Seriously, it was like being a kid in a candy store–but a very fashion-forward kid in a very nice boutique. I had my pick of any dress, no matter the price, to try on and later wear for one-day-only…but for that 45 minutes of shopping, I pretended I could afford the whole clothing line. It felt good.
I was shopping alongside Shannon Campbell in the Scottsdale Fashion Square Ted Baker store; actually, Shannon was doing the shopping for me. See, she’s an esteemed stylist–someone who shops and dresses other people for a living. (I know, cool job.) She does a lot of high profile work; in fact, she’s always booking styling gigs for fashion shows, catwalks, and magazine editorials.
Shannon was helping me pick the perfect few outfits for a photo-shoot I scheduled for updated body and head-shots. I needed fabulously airbrushed stuff for Mainstream Magazine (I contribute to the Valley publication); in addition, I wanted fresh pics for my website. And so Shannon arranged an entire styling session at Ted Baker.
Shannon has lived in AZ over 10 years and takes pride in being a working single mom. Fashion is obviously her thing, and she has the background to back it up. Shannon graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and has worked with big-name companies and events such as VH-1, FORD Models, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and Phoenix Fashion Week. From the moment I met Shannon, we became BFFs; what she defines as “best fashion friends.”
Shannon and I ultimately decided on a couple fabulous Ted Baker pieces.
My shoot was scheduled for a Friday at 5pm. I was told to meet at photographer Daveed Benito’s Tempe studio with no make-up and undone hair. (Gosh, what a first impression I’d make on my photographer, make-up artist, and hair stylist–LOL.)
Upon arriving, I was greeted by the adorably tatted-up Daveed. I gazed around his studio flaunting his eccentric work; I instantly liked Daveed especially because he has two cats that freely roam his building. However, he had one fault: Daveed has a snake…my biggest fear. I kept my distance from the caged reptile.
Before our photo session, I spent a fantastic hour with Corinna Cooke, A.K.A, Corinna B, my new fave make-up artist. My first impression of the vivacious Australian-born beauty: totally authentic and outgoing. As she airbrushed me to perfection, Corinna chatted about her impressive resume.
The lovely single mother worked her way through beauty school in London, then ventured to LA to pursue the make-up biz. Who would have thought my new make-up extraordinaire had a former gig that sincerely made me starstruck?! Here’s why. As it turns out, Corinna had worked on my all time most favorite show in the world: Beverly Hills 90210. (Poke fun at me all you want…I’ve seen ever episode.) Really, she did make-up for the entire cast! In addition, she made-up Tori Spelling for her first Seventeen Magazine shoot AT THE SPELLING’S MALIBU MANSION! Anyway, amidst pampering my face with eye shadow, bronzer, and fake lashes, Corinna B. and I became like old gal pals. Love her.
And then there was Drew. Drew Noreen works at Scottsdale’s Pucci Salon and The Beauty Agents. (Consider it a talent agency for hair stylists.) Lovable, magnetic Drew was a total doll and a total rockstar at teasing, volumizing, and prepping my needy hair. Drew has dealt with numerous models for magazine shoots, TV programs, and fashion shows. The guy knows what he’s doing.
The whole thing was like playing model dress up, without being 5’10” and a size zero. I had never been treated with such TLC–Shannon, Corinna, and Drew made me feel beautiful; and for that, I am grateful.
But then it was time to strike a pose, and Daveed made me feel welcome, comfortable, and confident.
Seriously, I don’t know how models do it. I felt weird standing one way and tilting my head another. I didn’t really know what to do until Daveed started directing me, and his kind, compassionate, constructive assistance was greatly appreciated. While snapping photos, Daveed blasted music, so the whole experience was super enjoyable and fun.
Daveed might look a little intimidating, but he has the sweetest heart of gold. The New Mexico-born young man took control of his successful destiny; after graduating high school, he enrolled in the Air Force and established a passion for capturing memories–hence, photography.
For over five years, Daveed has built his A-list clientele and is now on high demand for major publications and celebrity photo-shoots. It was an honor to have him shoot me.
After a couple outfit changes and hair touch-ups, our photo session was complete. I bid my new friends goodbye and headed home.
A couple days later, Daveed sent me some airbrushed photos. I must admit: airbrushing is REALLY my new BFF. He worked his Photoshop magic!
It was so fun experiencing a “real” photo-shoot with such wonderfully talented, awesome individuals. I hope to work with them again!
Click the below for more information on my amazing ensemble:
Cover photo (the beautiful girl pictured in the hat) taken by Kelly Cappelli.