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‘Lights, camera, action!’

Oak Crest residents say ‘cheese’ to help sell lifestyle they love

Created date

January 24th, 2012

Never in their wildest dreams could Joseph and Ruth Dieter have ever imagined that a poster-sized image of them would one day hang on the wall in the Oak Crest sales office. But that s exactly what happened after they were invited to participate in a professional photo shoot for one of the community s upcoming marketing campaigns. We were certainly surprised when they called and asked us to be in the photo shoot, says Joe, who moved to the Parkville, Md., Erickson Living community in 2008 with his wife, Ruth. We felt honored that they asked us, considering how many people live at Oak Crest and the size of this place. Nonetheless, they were happy to oblige.

Faces of the community

Joe and Ruth are the latest in a long list of residents who have appeared in advertisements for Oak Crest over the last 17 years. Who better to show what this active, vibrant community is all about than the people who already live here? says Sales Director Lou Maranto. We are thrilled that our residents think so highly of Oak Crest that they re willing to put their faces on our advertisements. Joe and Ruth, along with fellow first-time models and Oak Crest neighbors Walter and Margaretta Stawinski, 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, so I was a little nervous at first, not knowing exactly what to expect, says Margaretta. But once we got into it, it was like, Hey this is a piece of cake. Ruth describes the experience like something out of Hollywood. It was lights, camera, action! she says. They asked us to bring along a selection of clothing to change into, and they did our makeup and made sure our hair looked just right. Everybody was so accommodating that any nervousness I had flew right out the window. Now I know what it must feel like when they make movies. A variety of locations on Oak Crest s campus highlighted the community s active lifestyle during the one-day shoot. Walter and Margaretta posed for a dining scene in the Oak Room restaurant. They had us sitting at a table with food and drinks and told us to look natural like we were having a conversation, says Margaretta. At one point they had a waiter come in as if he was serving us. I was really surprised at how much preparation went into each shot. Meanwhile, down the hall, Joe and Ruth were being photographed on the dance floor. The photographer was up on a ladder looking down on Joe and me as we danced, says Ruth. While we were shooting, they would give us directions and gently remind us not to look at the camera but instead to look at each other. We had a lot of fun with that.

Attention to detail

With the camera hooked up to a computer monitor, the crew was able to view the pictures instantly and make on-the-spot adjustments. After seeing what goes into each photo, it really gives you a great appreciation when you look at advertisements, says Ruth. With the success of their first photo shoot behind them, both couples say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and, if asked, would happily participate again. We had someone from our church who saw our photo in the paper after the shoot and they cut it out for us, says Margaretta. Ruth says even though she knew her face would soon appear all over the place, when she finally saw the image of her and Joe hanging on the wall it brought tears to her eyes. They did such a good job, says Ruth. After the photos came out, people in the community would joke around and ask for our autographs. All in all it was an unbelievable experience. I even made a scrapbook about it.