Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Magazine 2013 Beauty Search Photo Shoot: Behind the Scenes

The photo shoot in NYC was a memorable event, especially because my mom and her twin sister, Lynn were with me! It just happened to work out that the date of the shoot coincided with my aunt's visit! Since they are both beautiful, it felt weird to have them watching the happenings instead of being in the camera's focus.

The prize package included a stay in an NYC hotel, so the day before, we drove into the city and my Mom, Lynn, my husband, and daughter went to The Lion King on Broadway. When I checked into the hotel, an amazing goody was awaiting me.

More Magazine Goody Bag. My mom ganked the wine charms and mascara.
My daughter took the sparkly nail polish.
My husband took the granola bars and caramels.
My favorite item was the Molton Brown shampoo. It smells soooo good.
Looking at all the goodies was fun, but made me incredibly nervous for the following day. The coordinator had sent me a call list, which includes a schedule of all of the people involved in the photo shoot, such as: editor, make-up, nails, camera, back camera, video, etc. The lengthy list of names made me realize what a big production it would be-something I'd never considered before while paging through a fashion magazine.

The morning of, I was so nervous I couldn't eat, which  suppose was fine considering it made me feel skinnier (and who doesn't want to feel skinny when getting her picture taken?!?!) The winner for the 50s age group, Vina, and her sister Virgie, met us in the lobby, and the fashion editor, Genevieve Monsma accompanied us in the van to the studio in Brooklyn. (Vina is an amazing woman, and when she later put on a white Valentino dress, I couldn't stop staring at her. Gorgeous!)

Yugo, the make-up artist, told me the goal was "natural but beautiful." While she was doing my make-up, another woman did my nails. I'd never felt so pampered before. To think, just over two years earlier, the only people touching me were doctors, and their touch usually involved a needle.

Next, we went "shopping." To my slight disappointment, a lot of the clothes were in neutrals, to keep the focus on us (the four winners), not on the clothes. I did manage to find an emerald green Nicole Miller dress with thin rhinestones in a criss-cross pattern, which I coveted. And still want to buy if I can ever find it for sale. The clothes on the racks were samples, most of which not yet available in stores. The other two outfits I wore for the photograph were a black jumpsuit (I'd never worn a jumpsuit before, and didn't realize they are now in fashion...) and a white chiffon dress, which is the one I'm wearing in the photo that made it into the magazine.

After selecting the outfits, the hairdresser did a fabulous job with my hair. Hesitantly, he'd asked if he could cut it a bit shorter while styling. I told him to go ahead, it's just hair. (That attitude took me a long time to development post losing my hair from the chemo.)

After having so many people futz over me, including Johnny, who was in charge of the fashions/clothing, and his assistant who helped dress me and select jewelry, as well as a seamstress, I didn't feel beautiful; I felt HEALTHY. I was so happy to be living, experiencing this fun day with Mom and Lynn.

During the day, I was also interviewed by Genevieve for the article, and they recorded some video of me for More Magazine's new Blippar function on its pages. After downloading the app, you can scan my page and watch a short video, which I haven't watched because I'm too self-conscious. Ari, the photographer, did a great job of making me feel at ease. By the end of the session, I was exhausted, and starving. I rushed to the lunch spread and took down two brownies and a cookie before I'd even realized I'd picked them up.

That evening, the other winners and I met in the lobby of the hotel and got to know each other. Vina, Phyllis, and Evelyn are all amazing women. I feel honored to be in their company and hope that we stay friends for years to come.

I feel so lucky and grateful to have had this experience. The cover of the story in the magazine shows a photo montage of entrants in the contest. There were so many beautiful, deserving women. It was truly inspiring to read their stories.

Related Blog Entries:

2013 More Magazine Beauty Search: Prize Money Proceeds

More Magazine 2013 Beauty Search Finalist