America's Next Top Model?

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Just a few weeks ago I did something for the first time. I modeled clothing. Not Nike sports bras and sneakers but I'm talking dresses, stilettos and jewels. I kept thinking to myself, "Who do I think I am? I'm no model." And you know what I am NO model! (And that's not just because I'm like a foot too short.) But I didn't let that stop me. I did it and lived to talk about it with you...

The story starts with my favorite Boston boutique Shake The Tree. Nestled in the North End, I've been a customer and fan of this shop for over 5 years. Chances are if you're one of my friends or family you've probably received at least one present from here. It's my go to spot for gifting. In fact, the shop is so adorable I'd love for a section of my home (probably the kitchen) to look exactly as it's displayed their shelves. 

Anyways...

Shake The Tree's owner Marian and I discussed a joint collaboration. It sounded like a dream. I'd get to come in and choose two outfits from the store to model for a photoshoot cross-promoting us both. And then I really thought about it. I have NO modeling experience outside of fitness. Fitness photo shoots are all about capturing exercises and poses that I do on a daily basis. Could I do this without looking like a wanna-be? I guess we were going to find out. 

Lucky for me I got to work with my magical team. Lucie Wicker of Lucie Wicker Photography shot the two looks for me. Lucie has a way of making me feel so comfortable in front of the camera. Whether I'm on a slippery rock, holding a plank in the water or high up on a steel beam in a split, I always know every risk is worth it. What she captures through her lens is nothing short of phenomenal. 

No photo shoot I do is complete without my girl Keely Witkowski of B.Fetching. Keely styles all of my shoots and helps to creatively direct them. Keely and I had a blast shopping for my looks at Shake The Tree together. She's always pushing me to put myself out there in new and different ways. Side by side we've created some pretty awesome stuff together. I'm always grateful for her unique eye and nudgings to be bold and brave. 

The day of the shoot started bright and early at my house 7AM. The first to arrive was a new makeup artist I was working with, Katelyn from Corporate Glitter. She came highly recommended and I can see why. She was quick, calm and made me look like I had a full nights rest - which is no easy feat these days. Typically I do my own makeup for photo shoots but after seeing her work I may never do it on my own again. This girl's got talent! And I also love her Instagram page

After makeup, Keely helped with my hair and then it was lights, camera, action. I didn't feel nervous at all. I felt so glammed up, and I loved the dresses and my look. By 8:15am we were out in the streets of Charlestown posing in front of doorways and in the middle of the road. Honestly I didn't really know what I was doing. I followed the direction of Lucie and Keely and tried to let go and be casual, sexy, confident, etc... I've got to say, in some ways it was so much easier than  fitness photo shoots. I didn't have to get into any strenuous poses and try to make it look effortless. I just had to effortlessly stand there and look pretty. Who would have thought that was actually so hard. So much harder! I don't know how high fashion models do it. They look stunning, relaxed and calm all at once. It is not as easy as you'd think. I've officially decided I'll take crazy fitness shoots any day. That's where my comfort zone is. But with this crew I had a ton of fun. There was no pressure at all. It felt like a morning with my girlfriends, with lots of laughs. 

Now let's get real and be honest. This photo shoot was completely different than past work I've done not just because it was a fashion shoot. The biggest difference is how I prepared. Normally I prep for months leading up to a shoot, working to make sure my body is in it's best condition and that I look exactly how I want to inspire and motivate others. This time? Other than get a spray tan at my favorite Boston hotspot Natural Glow, (seriously, the BEST in town) I did NOTHING!

I didn't add in extra workouts. In fact my workouts have been lacking lately because of, well.... life! I've been eating pretty well because my husband helps prepare me healthy and delicious food, like our special salads in a jar, but that's our lifestyle in general anyways. I'm getting barely any sleep because Max still wakes up 2-3x most nights. Was my body how I wanted it to be for a photo shoot? No. It's only been 8 months since I gave birth. It takes more time than that for me to get back to fighting fitness instructor shape. And guess what. I'm fine with it. These photos represent me, right now. Mom of two who's hustling to get back in a work groove, be there for her family and also be open to new experiences. I am who I am right now.

So, without further ado here are some of my favorite images from the day. (Click on the photos to view all five i posted.) I'm not sharing them all though....You'll have to go follow me on Instagram to see more, as I'll be posting throughout the next few weeks. Can't wait to hear what you think! 

Thank you to following incredibly talented people for collaborating on this fun project.

Shake The Tree: Dresses and Jewelry

Lucie Wicker Photography: Photography

Keely Witkowski, of B.Fetching: Styling & Creative

Katelyn Cross, of Corporate Glitter: Makeup

Natural Glow Boston: Spray Tan