by Carol Heffernan October 16, 2015

I’ve been managing Freckles + Kitty’s social media for five years, so when Cheryl Ko, the company’s founder and president, asked me to help at the fall photo shoot in L.A., I jumped at the chance. I couldn’t wait to see the ins and outs of what goes on behind the camera, and was excited to share the experience with our wonderful fans!

With that, here’s how we spent the day:

Cheryl and I started our morning early, with a 90-minute drive to the photographer’s studio. Cheryl had already chosen and packed the 40 or so dresses, sets and tunics to be photographed. All are size 5, a typical “sample size” for children’s clothing.

The photographer found the majority of the models – usually local girls he’s worked with before – and we met up at his studio. This shoot also featured three girls who came to us via our involvement with Changing the Face of Beauty, a movement encouraging companies to include models with special needs in their advertising (more on CTFOB in our next blog post!).

It was quite a crew in the studio! Talk about a group of adorable and excited little girls. Once Cheryl picked out an outfit for each child, their moms helped them change, choose shoes (each girl brought several pairs of her own to wear and share) and make sure their hair looked neat.

We hopped in our cars and headed to the first location in a beautiful neighborhood nearby. The photographer found the lighting and background he wanted and starting taking photos of each girl individually, then in groups of two or three.

A pattern developed, with the girls in front of the camera, then scurrying to change into their next outfits. After several styles were photographed, we packed up, and headed to a park with an adjacent tree-filled open lot. A long fence separated the gravel parking lot from the park itself and we had to climb over/through the fence repeatedly (fun for the kids, a feat for the adults!), since the clothes were stored in the car, and photos were taken in several spots around the park.

I was extremely impressed by how well the girls took direction from the photographer: “Stand here, take two baby steps back, turn this way, put your hand on your hip, no the other one, move your hand up a little, chin down, eyes here, smile!”

The adults on hand kept the clothing looking presentable (no bunched up leggings), and stood nearby to make sure the girls didn’t have hair hanging in their faces or leaves clinging to their hair. The photographer worked to capture poses and expressions that looked natural and relaxed (I like this photo, where he's demonstrating how to pose with a bit of moxie!), sometimes with smiling faces, other times with more thoughtful expressions.

Once the styles were all modeled, the morning group said goodbye (some headed for Disneyland!), and Cheryl and I drove back to meet three additional girls who were wearing the rest of the styles that afternoon. Within minutes, we were off! More clothing changes, hair changes, location changes. At one point, when one of the girls was having trouble holding her hand a certain way, we discovered she was clutching two acorns, saving them to play with later. With everything going on, it’s easy to forget how young these children are, and a moment like that is a funny reminder!

I walked away from the experience surprised by a couple of things: While these mini-models certainly enjoy the spotlight, this job has its share of demands! A lot of scurrying around, being fussed over, and showing enthusiasm no matter how they’re actually feeling. I was also impressed by their patience and stamina, what with hours of transitions and following directions. What a thrill to be a part of it all!

Stay tuned for our next blog post, featuring the girls and moms representing the Changing the Face of Beauty campaign!


Carol Heffernan
Carol Heffernan


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