Thursday, August 02, 2007

CosmoGirl Shoot

A few weeks ago I wrote about my (then) upcoming photo shoot for CosmoGirl magazine, an honor I was given as a result of being chosen for their Project 2024 internship program (just to clear this up, I didn't work at CosmoGirl, I worked at an advertising agency, but you can read more about it here). At the time, I was freaking out a bit because they wouldn't tell me whether we were getting our hair and makeup done at the shoot, so I had to ask your advice for salons and makeup counters in NYC. Luckily Cosmogirl came through, and we had a lovely hair stylist and makeup artist.

I brought my camera along and took a few photos of the day to share with you guys. I'm normally not one of those bloggers who likes to post pictures of themselves looking cool in different outfits (it just feels weird to me) but I thought you might enjoy checking out the Hearst office and hearing what a magazine photo shoot is like. We weren't given the full star treatment (I'll continue waiting for my chance to make my Beyonce/Mariah/Barbara Streisand diva demands) but they did treat us well.

We met at the Hearst offices (the most gorgeous office building I've ever seen or been in) at 9 AM and took the elevators up to the 16th floor, where Hearst's photo studios are located. Hearst publications owns 18 major magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, O, Good Housekeeping, Seventeen and Town and Country and they do a lot of shoots in-house. The studio was quite small, with one small room for hair and makeup attached to a slightly larger room with a basic white set and enough room for a crew of 5 -10 people.

The other Project 2024 interns and I snacked on muffins and fruit while we took turns getting our hair and makeup done while the crew set up the computers, lighting and photography equipment. My first stop was with Shannon Grey Williams, a makeup artist working for Ford models. I tried to catch every product she used, but she worked quickly and was mixing so many different shades that I couldn't keep track of it all.

We quickly bonded over our shared love of MAC's Blot Powder (she says it's the best for keeping skin matte during photoshoots) and introduced me to a few products that are going on my must-buy list. After applying foundation and concealer, she used YSL Touche Eclat to highlight and brighten my eyes. They looked lovely, and she assured me that even with my limited makeup application skills, I could make it look good. For my blush, she layered NARS Orgasm over Benefit's Dandelion and Dallas, explaining that Orgasm works best as a last step, since it's so shimmery when used alone. She's a big fan of both Benefit blushes and used them on all of us, since the colors look pretty and natural on every skin tone and shade. She also used a couple different shades of Bourjois lip gloss, which gave a beautiful shine, lasted throughout the shoot and was never sticky.

Next I moved over one chair to Jennifer Brent, a hair stylist with Ford (she's been featured in a few of their YouTube videos, which you can check out here). She indulged my life-long desire for full, curly hair by backcombing and blowdrying my hair at the crown and then using a curling iron to loosely curl different-sized pieces. If you're wondering what the funny glove she's wearing is, it's to allow her to touch the curling iron without burning herself. As someone with more curling iron-induced burns than I can count, I was tempted to get one of my own.

When we were all dolled up, the photographer called us into the studio and we began shooting. With my own experience sitting through 8 hour-long advertising photo shoots, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was relatively short and painless. CosmoGirl's photo editor and fashion editor were on hand to direct the shoot, while Jennifer and Shannon fussed with our hair and makeup between takes.

I can admit, with 100% certainty, that I will never be a model. Not because they aren't casting for girls with glasses, flat hair and cellulite, but because I cannot for the life of my pretend to smile and be happy for 45 minutes straight. 45 minutes is a very short time to be shooting, but it was all I could do to not look like I wanted to jump off the uncomfortable wooden box I was sitting on and find a couch to curl up on. It's not easy keeping the same position for a long time and I think my smile was only authentic looking about 20% of the time. Oh well.

After the shoot, the photographer, Chris Eckert, let us go through the images to see how we looked. I thought they were impressive, considering that it's not easy to get 7 regular girls who've never modeled to all look good at the same time. I'd guess that 90% of the shots won't work because someone was sneezing or laughing or blinking when the photo was taken, but of the remaining 10%, we looked pretty darn good. Here we are just fooling around on the set, the real photo was posed and will look much better. Despite watching 7 seasons of America's Next Top Model, you can tell I still have no idea how to pose (I'm on the far right).

One of the editors then offered to give us a tour of the CosmoGirl offices, where I got to peek into the beauty and fashion closets. Here's a look at just one of 4 shoe shelves:

Here's the beauty product closet:

And here's part of the office of CosmoGirl's beauty editor. She keeps all of the products for the future collections to herself and her editors while she works on features for upcoming issues. Jealous? I certainly was. I was dying to take a peek at the NARS and Bobbi Brown palettes, but we had places to go.

Then, we went up to the 44th floor for a beautiful lunch with the CosmoGirl editors and publishers, our bosses and a few representatives from Avon, who sponsor the program. The walls are lined with modern art (Chuck Close, Sol Lewitt and Richard Serra were just a few of the artists they featured) and the dining room featured an amazing view of Central Park.

Though I didn't get the Devil Wears Prada moment I was hoping for (the editor-in-chief seems too nice to scream at anyone for keeping her waiting for her Starbucks), it was neat to check out the offices and get to know some of the people at CosmoGirl. The photograph will be in the December issue of the magazine and I'll scan it and put it on when it comes out in mid-November.


Joanna said...

Thanks for posting about it Meg! Congratulations again.

ashley churchill said...

so fun! i'm jealous of your star time! congrats again!

annie said...

you (and everyone else) looked great! and that's a very slimming pose =) congrats again! well deserved.

Kori said...

wow that looks awesome! thanks for posting, I read your blog everyday =)

Ms. P&C said...

MEG!!! Congratulations - you look beautiful! Sha-zam!

So excited for you and I cannot wait to see the issue in mid-November...


Fabulously Broke in the City said...

You look gorgeous!!

And I am seriously drooling over here.. look at that Closet... and all the beauty products.. I'd go NUTS in there!!!

Makes me want to give it up and go work for a mag.

Anonymous said...

You are the only one in focus in the group shot, Gorgeous.

Samida said...

To click on the images is to take a piece of my heart and take my breathe away. Seriously, full jealously!