Woman’s Day Magazine Photoshoot…

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Hello Friends!!
Happy Monday to you all!!
I wanted to just take a minute to say thank you all so much for your sweet comments regarding my last post!! You guys are so sweet & have truly blessed my heart with all of your kind words!! 
I wanted to give you all a little behind-the-scenes look at my Woman’s Day photo-shoot, so I thought I would share some of those pictures with you today! When I told you about the magazine feature (if you missed that post, you can click HERE), I told you that I was immediately concerned about the pictures for the magazine. I really didn’t want them to use the pictures from my blog because they were taken back when this blog was first born & the quality of the photos were poor. That project was completed long before I really understood the importance of good, quality photos for my blog & before I knew anything about natural lighting or shooting in manual mode!
In an email conversation with Woman’s Day, I asked if I could have the opportunity to re-shoot the space for the feature, and they quickly informed me that that wouldn’t be necessary. They proceeded to tell me that they would be sending a professional photographer from New York City to my house to take pictures of my closet office & of myself for the magazine! My initial reaction…..
“Are you kidding me?!”
A few days later, I got another email finalizing all the details of the shoot. The email explained that the photographer, his assistant, & a hair/make-up artist would be arriving at my house at 9:00am the morning of December 28th. 
“Say What?! Someone is coming to do my hair & make-up?!” 
The email instructed me to have a clean face & clean hair before hair & make-up arrived and also to have several outfits laid out for the photographer to choose from. They asked that I wore something solid (no patterns or stripes), something with color (to avoid black & white), & to keep in mind that these pictures were for the April issue…..so I should avoid wearing anything “heavy looking” or anything that read “winter.” At that point, I was starting to freak out a little bit, but also trying to stay calm. Obviously, this was going to be a bigger deal than what I had originally envisioned. 
“So, let me get this straight….I have all of these cute new clothes that I just got for my birthday & for Christmas, but I can’t really wear any of them because they don’t meet the requirements in the email. And people are coming from New York City to my home & I can’t fix my hair or have any make-up on when they arrive?! Well, that’s unsettling….”
 But, the morning arrived & hair & make-up began……

This is Emily, she was my hair/make-up guru that morning & the first to arrive. I was relieved when I heard that we would be going for a “soft, natural look” for the shoot (when I originally heard that someone else would doing my hair & make-up, I was picturing looks that were far beyond “soft & natural.”) I was even more at ease when she starting asking me what I usually wear in terms of make-up because she wanted to make sure that I looked like myself for the magazine! She was from the St. Louis area, but grew up in a small town in Illinois as well. She was easy to talk to & made me feel relaxed & comfortable. I just sat there & let her do her thing! I think I could get used to having someone else do my hair & make-up every day! It was kind of nice to be pampered!!
Then Bjorn, the photographer, & his assistant, Alex arrived and started setting up shop in my living room. I really didn’t know what to expect out of these New York City folk, I think I was expecting them to be kind of snooty & far more sophisticated than myself, but Bjorn…..he was anything but snooty!  He was sweet, kind, & so down-to-earth. His smile & his accent immediately had my heart….I kinda LOVED him! 🙂 His assistant, Alex, was originally from central Illinois & he had attended college at Southern Illinois University…..talk about small world!! Because he used to live in Southern Illinois, we had plenty to talk about & again, I was starting to feel even more comfortable about all of these strangers being in my home.
When they starting dragging in all of their equipment, I finally came to the realization that “this is really happening.”  I think even when I got the first email from Woman’s Day, I was in denial. My initial reaction to the email was “is this a joke?”  Once they told me that my project had been chosen & all of the subsequent emails starting filling my inbox with the photo-shoot details, I always had this doubt in the back of my mind. Even the morning of the shoot as I was doing all of the last minute clean-up before everyone arrived, I thought to myself….
“I am doing all of this cleaning, and these people probably aren’t even going to show up.”
But show up, they did, and we had ourselves a full on photo-shoot in my little living room!!

