An Opportunity to SPLURGE

The best things in life are free. Like friendship, loyalty, love, encouragement.  

Just to name a few :)

I hope I never forget to show appreciation and gratitude to the people who have helped me along this journey. This is one opportunity that came to me because of the old "who you know" deal, which, I have no problems with!  Relationships are important and if you treat people with kindness and respect, they'll hopefully find value in knowing you.

Photo shoot shenanigans with Danielle on the left, and with Shevaun on the right.

Photo shoot shenanigans with Danielle on the left, and with Shevaun on the right.

No, I don't think I'm the best model, I know I have flaws but I try and I push myself to achieve the very best images that can possibly come from me. Did I deserve the cover of this magazine? Sometimes I wonder, sometimes I shake my head and wonder what they see in me and how in the world these amazing things keep happening to me. 

Danielle, Shevaun and Sharron have been the three best people to know. All in the business in different capacities, they have snagged jobs for me by vouching for me and inflating me onto a small pedestal. I try to be realistic about this- I also know that when they do these kinds of things, the pressure is really on! Because now I really have to step it up  because they put themselves on the line for me!

So they start their whispering. I get it from all three of them ... one piece at a time. None of them wanted to get me too excited just in case it fell through. Someone mentions a fashion spread. Someone mentions a date. Someone mentions a location... they're all giving me tiny bits at a time, just enough to have my curiosity at it's peak!  

Finally Danielle reveals that they've been working on setting me up with a job for the Splurge spring fashion spread- with the possibility of the COVER.  Now, last time I shot a fashion spread, the cover was up for grabs & they decided once they had final images.  The one they liked best was of the other model, and it was an amazing shot, I can't deny it.

This time, they were saying I was getting the WHOLE fashion spread!  Which it turned out, against the wishes of my 3 angels, there ended up being another model anyway. It was fine, I got the cover and 7 images inside, while she got 3.  This, I felt, was the doing of having the three of them loving me and scheming to get me in the shots. I was in the very best of hands. The most amazing photographer- Shevaun, who I absolutely love working with.  Danielle styling me, knowing my body better than me- so of course every piece of clothing fit me perfectly. And Sharron, who has done my makeup more times than anyone else in this world, to make me the most beautiful version of myself. 

The location bounced around a bit in the planning stages, but was settled on the Caliber downtown. It's a very interesting space. A mix scenes using collections of antiques and valuable items placed in a large second story space overlooking automobile alley downtown.  It's such a unique location because different angles give a whole different vibe, from retro to 

You can see the whole issue of Splurge, including the final images published in the fashion spread HERE on the Splurge Magazine website. 

The first shot we did was this one on the sofa in a gorgeous Nha Khanh gown. Shevaun had an image in her mind of what she wanted and while I held myself in a half reclined half braced pose on the sofa, she artfully directed and set the scene with props and lighting. This one took the longest. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure if it actually took the longest or just felt like it did because of how long I waited on the sofa, prepared at any instant for the shot. One of the secrets of modeling, is always always keeping an active and energetic body and face. Meaning, even if the model looks like she's lounging, she's not. Legs shouldn't be resting there against each other, all squishy and stuck together. Arms should not lazily hang or drape along the sofa, soft and floppy looking. Keeping the muscles activated makes the skin look taut and more pleasing to the eye, but it has to look natural - you don't want it to be obvious, unless that's what you're going for. 

Final Image for Splurge magazine, by Shevaun Williams

Final Image for Splurge magazine, by Shevaun Williams

So, with each movement of a flower, or a piece of furniture in the background that was distracting from the image, or an adjustment of a light or level of flash, I thought- okay this is the one - and stayed poised and ready. My upper leg was threatening to spasm from holding it above the one below - I didn't want squishy looking calves, and it was also making my hips stiffen. My core and back could feel the strain of the weight of my upper body, because I didn't want all that weight on my arm, and neither of my arms are actually resting on the couch but "activated" and tight. 

Shevaun squeals with delight as the shot comes together, everything in place, everything as perfect as she can make it. The people in the room watched her process with admiration- a little curiosity, but mostly admiration because she put so much into this shot, rather than being satisfied with capturing an image of a model in a sofa on the first try.  This is why I love working with Shevaun. The shot would have been good if we'd just went with that first test shot, but it was utterly amazing when we captured the final image. 

splurge pre3.jpg

I can't really choose favorites from that day. Each "scene" was a fun little adventure. Although The two others that really stand out in my memory are the one in the leather top sitting on the luggage, which was used for the cover, and the one in the long gown.

In the magenta leather top, I felt a lot of my personality coming out. It was sweet, fun, flirty. A great combination of glam and grit. Distressed denim and premium leather. An old vintage camera as a prop with my hair in curls, the tendrils caressing my face. These images just knocked me out. 

I also loved shooting this gown, what a stunner! It was so body hugging and luxurious I felt like a total bond girl. (insert bond girl name here) I loved shooting this one because it was the epitome of glamorous. Shevaun kept telling me "I want to see 100 percent glamour" I was on the threshold of this one section of the room that was like stepping into a bedroom or something, there were a couple steps up and the doors accordioned open. I walked up and down up and down over and over while looking over my shoulder. Those were my favorite images, but they decided it didn't showcase the dress well enough, so they went with a sexy full frontal, with a whole lot of attitude. 

Final Image for Splurge magazine, by Shevaun Williams

Final Image for Splurge magazine, by Shevaun Williams

I love the romantic glow and the magic that Shevaun adds to her photos. I love being pampered and looked after by Danielle, offering me water, and protein bars. Checking to make sure I'm moisturized, hydrated, and that my underwear are lying flat... hehe.  Sharron is always eyeing me like I'm not a person but an art project that people are constantly messing up and she has to keep correcting and adjusting.

After every job, I hold my breath, waiting for a sneak peek of the images. Waiting to find out if I delivered - made good on my promise, hoping everyone is satisfied, pleased, or more than that - ecstatic with the results. 

This one was so well received. I was showered in compliments when the issue was printed and everyone wanted a copy. Danielle said it was my best work yet. Exactly what I needed for my portfolio - showing a range of my looks in just one day with different feeling from each scene. Mike, my husband, posted a link on his facebook to brag and say how proud he is of what a beautiful model I am and that he's so lucky. Friends and family out of state asked me to mail copies (which I sent dutifully) I loved them, and continue still. I know it sounds weird, but I could look at these photos over and over and just stare at them thinking, wow that's really me. 

I'm lucky.

Connie D FranklinComment