Up until a few months ago, I had not one […]
Up until a few months ago, I had not one misgiving that my name or any likeness should ever be associated with the Olympics. And given my mandatory adolescent P.E. affair with volleyball, I was firm that I never wanted that association again. (Y’all, volleyball is hard and I was not coordinated.) But—funny where life takes you—I can now say that I worked with an Olympic gold medalist. Dare I say we were colleagues for a few hours? I dare not.
E-mails exchanged, plans in motion and flights booked, (part of) Team P&N was off to the west coast in March to photograph Kerri Walsh Jennings for our May 2013 cover. No joke, I was apprehensive to have any sort of authority over anything concerning an American icon. I mean, kids look up to her, people cheer for her, you can buy a ball with her face on it in Target (disclaimer voice: and wherever sporting goods are sold). Granted, I wouldn’t command wardrobe changes with groans and lashings, but Kerri is like legit and stuff and I didn’t want to flub styling her as badly as I flubbed that semester in P.E. all those years ago.
Left to right: ROXY (makeup), yours truly, Kerri, Angela Morris
(photographer) and Ryan Richman (hair)
I was nervous over nothing. Kerri Walsh Jennings is as nice as they’re made. She offered to try on just about every outfit, appeased me on kneeling each time I needed to tweak something and asked me about my life. I found myself speaking of extensive travels and my esteemed stint with the Peace Corps. Just kidding. But, when you’re conversing with a woman who has hopped continents to represent your country at the highest competitive level, not-meeting-the-right-guy struggles and moving into a new apartment are pretty tepid topics.
E! Entertainment stopped by. No big deal. (Check out E!’s one-hour special, ‘Blinging Up Baby” featuring a-day-in-the-life of Kerri—including our shoot!)
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Anyhoos, she graciously agreed to sign autographs for coworkers (you’re welcome, Rachel Reiff Ellis) and genuinely seemed to enjoy the experience and this record of her third pregnancy. I feel like we captured a fraction of the beauty of this talented and warm lady in picture. Hope you guys enjoy and in the words of the Sharpie of Kerri, “Dream big.”