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Photo op

Charlestown residents help sell the lifestyle they love

Created date

November 22nd, 2011

Like most people, Barbara and Carlton Butler have posed for dozens of family photos over the years, but that still didn t prepare them for the professional photo shoot they participated in for Charlestown s new marketing campaign. Not only were we surprised to find out that Charlestown featured actual residents in their advertisements, we were surprised that they selected us out of all the other wonderful people living here, say the Butlers, who moved to Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md., from Severn in 2010. Nonetheless, they were happy to oblige.

The real deal

The Butlers are the latest in a long list of Charlestown residents who have appeared in advertisements for the community over the last 28 years. We regularly update our brochures, newspaper ads, and print materials with new photos, says Sales Director Don Grove. We have so many happy and vibrant residents living here. Their genuine enthusiasm for life is exactly what we want to come across in our marketing and advertising so there s no need to hire models. The Butlers, along with fellow first-time models and Charlestown neighbors Ed and Mary Lou Hastry, met with the production crew ahead of time to learn what they could expect before going in front of the lens. This was the first time we had ever done anything like this, says Barbara. So I wasn t sure what we would be doing. We thought we would go in and they would snap some photos and that would be it, Carlton says. But it was really an elaborate production. They had to make sure the lighting was right, the clothing matched, the backgrounds were perfect it was really amazing to see what went into each shot. Barbara describes the sets like something out of Hollywood. There were cameras and lights everywhere, a wardrobe, and props, she says. There was even a hair stylist and make-up artist. The crew selected a variety of locations both on and off Charlestown s campus for the two-day shoot to highlight Erickson Realty and Moving Services, a complimentary service for Charlestown priority list members that combines a range of moving services and resources into one comprehensive, personalized program. They did one shot where we were shaking hands with a local real estate agent in front of a house with a For Sale sign, says Ed. Then they had another shot of us in an apartment as movers unpacked the boxes. For us the scenarios were really true-to-life of just how smooth our move really went when we came to Charlestown.

Attention to detail

With the camera connected to a computer monitor, the crew viewed the pictures instantly and made on-the-spot adjustments. I was so impressed with how professional they were, says Mary Lou. They really paid attention to every detail. For example, they moved all the furniture, right down to the teapot, from location to location so that everything was consistent. I really have a new respect for the people who do that for a living. Now that I know how much time and energy goes into each shot, I can really appreciate advertisements when I see them. As the Butlers and the Hastrys eagerly await their first glimpse of the new marketing photos, both couples say, if asked, they would happily participate in another photo shoot in the future. We really enjoyed ourselves and were happy to be a part of it, says Carlton. I m excited to see if people will recognize us in the advertisements. We re just so flattered that Charlestown would want to put our faces on something that represents the community. I guess what they say is true: who better to sell this lifestyle and the community than people like us who actually live here.