Recently I was given the AMAZING opportunity (yes capitals are warranted in this case) to do a feature in ASOS' monthly magazine. For those who don't know, I work full time and blog in any spare minute I have. As the experience of being involved in any sort of photo shoot, let alone a feature, was totally alien to me, I thought I would share this with you.
Firstly, you should know there is a lot of emailing that goes on prior to any pictures being taken. You have to send photographs of outfit options, information regarding these and any little styling tips you might have. Also for the feature I had to send a description of my daily work duties, but as I work for the NHS the description had to be rather limited. Luckily, the feature is more about what you wear to work rather than what you do!
There are also things that you would never even think of as you flick through any perfectly put together feature, for example; locations to shoot in and a base to work from. Lucky for me my apartment is in the centre of the city so we were able to use this! Not so luckily is the fact I work within a Hospital, so shooting inside my office was pretty much a no go. However, I will point out I did gain permission from the Head of Media within the NHS and my manager before going ahead with the feature. I'm not sure how relevant that will be to yourselves, but due to nature of my job and where I work, it was a must.
So after reading all this you would think that would be it... But no. The editor of ASOS magazine has the final say on who is featured and so after all that emailing I waited. I waited like a girl willing her date to call back, staring longingly at my inbox waiting for it to ping '1 new message'. Honestly, I need to sort out my spam feature because every time it ping'd with a bloody email from Groupon I nearly fainted! After waiting for, well, not that long really (I think I over dramatised the previous paragraph) I was told I was chosen and that the shoot was going ahead on Wednesday the 4th of September. Which, considering the issue is now out, isn't very long to turn the whole thing into an article!
Now the fun part... the clothes!! So after being told I was going to be featured (apart from having to peel myself off the ceiling after jumping with excitement) I had to go through the website and email the stylists with items I would wear for work, so they could mix them with my wardrobe. After spending a full day looking through the website I finally sent my eight page email... Which, at the time, I thought was excessive. But in the words of the great stylist Rachel Zoe 'options, options, options' and it would appear the stylist on the shoot was a girl after my own heart and added further pieces. The final email I received was the call sheet, this detailed meeting times, who was involved, there roles and contact numbers.
Okay, so I realise now this post is getting excessive, but when I was first emailed about this feature I 'Googled' to see if there was any information about what to expect, and there wasn't. So If you guys ever get the opportunity at least you might be less of a 'Deer caught in headlights' and be able to act slightly more cool than I did (I got a little to excited!). Seriously, think Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, the part before she turns cool, and that gives you a slight indication as to how 'uncool' I was!!
D-Day - Also to be known as the 4th Sept (cough, cough clear throat and crack my fingers to begin typing).
9:45 - I meet the lovely ladies who were all really friendly and set me instantly at ease. We then headed up to my apartment with there 3 massive suitcases full of ASOS goodies.
10:00 - After meeting everyone and having a brief chat about the day they all set off on their tasks. The stylist took control of my bedroom turning it into a massive wardrobe... it was a dream!! After running through locations with production we mapped out a plan of attack. Then the make up artist, and in this case she really was a an 'artist', making my face photogenic before 11 am is no mean feat! We talked about how I normally would wear my make up to work and she worked around that. I must say I loved getting my make up done professionally especially the little tips she gave me! Unfortunately the photographer had to do a lot of waiting around at this point.
10:45 - After doing my make up and hair, I headed into my new 'wardrobe room' and went through outfit options with the stylist, trying on several different looks and determining which represented my work wear closet best, but also taking into account the latest A/W trends.
11:15 - After playing dress up (my words, not theirs), we locked down 3 outfits and decided to take them with us and change on location (Don't panic no one saw my arse I just used toilets... How glamorous). Changing on location really helped with time and after the 2nd outfit change I really got into the swing of things.
11:30 - We arrived at our first location and I was already dressed in the first outfit option. To begin with I felt quite self concious, which is silly when I think that I normally shoot my outfits on the street anyway. But when its a stranger behind the lens I became really self conscious and that; A. I didn't want to let anyone down, and; B. I wanted to make sure I didn't tilt my head in a way that gave me double chins!
13:00 - After changing locations and outfits we finished with the 3 outfits we had bought and headed back to my apartment to re-style the next outfits. Although the column only lists outfits I wore from Mon-Friday, they explained they needed at least 7 to give them more options. So it would appear ASOS also live by the Rachel Zoe mantra of 'options, options, options!'
13:15 - After having my make up touched up I headed back into the 'wardrobe room' and we started styling the next few looks and working out how to style my hair and adapt accessories.
14:00 - Finally we were ready to take pictures of the final outfits and grab some lunch on the go. I now know why fashion girls are so thin, you literally are so busy, you don't get time to eat! While we were having a spot of lunch I managed to take a minute with the girl interviewing me (Annie) and run through some of the aspects of my job and also, how I style my outfits and were I get my inspiration from.
17:00 - The final photograph was outside a local bar to represent how I change my work wear to evening wear. And although the bar was packed with thirsty workers I didn't care by this point I was loving it!!
17:15 - Heading back to my apartment I sat with Annie and we discussed a few more points while the other ladies scurried around packing up the clothes and accessories and tying up any loose ends. I was tempted to lock them out my apartment at this point, so I could keep all the clothes. Please don't judge me... If you saw it all you would understand, I was like a kid in a sweet shop!
17:45 - After sitting on suitcases and squeezing the last glorious ASOS items into them they were ready to head back to London on the train and I was left with an massive grin on my face. Honestly, it was one of the best experiences I have had and if you ever get the opportunity to be involved in any form of photo shoot I would definitely recommend it!
If you read the whole post, sorry for giving you square eyes and I hope you found it interesting. Unfortunately I didn't have anyone to take behind the scene pictures but I hope you enjoy the article in the magazine which is available online now (see link, page 44).