Each year, Weight Watchers Australia and New Zealand hold their Healthy Life Awards. They are designed to celebrate people’s commitment to their health, and the hard work it has taken us to get there. Last year after I reached my goal weight, I decided I would enter and thought maybe I could have an opportunity to win a prize. I didn’t win and didn’t think any more of it, until this year when Weight Watchers magazine called me asking if I would be interested in appearing in the magazine. After sending them some before and after photos, they featured a small interview with me in the iPad edition of the magazine. In August, I received another call asking if I would like to participate in a photo shoot for a little black dress fashion story. I didn’t have to think very long before offering my answer – yes please! I sent through some information about my style, and some before photos.
I felt very model like when I was sent my call sheet, giving information about the photographer, hair and make up team, and the stylists. I arrived at the studio with my hair in a pony tail and no make up on my face at 9am. The studio itself is a completely blank canvas, with white walls and floor. They had set up a duck egg blue wall and floor with light reflecting umbrellas, a mirror on the floor and a wind machine. There were also huge bunches of helium balloons which looked fantastic in the shots.
Prior to the shoot I was quite nervous. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, and worried about whether everyone would be nice. Thankfully, the team work with Weight Watchers magazine all the time, so they are used to ‘normal people’ and not models! Everyone was introduced themselves and put me right at ease. I met Jacqui (the editor) and Veronica (the designer) who were both lovely, and very easy to chat to. The other women I got to chat to were also very nice. My day started in the hair chair, having my hair tamed by Brad, and my nails painted . This part of the process took about 30 minutes, and then I was turned over to the competent make up master, Kristyan. The make up took about 40 minutes and it made me appreciate all the work that goes in to one single photo that appears in a magazine. There was concealer, foundation, layers and layers of mascara, false eyelashes (my favourite part!) and lip gloss. The end look was a fresh, dewy complexion, and killer smokey eyes – I loved it!
A make up close up
The theme of the shoot was ‘Little Black Dress’. Irene the stylist had prepared a couple of racks of dresses in varying sizes for all the women involved in the shoot. I was offered a gorgeous Hugo Boss dress (it says Zara in the magazine, but I remember checking the label as I loved the dress). It was nipped in at the waist, which is a style I love and flattered my shape. It was a little shorter than I would normally wear, especially with the shoes, but it was fun playing dress up. The jewellery that was chosen for me was my favourite part. After seeing all the blue Swarovski boxes on the table I was in heaven! The necklace I wore was beautiful, and there was also a gorgeous ring which unfortunately can’t be seen in the photo. I also had quite the arm party going on, with a cuff and several bracelets put together. The heels were super high, but looked great with the dress. Irene and her assistant were fantastic to work with, taking all of our points of view into account and letting people try multiple dresses if they weren’t comfortable and adjusting neck lines (in my case!).
My gorgeous outfit
Next came the photos. Adam Flipp, the photographer, has a huge portfolio filled with editorial, fashion and advertising. He put me at ease immediately, and although it took me a little while to warm up he knew all of the poses that would make me look my best. We all had a few laughs with some fly away balloons, but we managed to get some great shots that I was amazed by. ‘Is that really me?’ was uttered quite a few times during the process! The photography team had a huge iMac along with a Mac Book Pro showing the photos in real time and they gave me several opportunities to look at the pictures throughout the shoot. Balancing on one leg with a wind machine blowing, in really tall shoes took a bit of practice, but the whole experience was so much fun. A friend asked about re-touching, and from what I can tell the only differences between the raw image I have from the computer and the published copy are the length of the skirt (it was made a tiny bit longer) and the patch of eczema that was removed from my leg at my request. Everything else is all me. The before photo was taken the day we brought our daughter home from hospital, and my estimation is I would have been at least 20kg over what I weigh now.
The contents page of the November issue
After I changed back into my normal clothes, and reluctantly surrendered the gorgeous jewellery, we were all fed a lovely (healthy) lunch. It was then back to reality time! I was able to snap a quick photo from the computer screen with proof of what I had just done, which I couldn’t help staring at on the train ride back home.
Behind the scenes shots
Thank you so much to Weight Watchers magazine for giving me the opportunity to grace your pages. It was such a wonderful experience that I would love to repeat any time! I am so proud to show case the 18kg that I lost (the last 8kg of which were lost with WW), which are never coming back. Here’s to a health, happy future.
What is your health journey? Have you ever been in a magazine? Do you have any health and fitness goals?