I know I'm going to get a lot of crap for this one, but I didn't think modeling took a whole lot of work. Sure, Tyra Banks harps about "smizing" (aka smiling with your eyes), but what else is there? You're already genetically beautiful! … Then, I got a slight reality check.
I was invited to sit in on a hair brand's latest photo shoot. Besides learning the truth about modeling (check that out here), I also got a whole new perspective on what goes into an actual photo shoot. Like, how many people it takes to get that perfect shot, or how many hours it takes to just prep a model's hair.
You can read about my entire photo shoot experience here, or scroll down for a sneak peek.
Even though I arrive at the studio at 11 a.m., most of the crew has been hard at work since eight in the morning -- and that doesn't count the prep time from the day before. In order to get the models' hair in tip-top shape, the Nioxin crew spent close to four hours coloring, treating, cutting, and styling the models' hair the previous day.
The models arrive with their hair in rollers, and I feel particularly bad for model Donna, who spent a very sleepless night with close to 30 rod-curlers in her hair. "It was really uncomfortable. I'm looking forward to a good night sleep tonight," she says. But even without sleep, Donna looks amazing. No dark under-eye circles or sign of fatigue, which is probably what makes her a good model.
As for the products they actually use, it's only the brand's. I even peeked around the set for a rouge hairspray or shine spray, but no luck. I guess they are serious about "preserving the brand's integrity."
The Photo Shoot Bible
After I've checked out the models, I head over to the lounging area (read: sofas and throw pillows) for an interview with one of the stylists. Sitting on the coffee table is a spiral bound notebook that contains every single detail for the shoot.
Besides a call sheet with the timeline for the shoot, the book also includes:
• a list of props, like specific lights and photo equipment
• photos for makeup (an editorial of Mischa Barton made the book)
• styling/wardrobe examples, even down to the type of bra the model needs to wear
• maps to the location and around the studio
• everyone's contact information, from the brand peeps to the hairstylists
• a weather report -- maybe something to do with hair and frizz? That's my guess.
This book is the lifeblood of the shoot, and keeps everyone informed on set. One of the staff even tells me that an entire company is hired just to organize all this information.
Photo shoots are hardly a small and intimate gathering. While I wait around for the first pics to be snapped, I count at least 20 people running back and forth (and that doesn't include the hairstylists in the next room). There are wardrobe stylists, makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers, videographers, reps of the brand, PR staff, and a bunch of other people who look extremely busy, though I'm not sure why.
All this for just a few pics? But as Holland Ingersoll, the wardrobe stylist for the shoot explains, "You want consumers to buy the product, so every little detail is so important."
Then, tell me: Do you think modeling is hard work?
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