Senior Mace Bont enters the modeling industry

“I didn’t actually ever officially start modeling,” senior Mace Bont said. “There was never a ‘model meeting.’ I just took my senior pictures with Tim Priest, and it all started from that.”

An average photo shoot that most seniors do changed Mace’s life and opened some new, big doors. Tim Priest, a photographer in Grand Rapids, took her senior pictures and sent them out to Mariam Tanposy, a modeling agent. He usually sends five to ten of his girls from his shoots that fit Tanposy’s ‘model’ description, and Mace was one of them. Tanposy used to work for the Lions Agency, and she originally discovered model Willow Hand.

“[Mariam] usually doesn’t respond when he sends photos of girls,” Mace said. “Or, she will say, ‘Pretty girl, but not for me.’ She replied to mine, though.”

Those who don’t know who Hand is probably would not understand how big of a deal it is to be recognized by Tanposy. Hand is most famous for not only walking but opening the Prada show when she was sixteen years old. She also walked in the Victoria Secret Fashion Show this year.

So, what is Mace’s next step?

“Next, I fly down and meet [Tanposy],” Mace said. “ If we get along and she likes me, that’s when I start to do more shoots and get paid.”

So far, Mace has done her senior photo shoot and two different swim shoots. In the final swim shoot, she also did a video where she introduced herself and said a few things about her special features and what she likes to do in her free time.

If it doesn’t work out with Tanposy, Mace will be put into Unique Models and wait for some other agency to contact her. Additionally, Priest, her original photographer, wants Mace to be his ‘muse.’ That just means he will take a lot of pictures of her to put on his Facebook.

“Obviously, it will be upsetting if this doesn’t work out, but at least I have the backup plan of being his ‘muse,’” Mace said. “Who doesn’t like getting pictures of themselves taken? It will be fun.”

An average shoot can last anywhere from ten minutes to three hours, depending on how many outfit changes there are and locations. Priest loads everything up in his car and drives around to all the destinations.

“Doing photoshoots is a lot more tiring than you would think,” Mace said. “Changing positions and your facial expressions every few seconds, especially smiling, can make you fatigue quickly.”

Sometimes, modeling gets a bad reputation because of the stigma around it, but Mace doesn’t have to follow a lot of rules. Her only requirements are to be over 5’9,” have no lower than 15-20% body fat, and not partake in illegal substances. There’s nothing too extreme like people might assume.

“It has been such an exciting and new experience doing this,” Mace said. “I really hope it works out. One day, maybe I will be walking on some big runway show.”