I spent a recent beautiful New York City Sunday afternoon participating in a professional photo-shoot. (Lots of fun new projects to share soon!)
The shoot was fun and during it, I learned why I need to stop comparing my real life with the life I see in professional photographs. Whether it be in magazines, blogs, or a high-school friends engagement pictures on Facebook, I shouldn’t mistake real life for photo-shopped life. Here’s what I learned from my one-day professional photo-shoot.
1. Hair and Makeup is Professionally Handled: Imagine a world where you never trouble yourself to do your own hair and makeup YET, it always looks fabulous. That’s exactly what it’s like being on a photoshoot. Lo Lo, my hair and makeup woman, would fuss over me in-between shots by re-applying lip gloss or twisting my hair into a new style. It was pure joy.
2. You Move in Totally Unnatural Ways: Chin out, shoulder down, feet pointing in—I felt like a freakin’ contortionist on this shoot. I was certain the photographer was yelling these instructions just to watch my body turn into awkward shapes for her own amusement. Then I looked at some of the images. I looked amazing! Turns out, when you shift your body into a pretzel, you become a supermodel.
3. Scenes Are Not Realistic: How often do I write in a red sheath dress while sitting on a bench on the corner of a busy SoHo street with cabs zipping behind me? The answer: never. What about lounging around my house in a tulle skirt while I play with brightly colored balloons? Never. (though now I’m considering it). Scenes like this, while beautiful for website and marketing uses, aren’t exactly the real deal. So I’m ditching holding my real life to those unrealistic standards.
4. You are Being Coached: Smile. Gaze down. Now look over to me and laugh! Keep laughing! LAUGH!! Looking effortlessly happy, charming, and cute is no accident. I had someone literally telling me how to look good, and happy. JUST KEEP LAUGHING!
5. There’s Someone There to Carry Your Bags: We shot at five different spots throughout the city. I never once had to worry about schlepping my bags. This alone was amazing! I had people to carry my crap! Now I could concentrate on not getting sweaty, a service I’d pay for during Manhattan summers.
After nine hours in the city, I arrived back at my apartment. My fake eyelashes began to detach, my black eye liner speckled the side of my face, reminding me of early mornings after college parties, and my left heel had birthed a blister.
Now THIS is real life.