Life can be funny sometimes and I am now a true believer that some of our best experiences, relationships etc., happen in very serendipitous ways. In the darkest moments of our lives, this thought of fate by chance is one thought to help get you through it. I learned this life lesson about four short weeks ago when I was contacted by JCPenney and asked if I would be interested in coming to New York City for a photo shoot. I was in such shock! I think all I said to Julie was… OMG! and I will make it work!
I was one of five women chosen by JCPenney’s social media team and advertising company to represent their brand as a JCPenney Muse for their Spring 2015 Lookbook campaign. At forty-two-years old that is certainly a “Holy Shit!”, moment! And off I went….
We arrived in NYC on Friday afternoon. A driver picked me up from the airport and was told by our producer Jack of Route 7 Productions to call when I was 15 minutes away from arriving at Milk Studios. When we pulled up front, there they were! Film crew and photographers waiting to document my arrival! Several takes later (lol), they let me into the building. The first person to greet me was Jessica, she was the account executive for the advertising company that works with JCP. So normal, kind and down to earth, she put me at ease right away and up the elevator we went.
Milk Studios in NYC is one of the hottest studios for a shoot!. It is big time Mamas! I am so grateful that I was completely oblivious to the scale of the shoot and the weekend or I would have been a nervous wreck. This was my view as I walked into the studio…..
As I focused on all that was around me, a man approached me and introduced himself in his dreamy Australian accent as Tom, the photographer for the weekend’s shoot. This photographer, I later came to find out, is award-winning photographer Tom Corbett.
His portfolio includes Rolling Stones, Elle, David Beckham and now Kimberly Gioioso. Hey! It’s my story- giggle… Tom, father of two adorable boys and who is married to his agent wife Holly, was so easy to shoot with! He was a great teacher, explaining how I should move in front of the camera. Very patient and obviously oozing with talent. Below is a clip of me working the camera and the wind machine, which I will get to later…
After meeting Tom I was approached by Tamara who is the social media manager for Jcpenney. Tamara is the reason why to this day my children now think I am a super model. She then introduced me to the team. Steve the creative director with his Texan accent, Anna Maria the tailor from New Jersey, Sadaf the Aussie stylist, Rebecca the prop stylist (who is expecting her first child this summer), Geoffrey DVP of women’s design for JCP oh how I could sit and talk to him forever about fashion, Christopher & John (our hair stylist who are also the artistic directors of JCP Salons). Tamara along with her team gave me one of the best experiences of my life, and for that I will be forever grateful!
I do however need to give a special shout out to John, who was my rock for the entire day I was shooting. I was the first Muse to be photographed and was so nervous. He ran the wind machine, touched up my hair every chance he could, and in my moment (pictured below) of self doubt in front of the camera he coached me through it. He told me at the end of the day that is what hair stylists do best. We love you through it.
Over the next few months my hopes are to introduce you to my new girlfriends bloggers Mary Byrd, Nailah Ali, Jenn & Carlise they are talented women who are beautiful inside and out and all have stories to tell.
They say to always be a light in this world and everyone who was present this weekend had that light. Their talents pooled together to achieve one amazing campaign! At the end of the shoot we celebrated and documented it with this photo.
Below are some of my muse shots for JCP Lookbook.
After a few hours in front of the camera and being cheered on by a team full of wonderful people, pictured above is one of my last shots. It is by far my favorite because it reminds me of how I felt in that moment. Happy, beautiful, inspired, special. At forty-two-years old, after putting myself out there for a few years through my blog and social media in the eyes of Jcpenney I became their muse.