That Time I Was a Model in Paris

19 September 2013

I don’t think there will ever come a point in my life where I’m wholly comfortable in front of the camera but I came quite close during a special photo shoot back in August. Fresh-faced from the glow of the Basque sun, I returned to Paris with a very unique request from my pals at Sister Mag – the digital lifestyle magazine produced entirely by German sisters Thea and Toni Neubauer. They were knee-deep in preparations for Issue #9 and were looking for a ‘model’ for their Paris story. Would I be willing to do it?

I hesitated, instantly imagining the worst – the most unflattering angles, the wonkiest smile, the glaring imperfections, suddenly visible to thousands of readers. Like many women, I’ve struggled with body image issues and frequently shied from photographs for fear I would be perceived by others in the unfavorable light in which I perceived myself. But I was comforted by the knowledge that the Sister Mag girls never feature professional models. Then I learned that hairstylist Rubi Jones would be crafting each hair look and professional makeup artist Charles Gillman would be responsible for enhancing my features (and let’s be honest, brightening the under-eye zone), and I was excited. I was also curious: I’d get the opportunity to wear outfits inspired by runway collections, styled and, in many cases, produced by the sisters’ mother- would I sport them well?

The shoot took us from the Place de la République in the 11th arrondissement, along Boulevard Haussmann, in front of the Opéra Garnier and further afield on the Pont Alexandre III, towering above the freshly updated Berges de Seine. It was a long but spectacular day, with many high notes – I had forgotten how good it could feel to get gussied up. But the clothes, hair and makeup were only part of the equation – Cristopher Santos, the photographer, made me feel at ease through each shot and each awkward pose and for that, he has my heartfelt appreciation.

Discover the full Paris story in the latest issue of Sister Mag, and a few other fun photos of me (beginning page 70), click HERE.