Resting against the wall of the Nelson, senior Sara Benson demonstrates different facial expression she would like to see from her model. She moves her body from arms crossed, straight by her side, pockets, show the a variety of poses she would like her model to strike.
This is Benson’s 25th portrait since she started her company in August. In order to share the family portraits and senior pictures she takes, Benson started a Facebook page called Sara Benson Photography.
Benson is one of many artists from East to start a art company such as this. Senior James Fink also started art business Big Spoon, Little Spoon.
“The experience has benefitted me in more ways than one.” Norton said. “By developing my personal professionalism at a young age, I felt ahead of my peers in a sense. Having this real world experience, where there are no excuses or grades – just deadlines and standards – strengthened my work-ethic and concept of my future.”
When Benson started her company, she did not expect it to become the size it currently is. She started because she had friends requesting her to take her senior pictures, which she agreed to do. Then, they asked if she could put them on Facebook, which she did, creating Sara Benson Photography.
“When I started it, I didn’t think it would have blown up this much,” Benson said. “I got way more hype than I thought I would. Its gotten way bigger than I thought it would.”
Benson shoots senior pictures and usually ends up with a total of 700 pictures to pick from. She then edits them down to 30 to 50 and loads them to a disk for the client to do with them what they please. The starting price for her pictures is $50. Benson is saving up money from the shoots to pay for her own camera.
Fellow art lover, senior James Fink has began a brand to sell his passion – artwork on skateboards.
He sells shirts, stickers, skateboards and patches for people to sew on whatever they so choose. He has also recently been considering making an Etsy- a website to sell handmade products.
“I just try to make artistic things assessable,” Fink said. “Rather than having art be this intangible kind of fine art stuff, you know, that you have to pay so much [for]. I like the idea of making things kind of versatile and usable that they don’t have to be philanthropists to afford.”
All the art he has been involved in always brings him back to skateboarding, the reason Fink got into art in the first place. He broke his foot at the end of his 8th grade year and the other foot right before his freshman year. He wanted to stay involved in skateboarding even though he couldn’t participate anymore. This lead him to his first product, screen-printed skateboards and photo prints of skateboards.
“When I had broken my feet I was enthralled with skateboarding still that I wanted to go up to the skate park with my friends and still be a part of it, so I used that time to shoot photos of my friends skating,” Fink said.
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Having a company as a high school student has some benefits, according to Benson. The advantages to her clients are the low-cost of portraits compared to other full-time companies. Being able to make her clients comfortable, usually because they are around the same age as her. Norton says even though it was hard work it paid off.
“Though it was a tedious beginning – designing a website, getting a logo established, and finally marketing everything, it proved to be a highly beneficial experience regardless of the ultimate goal.” Norton said
Fink advises fellow high-schoolers interested in selling their own artwork or making their own company what to do.
“Find a good venue or a place where people want to sell art or crafted things because there’s been more appreciation for hand-crafted things lately.” Fink said. “I guess just find people who are into the same kind of thing you are and you’re bound to make connections with people who want to sell or buy things.”