Tag Archives: Tina Feg photo shoot

Tina Fey’s analysis of a photo shoot.

22 May

I recently read Tina Fey’s Bossypants when I was on vacation, and couldn’t stop laughing.  The part that hit home was her recap of what it’s like to be photographed.  Usually when you’re shooting someone of celebrity status (even the T Mobile girl who likes to wear pink), you’re ordered to cherish their every movement, not let them lift finger, and make little to no eye contact while doing so, which becomes pretty awkward being the person that dresses the talent.  I can smooth out your undies underneath your khakis, but I can’t make eye contact?  Hmmmm.  I like Fey’s recap because it puts the other side into perspective.  Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:

“It’s usually in some cool space called White or Smash House or Jinx Studios.  Sometimes it’s at an amazing hotel.  Wherever it is, it’s nicer than where you had your wedding.  You take a freight elevator up to a beautiful loft where there is a coffee bar at which everything is free.  Free, I say!”


“When you inevitably can’t fit into a garment, the stylist’s assistant will be sent in to help you.  The stylist’s assistant will be a chic twenty-year-old Asian girl named Esther or Agnes or Lot’s Wife.”


“If you’re like me, you probably take ten to twelve seconds a day to put on some eyeliner and mascara.  Maybe you throw in five seconds of eye shadow if it’s New Year’s Eve.  The makeup artist at your photo shoot will work methodically on your eyelids with a series of tickly little brushes for a hundred minutes.  It’s soothing, actually, because you must sit still and you absolutely can’t do anything else.  She will do this thing before she lines your lips where she puts her finger on your top lip and rolls it back ever so gently.  When she is done, you look like you have lips!  Not crazy overdrawn grandma lips like you would do, but God-given lips!”


“At some point in the morning, one of the stylists or publicists or fecalists will declare that the free coffee is “not working for me,” and some intern is sent out to get other coffee.  Or bubble tea.  Or gum, Advil, Red Bull, and egg white omelets that are destined to be forgotten about and left on the windowsill.”


“The photographer will ask you what kind of music you want to play during the shoot.  Remember that whatever you choose will be blasted through the loft and heard by an entire crew of people who are all so cool tat the Board of Ed. officially closed school.  Just murmur, “Hip-hop,” or make up the name of a hipster-sounding band and hen act superior when they’ve never heard of it.  “Do you guys have any Asphalt of Pinking?” [disappointed] Really? [shrug] Whatever you want, then.'”


“After about seventeen minutes of shooting, they call lunch.  The catered lunch makes you feel like you’re finally the person you always wanted to be.  Vegetable tartlets.  Arugula salad with figs, quinoa, fish that is somehow more flavorful and delicious than a Wendy’s hamburger.  Miniature lemon meringue pies.  Hibiscus iced tea.  You fantasize about how wonderful your life would be if you had this food delivered every day.  Oh, the energy you would have!  Your stools would be museum quality.  You could finally impress the fecalist that is on set.”


“At this point someone from your real job or home life will call to check in.  Pretend you’re exhausted and that this whole photo shoot thing is a big inconvenience.  Say you’ll be done by six and that you’ll be sure to get home in time to help organize the basement storage unit.  Then hang up!  Do not let those people kill your buzz!”