When I learned that I won the contest to meet my favorite fashion blogger, Susan Street, I was thrilled. But when I realized that I would also be a guest model for Covered Perfectly, I panicked. Fashion model has never been a possibility for me as I am the perfect storm of my Scotch-Irish heritage- short, plump and freckled. Every insecurity I ever had about my body burst to the surface, every rotten photo I have ever taken haunted me. And then there was the Bad Haircut I had in February. Yeah, I was seriously uneasy about the whole thing.
But I reminded myself that this was to be a professional photo shoot with good lighting, expertly applied make-up and a photographer who had likely seen it all and hopefully would apply a liberal dose of Photo Shop. And the Covered Perfectly clothes are designed for Real Women over 40. Check. Check. So I stepped out of my comfort zone, grabbed some Spanx and high heels and headed to LA.
All the stuff you would expect to find at a photo shoot was in the studio- the giant white back drop, the thing that looks like an umbrella turned sideways and is outfitted with lights, a make-up table piled with creams and powders and brushes, racks of clothes (!), rock music playing on the radio. The other models came to the shoot makeup free and had the most beautiful complexions I have ever seen. The makeup artist was adorably young. (She thought Lynyrd Skynrd was one guy.) The photographer was the professional I had prayed for- she grabbed me to do a light check and gave me a quick tutorial on how to pose…then gently suggested I watch the other models for a bit.
Susan Street was in the makeup chair when I arrived. She was charming, soft spoken and gorgeous. We had a few minutes to chat before Susan was “up”. And I got the chance to see how modeling is done.
Suffice it to say that it is harder than it looks. The basic commands are stand up straight, relax your shoulders, bend a knee, hold your arms at an angle that allows space between your elbow and your waist but is not a sorority girl pose, chin down, head forward. The goal is to display the clothes at their best angle while not looking like a giraffe taking a tumble.
Watching professional models is like watching a ballet. Each of the models stood on the ‘mark’ and joked with the other girls while the photographer set up. Pauline Durban, the CEO of Covered Perfectly, sat next to the photographer with her eye on the computer that was hooked to the camera. As soon as the command “Ready” was spoken, the model snapped to attention and began her ‘dance’. She smiled, and swayed, arms in constant motion and her head moving ever so slightly from one side to the other. The Covered Perfectly tops are soft and moved beautifully. Even with all the ‘dancing’ I noticed the models managed to keep the clothing facing straight at the camera.
Typically five shots were taken. After Pauline’s approval, the model would sprint back to the clothing rack, pulling her top off as she went. The next model would take the ‘mark’ and the process repeated. It was all very graceful and efficient.
And then it was my turn.
Suffice it to say that I am not a natural. When I stood up straight I couldn’t relax my shoulders. When I stretched my head forward, my knees would lock. My bad haircut got tangled in my false eyelashes. To make matters worse, the computer was in my sight line so I got a good look at me…and it wasn’t pretty. Before I collapsed in misery, that magic thing that women do for each other happened. “You look great when you smile!” “That was perfect, do that again!” “That top looks best on you!” Before I knew it, there were two shots that looked good. And before the day was done, there were even more.
My photo shoot with Covered Perfectly was the epitome of everything I treasure about being a Woman of A Certain Age. The models were women of all sizes and shapes. The conversation around the lunch table (lots of salads, no surprise there) was about future plans and projects- advanced degrees, book deals, loves and losses. It was a supportive, joyous atmosphere. These women have known each other for years and it is awesome how they support Pauline and her fashion line. And the clothes themselves are fabulous-soft, flattering and fun. There is a style, shape and color for everyone.
I am so glad I tried doing something that terrified me- I had a blast!!
Covered Perfectly is woman owned, operated and designed- and Made in the USA. Just perfect.
If you live in California, check out the details on the next photo shoot - click here.
Note from Pauline Durban, Founder of Covered Perfectly. I'm sure you will agree that Mary Ann she did an amazing job at the photo shoot. We certainly loved having her there. Who knows you could be the winner of the next contest.
Mary Ann is a published author and you can find her books on Amazon. Check out her web site.