We Are – A cool teen editorial.
Scroll down for a Q&A with photographer Ross Bolger and personal statements from the models.
Q & A with photographer Ross Bolger:
JS: Why did you decide to work with Zebedee Management?
RS: I’ve worked with the children at Zebedee before, commercially. The children are honestly a dream to work with and I’m so proud to have spent the day photographing such incredible kids, each one of them stepped up to the plate and left their mark on myself and the team.
Also, Laura and Zoe are fantastic to work with and so easy going, it’s a breeze to book the kids through them!
JS: Why is it important for an agency like Zebedee to exist?
RB: An agency like Zebedee is giving young people with special needs the extra help they need within the industry by providing that specialist service and promoting their kids in the most honest way. This refreshing approach makes it 100% more accessible for Photographers, Stylists and Art Directors alike to consider and work with children of all ages and all needs.
JS: Why do you think it is important for brands and retailers to recognise the importance of using models with disabilities in their advertising campaigns?
RB: Now more than ever we rightly live a world of equality and I believe EVERYONE deserves representation, a platform to show off their natural beauty and nature. Disabilities aside, children are children no matter what, they are all beautiful in their own unique way.
JS: What is the inspiration behind the editorial?
RB: The creative team and I wanted to produce a really honest, natural and very cool teen shoot. The teens on Zebedee’s books are all fantastic. We chose who we wanted to work with for this particular shoot and on the day they all individually stood out as strong, inspiring, passionate, beautiful, loving and caring young adults.
I can honestly say that the agency and the children on their books are going to go really far.
JS: Do you have anything further you would like to add?
RB: Felix, Louise, Amy, Dante and Autumn I will for sure see again, thank you so much for being so brilliant and for just being you. Your parents, families and friends must be very proud to know you. I am. It’s kids like yourselves that make me very humble and really appreciate the career I have chosen. I am their number 1 fan now and can’t wait for our next shoot……!! xx
Personal Statements from the Models Featured in We Are.
FELIX – Hey, I’m Felix, I’m 15 and I have been blessed with a pretty bad case of Tourettes, I try not to let it define me, I don’t swear but I do jerk and twitch and yelp a lot, it’s pretty exhausting!
I spend quite a lot of time with Great Ormond Street Hospital, they help me cope with my symptoms and manage my condition, I’m getting pretty good at that!
The modelling shoots really help, I can lose myself in that for a few hours and obviously, I don’t mind the attention it brings from the ladies!!
I like to look after myself. I train a lot and I pay attention to what I eat. I’m in and out of school so I’m super committed to building a portfolio of great images and working with ZM to make things happen for me. Modelling would be a great way for me to be able to shout about my condition and how complex it is, it’s not just the stuff you see in the media which is boring and stereotypical. Also, I love the fact I get to meet great people like Ross and the team and other people who face challenges, this really inspires me.
I have great mates and support, love clothes, fashion and shopping, really interested in skin and hair care, probably spend too much time on this!
Yes, Tourettes Syndrome can be really bad. I have some terrible times but I refuse to let it be in control. I want to be in control, be positive and be successful. I don’t want to be a supermodel, I want to be a mega model with a message! I’m so inspired by people I’ve met through Zebedee Management that I want to inspire others too. FABS x
AMY – I have a disability which most people call a hidden disability. Just like stars during the day, just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. My disability is High Functioning Autism and if it could be seen, the people I meet would understand and have more patience like most do when they see a person with a more visual disability. The majority of us with hidden disabilities are always judged by those who are naive of our struggles. However, Zebedee is changing this and are bringing awareness to change how people with disabilities are viewed. Since my photoshoots, my confidence has increased rapidly/ I would love to be successful in the modelling world.
DANTE – I act like it isn’t a big deal when you stare at me and laugh. My mum’s eyes are soft and caring, she’s my safe place when your glares become too much to bear. I can’t help the fact that my brain thinks and acts the way it does. I wish I could change the hatred from others and make them realise it’s ok to be different. I’m 12 yrs old with Aspergers. I play piano and love fashion. I just want the world to be kind.
LOUISE – I asked Louise about the shoot and she said she loved getting her hair done and posing in front of the camera.
Louise also said it was fun and loved viewing the photos and had an opinion on most of them. Her face lit up when she saw herself. Louise seems to feel a sense of pride when she sees herself and this is contributing to her growing self-esteem.
AUTUMN – If you look at me all you will think is ‘I look like a picture of health’, but that’s because behind the layers I have what’s known as invisible illnesses, which is lifelong.
Each day is a battle and I take daily injections and medication just to try and keep me well.
But I don’t let it hold me back. I love doing everything that others teenagers do – sport, shopping, fashion and going out, but it can be hard at times.
Modelling has really started to help me gain more confidence and on some shoots, I have met other teenagers who have similar battles to me and it makes me feel normal and humbled to meet so many people also fighting every day to be accepted for who they are. On my most recent shoot at The Roost, I have a fantastic day the place was amazing as were the team, spending the day with some of the other Models, getting to know them for who they are and making new friends.
Photography: Ross Bolger @ SManagement. View more of Ross Bolger’s work here.
Stylist: Kelly Herring.
Assistant: Andrew Swannell.
If you would like to find out more about Zebedee Management, click here to read our Chit Chat Tuesday interview with the founders of the model and talent agency.
View Last of The Summer Wine an editorial by Ross Bolger on Junior Style.
We Are Photography by Ross Bolger – All rights reserved.
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