In continuation of my trip to NYC/Glamour make-over story from the previous two posts...
Thursday morning I was motivated to get up at 6:30am and go to the gym. I knew that if I didn’t get some kind of a workout in I’d be frustrated with myself all day and feeling ten pounds heavier than I had the day before. (Guys, you’re not expected to understand!) So up and at ‘em! Mark was still feeling pretty lousy, so I headed off to the shoot with the rest of the ladies. Oh, and Adam! He decided to join us because how often do you get to see the set of a professional photo shoot in NYC?! And he was sure that they’d take one look at him and want him in front of the camera too! We all laughed off this last statement :)
The photo shoot was being done in a big warehouse type of building over near the river. Apparently the building had lots of studios because at the check in desk we waited alongside some pretty interesting looking folks… definitely model types. Needless to say, we looked slightly out of place!
The shoot took place in a studio on the 14th floor of the building and the moment we walked in I felt like I was on another planet. The floor was black and the walls were white. Two walls were covered with windows overlooking the river and the city. There were people everywhere… setting up the walls around the shoot, prepping the make-up and hair area, steaming the clothes on the racks, etc… all of them looked like they had done this a million times and here we were… totally new to it all. The first moment was slightly intimidating but everyone was so incredibly nice that the feeling of intimidation quickly disappeared. And sure enough, right away we were asked if our loved ones wanted to be involved in our individual shoots! They must have decided that as soon as they saw Adam! As he tweeted that day, “So Glamour took one look at me and said we want to do a photo shoot with you too. All my dreams have come true.” And later on that day, when the make-up artist saw no need to put make-up on him, he tweeted, “Makeup artist just refused to touch me up for the shoot saying I looked perfect… at least that’s what I heard.” Yup, he’s a riot! He and Becca are a perfect match! Both hilarious and very down to earth!
Upon hearing that our guests would have a chance to join us on set, I texted Mark. Yes, I know what you’re thinking right now… He’s sick in bed Keela! How could you possible ask him to smile for a professional photographer?! But I had to at least try. I mean seriously, how often do you get this kind of opportunity?! My text said something along the lines of, “I must admit I wish you were here right now. They just said that our guests can be a part of the photo shoot with us. But I know you don’t feel well so don’t worry. Just get better.” Hmmm… was that too obvious? :) My always supportive and loving fiancé responded with, “What’s the address? I’m on my way.” Dang do I love him!
Commence preparation photo shoot!
Hair… makeup… manicure… clothing… behind the scenes footage… interview… white robes… fuzzy slippers… music – all sorts of wonderful music…
At each “station” three to four people would be working on me. At one point, the hair stylist was doing my hair while the manicurist was doing my nails and the big fuzzy microphone was in my face as they interviewed me on film about the whole process. So surreal!
If you’ve ever seen or read “The Hunger Games” it was much like going to the Capital, except of course for the fact that we were merely doing a photo shoot, not preparing to fight to the death. But seriously, it really was like the Capital. Everyone was very nice but they were all dressed in very trendy clothing (much different from what I wear on a daily basis), they were all quite eccentric, and they were all focused on making me shine. My hairstylist was definitely the Cinna of the group. He was quite eccentric but very friendly. He frequently asked me questions not only about how I typically styled my hair, but also regarding who I was as a person. He wanted to make me “me.” I really liked him and I have to give him a lot of credit. He probably re-curled and styled my hair four different times that day… the damn fan kept making it go crazy. I guess I don’t feel so badly about the fact that when I finish a typical day it looks insane if even a professional couldn’t make it do what he wanted for too long!
