Oops I Splurged Again!
I love doing fitness photoshoots because I spend so much time working out and I feel like I'm in my peak shape, especially aesthetically speaking. So, I love capturing it now, before my body changes and becomes more susceptible to gravity. Sorry, but it's just the inevitable truth.
It's sort of that "hurry, I look great today, take my picture!" mentality of this generations selfie enthusiasts. Except, I feel validated because I have professionals in a studio with big umbrella lights and expensive cameras saying, "you look great! lets take your picture! we'll put it on the cover of a magazine!"
So the concept of this one started a year ago, Shevaun wanted to shoot me in a kickboxing theme, but in the authentic environment. We started looking at locations, gyms that have bags and windows and things. But, even tho we put in some leg work in the early stages, neither of us really pushed to make it happen. So, fast forward to early December and she texts me and says she has a job for me and it's a fitness shoot, but it's in the proposal stages so if I'm in, she'll let me know if it gets approved. I'm in. It's Shevaun, I'll do anything for her. I start thinking, great- fitness shoot, I better stop letting myself have those little treats here and there and lean down- the pressure is on. Well, it gets approved, and we are talking a 7 day notice here. AND the tail end of those 7 days is my trip to Wyoming to spend the weekend with my mom.
Shevaun said it was for Splurge, but not much else so I figured it was going to be a small article in the magazine about the rise in popularity of kickboxing, ?? I don't know- I didn't ask for more detail because I assumed if there was more to know, she would say and I felt I'd already asked a lot of questions.
There's a tricky thing here that I have to be aware of and try to balance. I'm a fashion model but I like to shoot fitness- and those two things have very different looks so you can't be too extreme in one or the other or you'll lose opportunities. In my regular workout routines, I rotate through what I like to do and what I need for triathlon training- swim, bike, run, strength, -I keep the weights light but frequent to maintain strength (and bone density ;) !)
When I do fitness stuff, I focus first on getting my weight down, not a lot- just 5 to 8 pounds under where I maintain. I may intensify my cardio, but mostly this comes from nutrition. Smaller portions, less fat- not a huge change from the way I eat, I just eliminate the extras and strip it down to chicken and veggies for a week or two. Then the few days before I shoot fitness I double or triple the amount of weight I lift to increase definition.
This is how it has to work, because for this specific situation, I shot ecommerce for Liberte the Thursday before we shot for Splurge. When I'm modeling clothing, I can't have bulging lean muscles and cut lines running through my shoulders, arms, and legs. It's very distracting to the shoppers. So, I had to maintain a bit of a softer look- usually I don't lift any weights for 3 days before I shoot anything fashion. I don't know how much difference it makes, but I feel like I'm at least strategizing and doing what I can to please everyone :) myself included!
The ecommerce shoot goes really well. We had a ton of fun adding in extras at the end for the Liberte website and social media ads. But this blog post isn't about that... so we move ahead.
I tell my mom ahead of time that I'm not going to be indulging on any treats while I'm visiting because I have a fitness shoot when I get back, and she's very supportive. We went to the grocery store to make sure I had plenty of fresh veggies for snacking, chicken for cooking, and other healthy proteins. That night is her company Christmas party and I'm going with her, so before we leave I steam a bag of green beans to eat so I'm not too tempted to eat more than the salad and steak at dinner. I mean, I'm not going to put my life on hold and not eat anything because of this shoot. I'm still going to have dinner with my mom and not be that girl that doesn't eat anything. I even had wine.
I'm sick that night and the following morning I'm vomiting every 30 minutes for 9 hours. Food poisoning. This was not part of my plan! I could hardly move, I could hardly speak I was in so much pain. Needless to say, I was worthless all of Saturday. Sunday I was still weak but got some weights in- but zero cardio the entire weekend. My flight arrived in OKC Sunday night and I got home at midnight but was up at 5am to ride my bike on the trainer for an hour.
The silver lining, was I definitely felt skinny. Fit? Not really, but skinny from dehydration and lack of food! When I got to the photoshoot I was full of apologies to Shevaun- hating how worn down I felt and knowing how much better this could have been.
Upon arrival I was greeted with a warm surprise! TONI MARLO was there and she was going to do my makeup! One of my most favorite local makeup artists! Originally Shevaun was going to have me do my own, and didn't tell me about the change in plans. I was so happy to see her- she's fun to be around, we click, she's amazing at what she does- and she saved the day. I think having here there was the attitude adjustment I needed. She tweaked the makeup I'd already done and made me glow. Her professional little tricks make a huge difference and as a model, I know this and appreciate this. It was a boost of confidence, that little extra off my shoulders- one more professional hand on this cover and I felt like I had that warm blanket of security on me. Thank you Toni!
We had a few different concepts we wanted to shoot and did some dumbell shots, medicine ball, jumprope- which was beautiful. I loved the jumprope stuff - and I actually do like to jumprope quite a bit. It's my favorite "in a pinch" workout- gym closed? Jumprope. Freezing ice storm outside? Jumprope. Butt sore from biking? Jumprope. Kids napping? Jumprope. Anyway, at one point Shevaun says, "This is awesome and looks great but it's still kind of blah, I mean, it's no cover shot"
I said, "excuse me, what?"
She said, "I want something more powerful for the cover. Let's move on to the kickboxing, I already know that's the one, let's stop messing around"
Cover? Wait just a second. Back up the fun bus. Cover? I was under the impression that it was an article so I didn't really put a ton of pressure on myself. Had this part been clear, I would not have eaten at the restaurant in Wyoming, I would not have had wine, I would not have eaten anything outside my meal plan, I would not have gotten sick! Well, hindsight is 20/20, can't change the past and all that, shoulda-woulda-coulda.
So, it's the cover. Okay, no biggie. It is what it is. I am what I am- this is what I have to offer today. Punch up the energy. Get the best shot we can. The potential for something great is still there, so lets get it! Shevaun is shooting away- and every set, we would look at it to figure out what we like and what we don't so we can narrow down exactly what it is that's cover worthy.
This is fun, but so difficult. I'm moving and I can't seem to nail it. Each time we would get 9 out of 10 things right, but the one that's off is fatal. Like, my face looks funny, my eyes are closed, or my hand is too high, or my legs are too close together. But I really want to get it, I really want to nail it- so I keep trying. Shevaun assures me we got it, "it's in there" she says. Then I change clothes and we head outside to get a few other options to choose from.
The super extended run- this was fun. Long strides with as much extension as my stubby trunks would get- trying to look and feel weightless and airy. I jumped, I glided, I flew. I fell. No really, I did! I stumbled quite a bit because I'm focused on what that split second in time looks like, and not how to land it. That part's not important, it's not on camera! :)
We wrap and I head out. That's when the waiting begins. Wait to see which image they choose for the cover, then wait for it to come out so I can see it in print.
I loved it. I loved seeing it in print and I love every time one of my friends post the image on facebook bragging about me. I received texts the first few days of people sending me photos of it in their hands- Look what I just picked up! It's YOU!!
Yes, it's me :) I'm proud of it. I think it's exactly what Shevaun wanted- although it's not the facial expression I would have chosen, it's sometimes better to have someone else choose, because they see it with a different perspective. She wanted confident and powerful.