Has anyone else ever wondered what it is exactly that supermodels do?
I always figured it went a little bit like this: they show up in amazing cars at fancy studios, get their makeup done by a world-renowned name, sit glamorously in another chair while having their hair done, and then hours later stand in front of the camera wearing thousands of euros worth of the best brands, and pout or look off into the distance. Tough life, right? Anyone could do that.
Or so I thought. For my 25th birthday, my sister booked me a photo shoot at a professional studio here in Paris. All I had to do was arrive showered with some clothes that I liked (sadly, no fabulous clothes or Louboutins to wear…next time, maybe?). Since the uber-talented hair stylists at Frederique Gioli salon have completely mastered and tamed the mane that is my hair, I had gone the day before to get a brushing (an article and video coming out on that soon!) and so arrived coiffed. Via metro, might I add. I was a teensy bit disappointed when I didn’t see a limousine parked in front of my building…
The first stop of the day was Jennifer’s makeup chair. I asked for a smokey eye, and she delivered! She also did a really good job of explaining what she was applying and why, so I left feeling a bit more knowledgeable about the world of makeup. I also put on false eyelashes for the second time in my life, a very different feeling. I don’t know how Kim Kardashian does it every day but I assume your eyelids must build up muscle, er strength. Feeling every bit the Cover Girl (I admit there was a hair toss or two…), I met the photographer who was doing my shoot.
All of a sudden, I was nervous. Who is this guy? What am I doing? Why am I here? What will I wear? Maybe I shouldn’t have had that pain au chocolat… A flurry of thoughts raced through my head as he shook my hand and let me into the studio. After choosing the green dress that you will see below, we launched into shooting. He suggested poses and gave me tips for how to look best in photos. I’ll share them with you – jut your chin out and down, toss back your hair, shoulders back or rolled in exaggeratedly, push out that hip, WORK IT.
It took me almost the entire photo shoot to feel comfortable. I felt silly, shy, and a bit embarrassed, which is not me. When I was told to give a smoldering, sexy look, I froze. Ummm what? The pictures showed confused and annoyed looks…whoops! It’s funny because when I saw the pictures at the end, the transition from being rigid to comfortable, laughing and enjoying it, is completely apparent. Sadly it was about five photos from the end, but it was a really cool experience.
Here are two of the photos from that morning. I highly recommend booking a photo shoot one day, just for fun and for posterity’s sake. It taught me a few things about photography, makeup, and myself and made me appreciate all of the models out there that have the talent of making it all look effortless. I tried to “smile with my eyes,” as Tyra says, but it is so much easier said than done. Thanks to my sister for the fun birthday present and the people at Studio Lenoir.
Recommendation for those traveling to Paris – book a Parisian landmark photo shoot! Claire Morris Photography does fabulous work with portraits, engagement shoots, and weddings, and both Lindsey Kent’s Pictours Paris and Localers (ask for Ula!) offer photographic tours of the city. The results are gorgeous, and your memories of Paris look all the better when done with a professional camera.
Have a lovely weekend, everyone!