Teslyn Youth Model | A Strong Passion Realized by Chance

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A Strong Passion Realized by Chance

Meet an old soul with haunting eyes who can tell a story through pictures with her subtle movements and artful poses. At just eight years of age, Teslyn Johnson bares her personality and depth through her love of modeling. She is a little girl who is comfortable enough in her skin to leave the pack behind and pursue her journey with confidence and ambition. Teslyn’s tender heart and spirited nature has led to inner struggles with friendships and often leaves her wondering where her place is with her peers.


“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” ~ St. Jerome


Her voyage began this past fall with a photo shoot by chance. Violet Photography and Design was looking to do a Hippie Style Photo Shoot with five little girls – no modeling experience necessary. Since we didn’t order Teslyn’s school pictures last year after two attempts, we decided this might be an opportunity to have professional pictures taken that could capture who she is to share with family and friends, end of story. That shoot changed Teslyn’s life path forever. She had an instant bond with Bobbie Sue Baker, the photographer. She was then introduced to Travis Dewitz of Dewitz Photography and became a part of his Alice in Wonderland project. Shortly after that she met with her first agency in Minnesota, Caryn Model Management, and became a part of their modeling family. Fast forward a few months and she is going on casting calls, modeling for E Couture Designs/Bentley and Lace, Janay’s Tutu Fab, was chosen for a Christmas Collection shoot for Love Baby J, and has other high-end boutiques and photography projects scheduled in the books to model for.

Teslyn looking back from western scene painting on vintage wallpaper

This past December, at the ripe age of 7, special news came from Travis Dewitz, of Dewitz Photography, that one of the pictures he took of her for his “Alice” project was accepted into VOGUE Italia. It is such a privilege to have a photo reviewed by one of their editors and included among many other stellar images. Vogue, which means “in style” in French, is known as one of the premiere fashion and lifestyle magazines.  Having Vogue attached to you, if you are in the fashion or modeling industry in any capacity is outstanding. This picture was also featured in Un-Sung Magazine. In February, she joined the Privilege Model Management family and they eagerly begun marketing her and she is already getting casting calls. In June she will be going to LAUNCH with SMASH talent in Chicago. The LAUNCH event will be an opportunity for her to be seen in front of national and international agents that are interested in bringing her to the next level; she will be modeling, walking the runway, and doing a monologue for commercial and film. Teslyn was chosen; alongside Dewitz Photography to do a feature spread in Cinamagic Magazine for a Kentucky Derby spread and landed the inside cover for the April/May addition. This feature has also lead her to be chosen for a back to school edition in July for Cinamagic.

Teslyn in shed with trees sitting on stool

When we talk to her about modeling it’s as if she is channeling models of the past through her eloquent descriptions, “I model because I like to be a chameleon and blend in my surroundings and change my body to look different ways. I love to go through my high fashion magazines, study the pictures and write notes about the models and outside the box poses that I want to try.” We feel blessed as parents that she has found two incredible photographers to work with. She has an immense level of trust and love for each of them and they are like family to us. In the words of Teslyn… “I know that Travis is a vintage, dark, perfectionist, woodsy guy and Bobbie Sue is sweet, unique and she likes the pretty details. When I am in the woods with Travis and it is cold he gets me a blanket and hot chocolate. Snoopy is my favorite character and he is my Charlie Brown. Bobbie Sue takes me to buildings that are over a hundred years old and explains the history to me. They both see my potential and I have the confidence to try new things.” Teslyn really enjoys the element of surprise, “Sometimes I see clothes I never thought I would wear and I can’t believe I get to wear them. I love the vintage dresses and the high fashion ones. I love that I get to go places I wouldn’t normally go to.”

