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Behind the scenes

Tallgrass Creek residents take center stage in new photo shoot

Created date

September 20th, 2011

Have you ever looked at a photo in a magazine and wondered about everything that went into getting that perfect shot? Over the summer, a group of residents at Tallgrass Creek learned firsthand all of the steps it takes to create a perfect yet seemingly effortless photograph. Several community members at the Erickson Living community in Overland Park, Kans., were selected to model for an upcoming marketing campaign. Instead of hiring professional models, the Tallgrass Creek marketing team decided that no one would be better suited to represent the community than the vibrant people who live there. We have been looking for the right opportunity to utilize our residents in a photo shoot, Sales Director Jean Dennis says. We want to show that the lifestyles our residents have are affordable and relatable to our customers in Missouri as well as Kansas.

World of professional photography

Esther Dritley and her husband, Jack, both modeled in the Tallgrass Creek photo shoot. Esther says the day gave her an inside glimpse into a new world. She says she was photographed for about two hours. Art directors guided her into different poses and shot pictures from many different angles. I truly was amazed at all they have to go through from the people adjusting lights to dealing with the sun to the props they have to place, Esther says. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience.

Missouri woman makes modeling debut

Mary Kelly, mother of 7, grandmother of 14, and great-grandmother of 8, was also selected to model in the photo shoot. She says she s never modeled before. I was too busy raising kids, she jokes. Her day started with a professional hair and makeup session, and then she sat for a series of photographs. The long July afternoon gave her a new appreciation for professional models, she says. It was fun, and I think I learned a few things, Mary says. But, she adds with a laugh, I definitely would not want to be a model. Mary does, however, look forward to seeing the fruits of her labor when the marketing materials come out. It will be kind of fun to have people call and say, I think I saw your picture.

A successful photo shoot

Stephanie Carr, the art director of photography who worked on the Tallgrass Creek photo shoot, says the resident models impressed her. She says they worked hard to help her team get great shots, and the end result was a fantastic batch of photographs. All of the resident participants were super troopers and, I believe, were surprised and intrigued by the photo shoot process, Carr says. From makeup to set, they enjoyed the experience and now have a better understanding of what is required of professional models.