I was almost done with the final editing stage of The Lariat (Cooper City High School’s newsmagazine) around 1:30 on Monday, March 6 when the main office rang to inform me of Olivia’s arrival. Although the morning air was crisp – I would say in the mid to late 50s – I strutted to greet her in magenta shorts, a sheer navy blue floral blouse and tan wedges to fit in with the fun spring theme of the afternoon’s concept shoot. I couldn’t wait to experience another shoot with Erika Delgado, and this time I got to style our beautiful model, Danielle Prieto, with clothes from my closet and hers.
After snacking at Olivia’s house, we all started doing our own thing: Danielle sat in the kitchen as Olivia airbrushed her and curled her hair, Erika was taking behind-the-scenes photos and I was planning three to five outfits to bring with us to Dania Beach Boulevard, where Danielle would stroll under the gorgeous blue sky like a flirty, trendy teen.
Basically, we had girls’ day. The four of us goofed off and played around, making Danielle more comfortable as the day went on (it’s hard to believe looking at the photos, but this was her first photo shoot). She started off wearing a multi-textured deep purple tank top from Target tucked into floral high-waisted denim shorts bursting with hues of purple, courtesy of whomever left them in Danielle’s dorm. I draped a pearl necklace and added a turquoise pendant for the extra pop of color Erika envisioned. In this outfit, Danielle followed Erika’s instructions as she posed on the doorsteps, walls and benches in front of antique stores. Erika also managed to get Olivia and I in the action, taking a few shots of all of us walking and laughing as we repeated “watermelon,” attempting to be believable.
After a quick change in the car, Danielle’s look changed drastically. Flawless in my nude American Apparel dress with a lace bodice and chiffon skirt, she made me want to give it to her! I had her slip on a layered turquoise necklace and her brown combat boots as Olivia gave her dramatic cat eyes and pulled her curls into a ballerina bun. Strangely enough, this portion took place in the parking lot, but it ended up being the perfect setting. Danielle truly felt the sophistication of the look and delivered some of the strongest shots of the day. She pursed her plump, nude lips and smized like a pro as the golden setting sun lit up the background.
As the weather dropped and the number of creepy people increased, we mutually decided to do just one more look. Shivering in a turquoise polka dotted sheer white t-shirt, lime green shorts, clog wedges and oversized cat eye glasses with bright pink lips, Danielle’s eccentric look thrilled us all. Taking place on the other side of the parking lot, Danielle embodied Katy Perry as she winked and blew kisses into the camera. She playfully twirled, threw her head back and looked like she was having the time of her life.
Each look represented a girl who appreciates fashion and takes risks, making everything her own. Both Olivia and Erika used their talents to bring this idea to life, and calling it successful would be an understatement. In the middle of it all, they also helped me out by redoing my head shots (I can’t even begin the explain how awful they turned out at my summer program at Northwestern University). Olivia airbrushed my face and swiped pretty peach shadow over my eyelids. Erika had me sit on the parking lot pavement and deliver some model-like faces, but then I got to display my true colors as a writer who laughs too loud, smiles too big and always has hair blowing in her face while scribbling away in a moleskin notepad with a purple pen. In every aspect, the day was about being true to yourself and enjoying the little moments in life, like creating beautiful art with great friends.