[UPDATE] Squad Goals: Three Things I Learned at the Nicole and Madeline Photoshoot

I could run… sorta… I mean those heels were ridiculous under that skirt… but I couldn’t hide. Even though I tried.

Photo Credit: Raegan Mathis

That’s me. That’s me? That. Is. Me.

I had a whole range of thoughts and emotions during this photoshoot with my friend Rae. Now you guys know Rae as that super down to earth, friendly, but straightforward friend that everybody wants to have tea and patty melts with. She is also a really talented photographer who takes photos that make you feel things.  I’m no art critic, so that is the best way I can describe it.

I had an idea for a skirt, and told my super talented cousin about it. Socamom readers know her as Chef Cherry… you have been drooling over videos and instagram pics that I have taken over the years.  What you probably don’t know is that she has another talent that is actually what she does full time.  She is an amazing designer.

Rae loves a candid photo. She documented pretty much every moment with this skirt.

Photo Credit: Raegan Mathis

She’d remind me about it from time to time, and with school and homeschool, and the kids, I just never got back over there. Well I went over – but with food on my mind, not fashion. One day I got a call, telling me to come over and try on the skirt – and bring my boots.  I’m all like – what skirt?  I went over and slid into this gorgeous massive creation. When I tell you that what I had in my mind was there… on my body… and then again it wasn’t. It was more. It was more than I ever figured.  It was no longer a general idea floating around in my head.  She had created much more than I could have imagined or envisioned.  I was floored.

My waist? Snatched. I put on the boots and THAT thing… *swoon*

Look at that hem. That’s skills.

Photo Credit: Raegan Mathis

That hem hit within a quarter of a centimeter from the floor in the front.  It was perfection. AND IT HAD A TRAIN! I flipped it over and the satin… to this minute I have no idea how she got that hem to do what it did. Magic.

Cherry had seen some of Rae’s photos when she was over by my house, and fell in love with them.  After I saw the skirt, I texted pics to Rae, and she was excited at the idea of shooting it.  Keep in mind that I said “it.”  Rae swears that she takes photos of things, not people, so I figured it was going to be perfect. I’d just be a mannequin, and the clothes would look amazing on Cherry’s website.

Yeah… all my insecurities are not even in this photo… Not even sure what I was talking about here.

Photo Credit: Raegan Mathis

I have avoided the camera since I have gained weight, and I still had some insecurities about various flaws on my body, real or imagined. That day, there was nowhere to hide.  I was out at the Lincoln Memorial in front of God and America, and after she put in all that WORK on the skirt? I had no choice but to WERK.

I wasn’t even sitting on anything… squatting. Yep – those heels were that high.

Photo Credit: Raegan Mathis

I never thought that there could be so many people out in DC at six in the morning. Rae wasn’t the only one taking pictures. People were coming up to me to ask to take photos… with me!  I’m like… um. Okay?  People coming by to tell me congratulations… um… Okay?  I couldn’t see what the skirt looked like, but apparently it was making people feel some kinda way.

We shot 3 more outfits and called it a day. When I tell you I had to take a nap after seeing the photos? All the naps.  I wanted all the sleep.  Rae casually slid those photos into my inbox like… here ya go.

I just sat there like… That’s me. That’s me? That. Is. Me.

When my husband takes my picture, people are always like… hey – that’s such a nice photo of you.  I asked him how that happens, and he’s like, “well… that’s how I see you.”  From then on, I’ve told people who ask me about photos, to get someone who likes you to take it. They’ll find what they like about you and make sure the world sees you in the same awesome light that they see you in.  The photos didn’t make me look thinner.  The skirt didn’t cover up my insecurities.  I was out there roaming the city with two people that I love, and who loved me enough to use their individual talents to show the world how they see me.  Cherry had her sketchbook and her sewing machine and said, “this is Eva.”  Rae had her 50mm lens and her coffee and said, “this is Eva.”  You can’t really ask much more from professionals and friends.

Yes. We were out there cutting up and laughing THIS early.

Photo Credit: Raegan Mathis

Rae and Cherry would say, “you did your thing, too!” But I was out there being Eva and being difficult… let’s be honest… that laughing pic that everyone loves?  I was sooooo not following directions.  The only thing she said was “stand still.” But the way she said it though? If you know Rae and have read her writing? She was dead serious, followed it up with a half chuckle… with a hint of “I love you, but I will also cut you” and it was hilarious.  Cherry bust out laughing, her laugh is contagious, and there you have it.  One of the best moments, and photos, of the shoot.

That day taught me three things.

  1. Work with people you like, and who like you.  The results will always be better.
  2. Energy is important. One person working at 50%, while everyone is at 100%? Brings everyone down to… um… something lower… so yeah… math.
  3. You don’t have to have an army to do amazing things.

Bottom line, we were all working our hardest for each other.  Rae wanted to make sure Cherry and I were happy with her photos.  Cherry wanted to make sure that Rae had something great to photograph, and that I looked my best.  I wanted Rae to not be embarrassed to share her photos with people, and that I did Cherry’s hard work justice.

R to L: Me, Rae, Dave (photobomb #1), Cherry, Lil Bit (photobomb #2)

I encourage you to find your team, your squad, your crew. Do something great together.  Make plans. Make moves. Make it happen.

Meet the crew…

CherryNicoleandMadeline.com | @nicandmad on Twitter |@nicandmad on Instagram | Facebook.com/nicoleandmadeline

RaeUntitled 1975.com | @vermillionpearl on Twitter | @vermillionpearl on Instagram

UPDATE: Since this fun photoshoot, “The Skirt” has been seen on award winning blogger Patrice of Afrobella.com, in black, during her “Texture on the Runway” event during Fashion Week in NY, and on Grammy and Tony award winning songstress Heather Headley in brown during her tour with Andrea Boccelli! 

Photo credit: Afrobella.com – see more photos here.

Photo credit: Heather Headley Instagram

Disclosure: I am a rabid fan of both of these exceptional artists, and while I can’t really put a dollar value on what we do for one another, things of value are exchanged between us all, and the FTC says I have to tell you that.