Parents Cover Shoot - Behind The Scenes
I was elated to get word that Parents Magazine wanted us to grace the cover of their October “bonding” issue. I’ve been a subscriber for a few years and it was like a mama and model dream come true all wrapped in one!
It was our first model assignment as a family of four and I was super excited yet a little overwhelmed with "shoot prep" the day before. Packing the baby bag was like packing for a mini vacation. I wanted to make sure they had a variety of their favorite toys and food to get them through the idle moments that come with a photo shoot. Also, it was a triple wash day, prepping my hair, Lily's and Lukas'... It was a lot! To all my naturals out there, you know what I'm talking about...
Shoot day finally arrived and Armando and I rushed to set for 8AM to get started with hair, makeup & fittings. The kids arrived a little later with my mother, Marie (our rockstar nana-nanny) and after a quick fitting we were ready to shoot!
I knew our time to get the shot was limited since Lily’s nap time was looming and Lukas was over-excited by all the fun toys and bright lights on set! Finally behind the camera, my hands were literally full with both kids and I was trying to come up with a way to wrangle both munchkins and “smize" at the same time! It was like, one kid smiles while the other squirms, I felt like I was on a reality show, put into an impossible situation and expected to get the money shot! I was scared to look over at the screen, but in all actuality, the shoot was going amazing and there were so many beautiful options popping up! My mommy emotions were all over the place and I was holding back tears seeing our image under the Parents mag logo at the top of the screen!
As the team continued to review the shots and change the set, we all heard a little cute voice say “Lukas”. To our surprise it was Lily’s cute, little 14 month old voice saying her big brothers name for the very first time! We were all shocked and Lukas was stunned to hear his lil sis attempt his name, It was definitely a magical touch to an already memorable day!
After a summer of patiently waiting, I was in awe when I finally saw the end result! It was better than I imagined. The cover was not only beautiful, the energy was bursting off the page and captured the essence of our family perfectly! I should have known not to worry with the incredible Mei Tao behind the lens.
After announcing our cover on Instagram, I was overwhelmed with the amount of love we received. Everyone from my family, friends, to complete strangers were sending us messages and pics of them holding the cover, expressing to us how great it is to see a family image reflective of themselves on the cover. Surprising to me, we even got a lot of feedback from men saying how nice it was to see a dad on the cover for a change! It was a fulfilling experience to see the joy on peoples faces, just because they felt included. I'm sure with every cover, there's an audience that that feels empowered in some way! That's why they say #representationmatters.
Parents recently rolled out a redesign last September, and since then I've been in LOVE with all the covers, not just because my family and I are featured on one, but because they are all beautiful, full of life and show a range of diversity which is a delight to see on the stands!
As I sit now and reflect on what a great honor it has been to be featured alongside these incredible families. I would like to thank the entire Parents Magazine team for selecting us to cover this issue. This cover meant so much to me because throughout my career as a model, I made it to the cover of a few catalogs, but never to the front of a national magazine. I never believed it was possible because I was considered a "catalog model". I believed my agents when they told me, covers were out of my realm. I never stressed about it much since I worked consistently, made a good income and loved the clients I worked for. I tucked that little dream away like it never existed in the first place. When I got pregnant with Lukas, I didn't believe I would even work as a model again! Now here I am, getting my first cover, 30+ after two kids and still work as a model today. This experience has taught me to never tuck away those dreams just because someone else doesn't see it. All to show you, life doesn't have an order, believe in yourself and you too can make those dreams come true!