Friday, November 30, 2007

Busy Girl

Yep...I've been absent again. My new agency in Portland has been keeping me busy with pre-holiday fashion shows so I am too tired and outta time to stop in and continue with my chronicles for now. I mean, have mercy, I haven't even set up Christmas cards or bought gifts yet! But give me another week and I'll be back to posting those good ol' "middle model" stories.

And if you are just now stopping by and are a P.O.L. virgin.....dig back into my archives so you can start reading my memoirs from the beginning....this crazy blog will make much more sense that way! (I still have people asking if I am currently in South Beach...and although I would love the answer to be a resounding "yes", this girl is now a mom of two and not going away for long seasons bookings, yes, seasons, not so much.)

Baci a tutti!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stock Photography Made Me Famous

Well, kinda....

One of the bookings I got on this particular season in Miami was for an international stock photography giant. I shot for two days with the team in locations ranging from hotel lobbies, to all white seamless sets and tropical Floridian beaches. Some shots were solo and some in groups or with a guy and all were pretty fresh, fun.....the typical "Look at me, I looooove being alive!" kind of stuff. Cheese, and well, I can do cheese.

For industry outsiders, I have to explain what stock photography is. Stock is when a series of different people, locations, items, stills, etc, are shot and them put up for sale for clients of major and minor companies alike to choose from. In essence, these companies/clients can browse through the on-line catalogs of any number of stock photography companies to choose and purchase a shot that best sells their product, be it a rose petal with an artfully placed drop of dew on it, or a couple jumping in the air while eating a slice of pizza. This type of shot saves companies tons of money since they don't have to pay for an entire photoshoot themselves. Stock works great for the clients but for the models....well.....the money is nice for the amount of work you do, but when you start seeing yourself everywhere you start adding up what you could have potentially made had you been hired for each and every client that is using your images. And that can get depressing.

So, back to my story....I shot my ass off, had a blast, got paid and that was that. Or so I thought. Starting at about 6 months after I did this shoot up until about a year ago I started getting phone calls and emails from family & friends all over the world telling me that they had seen me on billboards, magazines, store window displays, brochures and magazine ads. When describing what I was doing in these shots (and I even got some sent to me by a couple of friends) I knew instantly that these ads had all been bought from the stock compilation that I had shot.

I was seen on billboards for Spain's Tourism Board in Amsterdam, billboards in the Canary Islands for a resort, had a huge window display on the East Coast for Sprint PCS, ended up on the cover of a Circuit City weekly flyer as well as a flyer for Adelphia Cable (which I believe is now part of Comcast, holy monopoly) had large ads up in most major American airports for a Caribbean tourism campaign, appeared on a billboard in Mexico for God knows what (my friend was driving back to California from Tijuana and saw my billboard) and even ended up in a half page ad at the back of Cosmopolitan magazine for ...oh God, I can't believe I am gonna divulge this to the world.....KY Jelly. Yeah....that one was mortifying beyonds words. There I was shooting on a beach with a male model, super cheesy smiles plastered on our faces.....little did we know we would end up in an ad for a personal lubricant. Have mercy.

So, yeah, with the amount of billboards and ads I got out of this job I should technically be both rich and famous. But, alas, it was just stock....and therefore I just got my normal day rate and the titillation of hearing a friend halfway across the world tell me she had just seen me on a huge billboard. *sigh*

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Hilfiger Show Casting

A few weeks into season, I was called to go on what sounded like a really good, not-to-miss casting. I was told that I was to meet at the penthouse suite of one of the beach's luxe high rise buildings for a "Hilfiger Show Casting". Okay, cool.

Being as I am not the de rigeour 5'9" for fashion shows, I was beside myself at having been requested for this casting. For non industry folk let me explain a little bit...castings come in two flavors....request and cattle call. Request castings entail your agency presenting a package of comps to a client out of which the client chooses exactly who they want to see, tossing the rest of the cards into a dumpster, yadda yadda....cattle calls are when a client really has no idea what they are looking for and see everyone in town. Then there are go-sees, etc. but I won't bore you with all those details. So, anyways, this was a request casting and of course for Hilfiger so I sure as hell was not going to miss it.

I show up at the casting where there's a group of about 20 other girls and quickly realize that no one is taking the time to look at our books, polaroid us, nothing. We kind of hang around this amazing apartment, taking in the views, shooting the Scheiss. Then a couple of men walk in the room, start conversing about nothing in particular, one of the men being Tommy Hilfiger's nephew or son or something like that...can't quite remember. He had the total rockstar outfit and demeanor although to this day I have yet to hear that he is or was involved in any kind of real musical endeavor...

