At the end of November, right after Thanksgiving, I received a message from Kohl’s inviting me to be part of a photo shoot for athletic and athleisure looks as part of a social media campaign. Um, YES PLEASE. Six weeks later, in mid January, I was flying to Milwaukee! I was so excited and nervous going in to the trip – nervous about what to expect, how to “model”, being on video, etc. It just felt like a very intimidating experience. But I was also so excited for a getaway and a new opportunity!
Right after I arrived in Milwaukee I had dinner with some of the Kohl’s staff and met the two other women who would be part of the shoot. It immediately helped put me at ease. Everyone was friendly, funny, down to earth, and so kind. I knew that even though the next day might feel a little weird, it would also be tons of fun. And ohmygosh I didn’t even know how fun it would be!
The next morning we met in the lobby at 6:45am. The film crew got us all set up with our mics – in addition to the photo shoot they’d be shooting the whole day to create short commercials – and we headed out to the studio! The studio was unreal – just getting a glimpse at all the work that goes in to a one-day photo shoot. They had a living room area set up for some of our chats, a changing room, another area where we’d look at the clothes with the stylist, another area for the photo shoot, hair and makeup, and a huge table full of delicious, homemade snacks (they changed regularly). There were so. many. people. Producers, directors, assistants, stylists, photographers, videographers, audio people… there were probably at least 35 people all moving around and taking care of small details and making everything perfect. And yet everyone was also so incredibly sweet – chatting with us, offering us anything we needed, showing us pictures of their kids, telling us about themselves. I could not get over how friendly everyone was. It could have been such an intimidating and awkward experience and it quickly felt just FUN – like hanging out with friends. I immediately knew I could trust everyone – that they only wanted to show me in the best possible way. They wouldn’t try to make me look silly or dumb; they wanted me to be encouraged and to enjoy everything. (Spoiler: they succeeded. Big time.)
The whole day took about 11 hours – at the end they were in a big rush to try to get pictures before daylight disappeared. Then everything was edited down and these two beauties were created!
I cannot say enough good things about the staff of Kohl’s and how generous and kind and sweet they were. They are professional, creative, passionate, and smart. I loved seeing the heart and authenticity of such a big brand. I also can’t say enough good things about Rachael and Porsha! They are funny, bright, motivated women. I loved getting to hang out with them and we quickly became friends. I was so excited to see them in their clothes and to cheer them on during their pictures. I loved seeing them get pampered and knew how deserving they were of this experience. I loved getting to talk and laugh with them in between things. It’s been so great to keep in touch with them afterwards – I know we’ll stay friends (and Rachael will also continue to impress the heck out of me with her insane moves of the day – girl is strong).
At the end of our shoot we got to take home two complete outfits and I am loving what I chose! It’s been an awesome revamp to my wardrobe. And Maggie’s suggestions to us really helped me to look at my closet from a new perspective, which has also been super helpful!
So that was my once in a lifetime experience. It was amazing. Thank you, Kohl’s!