Model or client) of Tara Giles Photography is one of the Finalists or National Winners, I will give them $500 towards the cost of flights and accommodations. Any expenses beyond that initial $500 (hotel, meals, transportation) is the responsibility of the winning model and/or parents. If the representative is under 18, it is required that a parent/guardian accompanies the minor. So please keep that travel cost in mind when registering.

The Seniors Ignite Shootout, Magazine photo shoot, and Destination photo shoot will happen on days somewhere between January 21st and 27th, 2018 in Palm Springs, California. The exact dates and location will be finalized and announced in September. My suggestion is for the Competition Winner to plan to be on location for 5 days and 4 nights. This is because the winning model will not only be photographed during the Shootout, but also the day before and after by the photographers of SEEN magazine for your editorial images, and by Tara Giles Photography for an epic destination senior session on location.

Your final itinerary might look something like this:

Day 1: Arrive to location and check into hotel
Day 2: Photoshoot for SEEN magazine
Day 3: Seniors Ignite Shootout
Day 4: Destination Session, near the shootout location, with other Winners and National Finalists.
Day 5: Check out of hotel and fly home to tell everyone about your epic adventure!!

Submission Checklist:

  • Images, submitted by me, that show many sides of your personality and confidence in front of the camera.
  • Consent and Release Waivers must be signed by the participating individual as well as their parent/guardian, regardless of the individual’s age. (these will be ready for you to sign by June 1)
  • A short video (can be taken with your phone) to show a little about your personality, demeanor and how you engage in front of the camera. (More details about what the video needs to include will be sent by June 1)
  • The entering individual’s story, written from their own point of view, to be reviewed by the judges.
  • Your forms, video and story must be submitted to me no later than September 30, 2017 in order to qualify. Your registration fee, and/or portrait session fees, are non-refundable, so they WILL NOT be refunded if you fail to submit these things on time!

Your Story

What makes you unique and stand out from the crowd?

This can be a past, present or future story, event, idea, trip, something you did, something that happened to you, something you had a big impact on, etc.

  • Can you rock a ball gown, but feel more at home when you are welding, working on your truck, or riding your dirt bike?
  • Are you training to climb Mt. Everest or compete in professional sports?
  • Do you dream of becoming an entrepreneur and running your own business?
  • Do you plan to travel the world after graduation?

The judges are NOT looking for perfection. They want real. Not all stories have a happy ending. Some stories may make the reader get emotional. Others may be hilarious and funny. What the judges want is the REAL YOU! What story would you like to tell that would help them get to know who you are?


Entries will be judged by an independent panel of photographers and fashion experts. They will be basing their decisions on image style, image quality, model’s personality, confidence and energy as it comes through in the images and video, and the applicant’s unique story.

The judges are also looking for guys and girls who can model a wide range of “looks”, meaning they can display many different types of emotion in photographs.

Are you ready for the experience of a lifetime?!

This is the chance to have an epic adventure in Palm Springs, modeling for leading Senior Photographers from across the country and be featured in a magazine!!

COMPLIMENTARY ENTRY into this National Model Competition will be offered to Class of 2017 and 2018 clients who book a 3 hour Elite Senior Portrait Session, who’s session takes place between now and September 1, 2017. But hurry, I only have a limited number of session dates open in August. (only FIVE left on the date of this post)

You want to get professional senior portraits done anyway… so why not choose the session that will give you entry into this exclusive National Model Competition! Entry into this competition cannot be purchased, or added to any other portrait session, as the extra time from the 3 hour session is needed to get you the best images to submit for the competition.

Click here to see details about the 3 Hour Elite Senior Portrait Session.