Teslyn wearing bird cage vail in wildlife themed room in the woods

Having a young daughter enter the modeling world was met with uncertainty by us as parents. We had tried putting her in hockey when she showed interest, but after a year of playing with the boys she decided it was time to hang up the skates. To have the ability to recognize the gifts your child has, no matter how far removed they are from our own personal gifts, is a blessing that I hope all parents have the ability to embrace. It was a year ago that she lost her hero, her grandpa, to cancer and we believe her passion for doing what she loves has helped her heal, “I know my Papa Mark is watching me in my pictures and he is proud of me.” This is a road less traveled for our family, and we support her gift and uncanny ability to transform herself from a vintage Alice in Wonderland, to a high fashion model, and then right back to a little girl who loves the Packers, watching hockey and eating ribs. Teslyn’s long term goals are to “travel to Japan, Paris and New York to do photo shoots and make enough money to split into three parts: donate to cancer, donate to the Pitbull and Parolees refuge center, and spend the rest.” We are excited to take this incredible journey with her and look forward to see who she will “channel” next.  ~ Erika Johnson

Teslyn laying in vintage chair by bookcaseTeslyn with english horse riding outfit in stablesTeslyn laying on bear skin rug in forestTeslyn on stool wearing Bentley and Lace dress and tall bootsTeslyn fashion portrait in wooded setTeslyn in horse stable wearing English Riding OutfitTeslyn in Bentley and Lace Dress in pine trees

Teslyn sitting on antique sofa chair under vintage portrait

Teslyn in the woods on a chair with a boar headTeslyn black and white in Bentley and Lace DressTeslyn standing on antique chair in front of painting looking out the windowTeslyn in woods with boar mount and deer mount wearing birdcage vail

Teslyn in Bentley and Lace Dress and Red and White PowderTeslyn posing in early 1900s living room by fireplaceTeslyn in Kentucky Derby Dress and flower hatTeslyn in horse stable holding riding helmetTeslyn Portrait with Lace and Bentley Dress and Neck PieceTeslyn english riding clothing touching horseTeslyn kneeling in front of bear hunting paintingTeslyn at foot of bed in eerie early 1900s childs roomTeslyn posed laying down on old sofa chairTeslyn sitting in antique chair with her knees upTeslyn on a bear rug in the woods reading Vogue magazine

The Talent
Photographer | Travis Dewitz
Riding Outfit | State Line Tack
Shirt | Free People
Dress | Bentley and Lace
Dress | SunLoveShirts
Hat | Chiki Bird Hat Studio
Hair & Makeup | Bobbie Sue


travis dewitz pines portrait suit thumb web PhotographI am a well-seasoned photographer who at the core of who I am brings passion and knowledge to the great details of editorial photography. I am diligent about refining, perfecting, and even obsessing over my work; it is my passion. I believe it’s important to capture youth and teen models in a way that will build their foundation so they have a lasting effect in the modeling world. A strong suite with my style of editorial work is that my images launch many models into their modeling careers. Models I have worked with have been in Vogue Italia, numerous magazines, and even pursuing their dreams in Hollywood.


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  • Juliana Martinez via Facebook - April 1, 2014 - 12:24 am

    AMAZING! We are so proud of you, Teslyn!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie M Strauch via Facebook - April 1, 2014 - 12:45 am

    Wow what an awesome story and pictures!ReplyCancel

  • Erika Falter Johnson - April 1, 2014 - 4:48 am

    Travis, thank you so much for spending your time , talent, and energy on a beautiful little girl who looks up to you immensely. You will probably never realize the depths of or gratitude. Thank you for simply being you.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Ehret - April 1, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    Wow! Erika is so beautiful! Every photo tells it all! Great work done by all of you! Amazing story ReplyCancel

  • Hope Sutton Gregg via Facebook - April 1, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    Amazing photos !ReplyCancel

  • Erika Falter Johnson via Facebook - April 3, 2014 - 10:47 am

    This is Teslyn’s favorite picture of herself. She doesn’t comment to much on herself- it’s always the background, the lighting, the feel…so when she does, I know how special it is to her 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Karen Nelson - April 20, 2014 - 7:41 pm

    So proud of my granddaughter! Thanks Travis for the time you spend with her- you make a huge difference. She talks about you all the time.ReplyCancel

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