SCOUTS, SCOUTING AND THE “SCOUTED”

Gina Wiberg – Her Story

by Trudi Tapscott

 It is surprising to me when someone who wants to be a model is under the impression that you are “plucked” from your hometown and somehow with magical dust will become a famous model. Or that a scout or an agency will see one family snapshot and determine you are the next big thing.

 Turning potential into an actual model takes time, guidance, patience and hard work. It doesn’t happen in one photo shoot.

 Recently, it occurred to me that the most interesting part of scouting is the process of a model evolving from a beginner to coming into her own, and feeling like a model. That single moment when we know she is ready to handle the job and the business.

 Gina Wiberg, from Utah, recently appeared on the show Scouted on the E! Channel with Erin Olson, who scouted her.

From the beginning, Erin knew that Gina had something special and uniquely different, but that she wasn’t ready. If what a scout sees doesn’t come through in a picture it is difficult to present a model to the best agencies.

First clue, this is a subjective business and timing is everything.

This is the first picture that Gina sent to Erin in November of 2010.

Erin immediately contacted Gina and started the process of explaining how it works and what she needed to do. First step was to get her hair back to its natural color. So in a few weeks, Gina sent this image to Erin.

Erin continued talking to Gina, and her parents, and they did a couple practice digital sessions so that Gina could learn how to move in front of the camera and what were her best angles. Gina had not finished growing at this point.

 In March of 2011, I came to visit Erin in Salt Lake City to meet all of her finds. At that time we were in the process of merging her scouting company and my management company. During that visit I met Gina. I took a couple quick digitals of her at my hotel to have as a reference for further conversations. We asked her to arrive with her hair natural.

Gina’s personality was always a huge asset. But she had some work and practice to do focusing on how to hold her head and her mouth.

At this point, it was clear that Gina had potential, and we discussed her hair and ways to increase her confidence. After a few digital sessions with Erin our goal was to test her with a local photographer so when she turned 16 we had material to present to agencies. Ironically, the local photographer didn’t happen first.

Erin spent a lot of time encouraging Gina and teaching her what to do. The next digital photo session, Gina was more relaxed and had her first walking lesson with Erin.



At this point, I started sending out Erin’s digitals of Gina. Agents felt that she was pretty and had good proportion but they weren’t convinced that she was ready. In other words, they weren’t quite sure. Then Gina had the opportunity to shoot with Chadwick Tyler, a NY based photographer who came to Salt Lake City. After this shoot, Gina was excited and committed to become a model. Shooting with Chadwick was a personal lesson and fun. He spent a lot of time with her. Each step, from the beginning to the present, is subtle and a transition that is impossible to explain without images.

Gina’s special and different qualities began to shine. She grew an inch over the summer, which gave her confidence, and her body proportion slimmed out. Gina was invited to participate in Salt Lake City’s Fashion Night Out event and be part of the advertising campaign.

The image that resulted from Gina’s participation on the TV show Scouted shows how Gina has grown. She is still the same, but different, relaxed and confident. That night after this photo shoot with Danny Christensen Gina called me, and her enthusiasm and excitement was through the roof. It was definitely a moment that gave both Erin and I a huge smile.

When Gina came home from New York, I wanted her to keep working in front of the camera. She was planning to go back to New York in the spring or summer and I wanted her to continue testing. So she worked with a great Salt Lake City based photographer Tessa Barton. These are a few images from that session.


The point is that it didn’t happen over night. Now Gina is very conscious of what it takes on the part of a model to create a great picture. Every shoot she gets better and although still a beginner in the eyes of most, we are so very proud of her diligence, enthusiasm, positive attitude and ability to understand verbal direction and put it to use. Beyond her beauty, Gina has great people skills, is confident, doesn’t take herself to seriously, treats it as a business and laughs a lot.

All we have to say is Holy Cow!

Gina is represented by Stars Model Management in California and One Model Management in New York