After a few hours of prepping, I was ready for my shoot. I was asked to pick what music I wanted in order to make me feel relaxed and of course I asked for Dave Matthews Band! I made my way over to the staging area (it was tough in heels… being 5’10’’ already, I’m not used to having to walk in heels) and started my shoot. The photographer, Grace Huang, was amazing! She was so good at making me laugh and making me feel comfortable. And the best part was when they called Mark in to join me (yes, he made it and not only that but he looked good)! The first thing Grace said to him was, “What’s your job, Mark?” “To make Keela look good!” She kept telling me, “Make him come to you!” And so there we were… totally in love with each other and showing that to the camera. How fun!!! I am so glad that they not only took photos of the two of us, but they put them on a disk for us to keep! What a gift!! Oh and every once in a while Grace would yell out, “FLUFF!” and the hair stylist, makeup artist, and clothing stylist would come running in to “fix” me. They came running in a number of other times as well – every time the “wind” made my hair a little too crazy, my dress didn’t look quite right, or I got lipstick on my teeth (not used to wearing lipstick!). It’s no wonder models look so dang good… they have a team of people running in to fix them between virtually every photo… and that’s even before the photo touch ups!
When each of the four of us had done our individual shoot, we went on set together for the actual photo shoot… the one that would end up in the September issue of Glamour. That was really fun! Poor Becca had on 8-inch high heels! Okay, so maybe not quite that high but they were really high! Every time we moved she’d grab onto me for balance… who am I kidding, we were all grabbing on to each other. None of us were too comfortable in heels and the way we had to keep throwing our hips and look like we were having a good time, would throw us off balance. I could just see us all toppling over. That would have been quite the photo!
It took a while (and a couple dress changes on my part --- they were trying to get the color scheme right) to get a photo that all the editors and sponsors felt good about. I guess when you have four women whose hair and dresses are blowing… whose smiles you’re trying to catch as natural as possible… etc… things take a little while. It was fun though. Really, really fun! I never thought I’d say that I would enjoy pushing out my hip and flashing a smile to the camera, but it was fun! I think it was because I was beside three amazing women and surrounded by so much joyful energy!
The day wrapped up with a party hosted by Glamour and Sally Hansen. We were presented with gifts and introduced to the group of people present. Many of the employees of Glamour and Sally Hansen came by and we were able to really mingle with them – and I was able to give out LOTS of Reason2Smile bracelets!! (I’m hoping the ladies will wear them in the city and be able to spread the word about them if anyone asks!) Annette and Cathy are the two Sally Hansen ladies who have been sponsoring “The Best of You” contest for the past 12 years. They are the heart and soul behind the whole event and it was wonderful to meet them both. I really tried to communicate to them how wonderful an opportunity this was for me and how important this national exposure would be for Reason2Smile Inc. They are truly making a difference in the lives of people around the world by using the platform they have to help spread the word about what we do. I hope they know just how much I appreciate them sponsoring this contest and I hope Glamour knows just how much I appreciate them forfeiting the style, makeup, and glam space for doing a little piece on real people doing real things. I really think that people will love and appreciate that about the magazine and that it will offset those advertisers who just want more materialism. Thank you, to all of you who made this contest happen and continue to want to spread the word about real women doing things that truly impact the world! Thank you!
I love these women! Such wonderful people!
With the assistant editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine!
Presentation of awards
Annette, from Sally Hansen, and I showing off our Reason2Smile bracelets!
Oh and I must not forget to tell you that Donna (the amazing board member who nominated me) and her husband Charlie came over to see some of the shoot and participate in the party! It was so great to have them there! Donna is pretty much the number one advocate for Reason2Smile and she worked her magic during the meet-and-greet. Her passion and energy flowed and by the time she left, there wasn’t a person in that room who didn’t know all about the amazing work Reason2Smile does. Yup, Donna is amazing and I am so blessed to have her as a board member!
After lots of delicious cake, crackers, cheese, brownies, and cake pops; we rolled ourselves back down the elevator and out the door to our awaiting vehicles. Becca summed it up when she said, “It’s hard work being pampered all day.” It was… I was exhausted!
We stopped back at the hotel to pick up our things and then started the trip home. I definitely left NYC with more than I came with… not only with a new dress (yes, they gave me the Halston dress that I wore for my individual shoot! Nudes are the colors for fall… not quite my choice), but with new friends, new inspiration, and many new memories! It was an amazing experience and I can’t thank you all enough for your support and your belief in me! It’s back to my real life now… the life that I love and wouldn’t change for the world… but I am very grateful for the opportunity. Thank you, all of you!