After about 15-20 minutes one of the other models asked if they wanted to take one of her comp cards. She had to leave to go to another appointment, at which time one of the men said that he wanted to take down our names and numbers to be invited to a party later that week. Okay, WHAT? So...this casting, although attended by one of the members of the Hilfiger clan was not a casting for a Hilfiger show...rather we were kind of putting on the show by just being there. So weird. I never said anything to my agency. It wasn't a creepy vibe just totally random and (oh god, I think his name was Michael) young Hilfiger dude was actually really nice so we hung out for a few more minutes then all egressed back to our ever important lives on the beach.

Never a dull moment.

The only good thing I got from this casting was this breathtaking panoramic view of SoBe:

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Vodka, Jell-O and Charlie's Angels

One of my most memorable nights that season in Miami was the night Kari, Amber and I morphed into Charlie's Angels for no apparent reason.

Ned and Paul were out either partying or working or playing volleyball and us girls were left alone in the apartment. For some reason there just happened to be a box of strawberry Jell-O in the kitchen and a bottle of raspberry flavored vodka in the freezer and we had no plans for the evening. Kari and I mixed the two and let it do its thing in the fridge in a huge Pyrex bowl.

Amber, being the responsible one and also not having been fully introduced into the madness that had become "normal" to Kari and I, had already showered, put on her pj's and was ready for a comfortable night hanging out at home watching the thimble sized TV we had in the bedroom. The TV in the living room, which was an awesome faux wood encased floor relic only got one or two we were relegated to watching all TV, and rented movies on a 12 inch screen. By the time Amber was fully in relaxation mode, Kari and I pulled the bowl of sinful delight from the fridge and pranced around the living/dining room with it as if it were mana or some other such nectar of the gods. Amber was in trouble and she knew it.

(Bubble, bubble, toil & trouble....a witch's brew being presented to Amber.....and have mercy....I look like the Joker with Beethoven's haircut in this shot....)
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So, wet hair, pj's and all she was coerced into sitting at the dining room table with us as we spoonful by spoonful emptied the entire bowl of vodka jello. You can imagine that by this time we are all warm & fuzzy and ready to be anywhere but in the confines of the apartment. It being a Wednesday night we knew that there would be a great party down the street at the club formerly known as Bar Room and most, if not all, our friends would be there. So we ran to the the closet to get ready and...somehow....ended up all wearing the exact same outfit. Black turtlenecks, jeans and sneakers. Obviously the vodka was telling us that this was the cool thing to do.

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At one point, one of us called Jean Paul, or maybe he called us and we invited him to join us. While waiting for him to get there so that we could go out Kari starting busting out break dance moves that will make her go down in history as America's Next Top B-Girl Model while Amber and I cranked the music and pulled our best Naomi Campbell runway impersonations. At one point, we broke out our cameras and started taking pictures of ourselves as Charlie's Angels. Poses, faces, everything. Next thing we know, JP is at the door completely sober and taking in all this girly mayhem....much to his delight. At one point we started doing jumping jacks (FULLY clothed, thank you very much) and comparing bra strength notes....why? Blame it on inebriation....thank God JP was such a cool guy.....and thank God this was before the advent of YouTube and video cameras hidden in cell phones. Have mercy.

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(Kari bustin' a move.)
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(JP sneaking in some glutes...Amber and I had no idea he did this until we developed the film. Durrty boy!)
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So we leave, or should I say hang on JP and stumble, out of the building and walk down the street to the club. On the way some college guys in a convertible yell out props to JP for having three hot chicks hanging on him. The boy is pimp, and the fact that he was Charlie to our Angels fit him like a snug wet T-shirt. The rest of the night was a blur after we were let in past the throngs of tourists and locals trying to get in and through the velvet ropes to our tables in the VIP were then top model, Tonga was hanging out looking dreadlocked and unhappy. I know we danced. A lot. Probably reliqoured ourselves and danced some more. Then back home for general pukeage and room spins. God, I hated the room spins.....

I've never again touched jello shots since that night, nor have I pretended to be a Charlie's Angel while going out. It all seems so terribly, mortifyingly embarrassing now.....but back then, in the good ol' rockstar model days it was just another night. And fun. So very, very fun.

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