After she won a national modeling contest sponsored by the Pastry brand, subscriptions to Lynsey McDaniel’s YouTube channel boomed to more than 16,000.
Lynsey, a senior at Highland Park High School, was one of two winners chosen for the shoe line’s fall modeling campaign. And it all started with a submission of a homemade video.
“I love making videos. I do make YouTube videos, like, for a living,” the 18-year-old said.
The 30-second video features Lynsey modeling different styles of the high-top sneakers with Icona Pop’s “I Love It” serving as background music.
Lynsey — whose channel on YouTube is dedicated to makeup tutorials, cover songs, and fashion advice — said she learned about Pastry’s contest via Twitter. A couple of weeks after submitting her video, she found out she’d won.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I called my sister, and it was the first time I had cried tears of joy. I had never been that excited.”
After learning she’d won, Lynsey and her family flew to Los Angeles, where she met some of the brand’s ambassadors, including Cody Simpson, Jessica Jarrell, and Madison Pettis.
“Getting to know [the celebrities], obviously they’re down-to-earth people,” she said. “They’re humans, which a lot of people don’t understand.”
Having covered Jarrell’s “Almost Love” on YouTube, Lynsey said the 12-hour photo shoot was intimidating at first.
“It was a little scary when I got there, because I’m there with the Pastry ambassadors, and obviously they’ve done this millions of times,” she said. “And some of the girls there have been modeling since they were 5, so they knew every pose to strike.”
Though Lynsey’s still perfecting her modeling technique, she’s got video production down pat.
“Lynsey definitely had a really good foundation starting the class,” said Kelly Snowden, her video-production teacher at Highland Park. “So we just focused on honing her skills and getting her work to the next level.”
Pastry spokeswoman Donna Grecco also noticed Lynsey’s natural knack for editing. She said her entry was the most professional video the company saw.
“We right away loved Lynsey and her personality and everything about her,” Grecco said. “And we just thought she was a super smart and empowered young woman, and we wanted to bring her in.”
In fact, Pastry loved Lynsey enough to hire her as a correspondent. While continuing to make videos for her YouTube channel — 2 million views and counting — she also blogs for Pastry on a monthly basis.
While Lynsey said she may study broadcast journalism in college, her father, Gerald, just wants her to dream big.
“I tell her to follow her passions,” he said. “I want her to be happy, find something she does really, really well, and share it with the world at large.”
Editor’s note: This story was written by Paige Skinner, managing editor of Texas Tech’s Daily Toreador.