It was so much fun and the whole time I was thinking to myself….“This is what I was stressing out about?! I’m actually kinda of enjoying this!”  I changed clothes a couple of times & we took several shots of myself in front of my little office space. Bjorn wanted to make sure that the magazine had several options in terms of photos, so between the different outfits & the different poses…..I think he did his job well!

As soon as the photos were taken, they showed up on the computer where Alex reviewed them. He made sure that all of the details within the photos looked good and he definitely had a good eye! He was quick to fix my top or fix my jeans, if they weren’t laying quite right and I’m sure he was looking for a lot of other technical things as well that were way over my head in terms of the photography!!

When Alex wasn’t busy with the technical side of things, we would talk about Southern Illinois, the movie “Bridesmaids”, & the hilarious Kristin Wiig from Saturday Night Live…….just another example of how REAL these people were & how much they were just like you & me.

Once my part of the shoot was over, they snapped a few shots of the office by itself & also zoned in on some of the details of the space like the stenciling, the kitchen table turned custom desk & shelves, & all of the different storage options I had available in the space….

They all left my house that day around 1:00pm. My husband & I went out for lunch at my favorite little Mexican restaurant afterwards to celebrate my big day, & then we went to my mother-in-laws to pick up the kiddos! It was such a fun day & an experience that I will always remember!! I’m so glad that I have these photos to look back on & also to share with all of you!! 

And just in case they are reading……

Emily, Bjorn, & Alex,

Thank you all so much for such a fabulous day & for making me feel at ease!!! You guys are awesome!!

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  1. Oh my gosh, I am gone for a bit and all this wonderful happens, CONGRATS!!!!! You look gorgeous, as always, and what fun!! I am so happy for you!! Can’t wait to see the issue!

  2. Tonya, I’m so excited for you! You absolutely deserve this and I can’t wait to share this with my FB friends. Thanks for the sharing the day and the experience with us!

  3. You really are a movie star!! 🙂 Hair and makeup too! What a moment. I am thrilled for you.

  4. Very cool! Love that you shared the behind the scenes! Thanks! Smiles, Jill

  5. Oh my gosh!! That is SO fabulous!! What a well deserved honor!! :). Congratulations, my new celebrity friend!!

  6. Congratulations!! That is so awesome & you look great in the magazine! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love this SO much!! So happy your awesome talent is being acknowledged and celebrated!! Looking forward to seeing you soon rockstar! 🙂

  8. Okay seriously this looks like it was so much fun.

  9. what an amazing day for you. and the photo over there on the sidebar looks fabulous. so glad you enjoyed your special day!

  10. i love hearing about all the behind the scenes details! You looked beautiful in the magazine.

  11. So funny you have those ads on your blog for Treasure Realty. We rent a house from them in NC every other summer. Love them and the area.

  12. FUN!!! I would have been freaking out! You look amazing and, of course, love the little office!! 🙂

  13. Love the behind the scenes! I am going to post about your magazine feature soon if that is ok? Now that I have a famous friend and all. 😉 Haha! Can’t wait till Thursday!

  14. That is the coolest thing ever!! So happy for you!!

  15. Tonya I am so stinkin excited for you!!!!!! I’m so sorry I haven’t talked to you before now about this. Cory came home for law school for a few days so my online time has been limited.
    I have been jumping up and down for you!! and I can’t wait to get my copy of the magazine. I may need to send it to you and let you autograph it. haha!
    Love you friend,
    P.S. you look stunning in the picture!

  16. Well if a magazine ever calls me for something like this, I’m gonna have to use you as my body double.


  17. ahhh so FUN!! Thanks so much for sharing all of the details…it was so fun to “live through this” with you!

  18. Such an exciting time, Tonya! And aren’t you too cute — no wonder the feature turned out so well! Glad it was fun for you, too; something that special just should be. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  19. That is super exciting! and it would have been great to watch the professionals!! Sounds like you had a great day! So happy for you.

  20. I read the article….it was AWESOME!! Congratulations again 🙂

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