Ok so when I came home from my Abifahrt I got a mail from Adidas Neo saying I won the Neo Style Challenge. My reaction: Hold on so this was an actual competition? With a prize. And I won? Wait.. did somebody say L.A.?? NOWAY!
What did I miss? When I first got to mail to participate in the Neo challenge I thought, “Why not?”. I already had a clear idea of what I wanted to do before I even knew what the clothes looked like that I was going to style, plus it sounded like a fun project. I honestly thought that being a “stylist for a day” was their fancy way of terming me styling my friends. That was me being a “stylist for day”, right? Somehow I missed this was an actual competition with the price being 3 days in L.A. assisting styling the new Adidas NEO campaign. You can imagine how surprised and happy I was!
But daaaaammmnn! I was going to L.A.
And I was actually going to help style on set during an actual photo shoot.
The Fall campaign actually.
Which you’ll be seeing from now on.
Here I was at the set in L.A. The whole team gathered in the morning and we drove out to a studio space just a bit outside of Downtown L.A. I was warmly welcomed by everyone on set. And then work started.
It was a hot day and we were shooting the Fall campaign. I felt sorry for the models! Haha! But that is how it is in Fashion – you shoot the campaign half a year before it comes out which means summer for A/W campaigns.
My main task on set was to help Anna Roth Milner, the stylist, with choosing of the accessories to finalize the looks. So much jewelry to pick from. Small necklaces, big hoops, statement jewelry, simple pieces.. all of it there. But when accessorizing we had to make sure they didn’t divert the attention from the clothes. I helped set up Anna’s accessory table, hot ironed (I need such a machine in my life! Goodbye to creases!) the clothes and got them ready for the shoot and helped Anna’s assistant with organizing the clothes, packing in and packing out and got the models ready.
But I was more than that. I kinda turned into an all round insider on set. I was allowed to go everywhere, watch as the models were being shot, follow the photographer around, peek inside the booth where I could see real time previews of what the images looked like on computer, sit in in a private meeting of the of the leaders discussing changes and dilemmas (well ok we were sitting at the lunch table in the open studio but we did channel the ‘you can’t sit with us!’ attitude #BossOnly), help Anna, watch Danielle apply make up while I still had the chance to chat to everyone and ask questions about anything I was dying to know while I had the chance to capture every moment with my own camera.
I even got my own cheat sheet known as the ‘shotlist’ with all the looks that had to be shot, products that we’re going to be used, who was going to model which look, each and every person on set, their tasks and a page with the drill on who is who.
It’s all very organized.
However the atmosphere on set was so easy going I sometimes forgot that this was all hard work we were accomplishing. Everyone was laughing, joking, having fun yet still working hard. There was the right balance of both which made it so enjoyable for me. I guess that’s what life is like when people honestly love their job.
There was so much to take in. So much happening at the same time.
Well I knew that obviously there is more to a campaign image we see on billboards than just the models and the photographer. But I had no idea how much there really was. That I took so many hard working creatives cooperating with each other and a boss who had a clear idea and vision of what she wanted, to shoot a great campaign.
And this was even a rather small production.
Everyone was really nice to me and open. Even the models who all happened to be my age.
I couldn’t help but notice how perfect they fit to Adidas NEO.
What I found surprising is that there is hardly any acting going on the side of the models. No one was pretending to be happy. The models, or talents as they are called in the cheat sheet, were actually having real fun, so much that Dru had to come in at one point and break up the party, separate them before she gave the group shot another go.
So when you see the NEO ads with a group of teens laughing: That’s real, it’s genuine.
The NEO spirit is not just in the campaigns, it’s there on set as well.
I found that quite fascinating.
I missed my high school graduation. But what better way to graduate than to get a taste of real life, the real deal in a true working environment right? Hello I was on the set of Adidas NEO?! In L.A.!
I couldn’t complain.
I really really enjoyed the day and I couldn’t be happier to have experienced this. And I even learned a few things. I wanna join Adidas NEO for their summer campaign! 😀
Now, when I see the official pictures of the campaign I’ll be like “Omggg I was there when this happened and I helped choose that necklace!” or “My ass sat on that chair!”