Sunshine Kir

On a daily quest for the eternal sunshine!

Oh Those Summer Nights…

I’m getting my money’s worth in July. Do you believe we’re almost in August – eeks!!! Rather than drone on about what I get up to when I leave work, I will show you and narrate with captions ♥

We make tables out of old fire pits…classy

We make tables out of old fire pits…classy

We barter orange paint for beers to work on table art

We barter orange paint+ labor for beers to work on pretty-ing up table

We light fires in new fire pit

We light fires in new fire pit

We eat at Bestawan…a lot

We eat at Bestawan…a lot

I read, he paddles

I read, he paddles. That’ll change soon. Got lucky on the light here

We put kids in our orange tree - Jesse is fearless just like Uncle M

We put kids in orange trees – Jesse’s fearless just like Uncle M

Note: M is wearing same green t-shirt on a different day. This happens a lot with his favorites…

We watch sunsets at the beach

We watch sunsets at the beach

And sometimes in the car when it's been a late night at the office

And in the car when it’s been a late one at the office

We cook less and eat more burritos. Annnnd probably have more refreshing cold beer than the recommended average. But it has been a happy lucky fun July so far and I’m not looking back with regret. Okay August, let’s see what else we can cook up! Happy Wednesday xoxo

Do What You Love – Photoshoot Central

Most of us have to work for a living. And it isn’t always fun – hence it’s called work, not play. But if you put your mind to it and discover what really excites and interests you and what you would do every day whether you got paid or not…then maybe, just maybe, you can figure out a way to make a living at it.

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From my friend, Lissa. Love this.

I dabbled for years trying to figure out what would make me feel satisfied in my work. Artist or Illustrator? No money in it and frankly, I’m creative, but my drawing skills just aren’t there. Fashion designer? Can’t sew, don’t want to sew and anyone who’s watched Project Runway or Devil Wears Prada knows – fashion people seem kinda mean. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model – still think this would be one of the best jobs out there, but not a lot of longevity and my time passed when I turned 20 – oh well, next life.

Molly Sims, my wannabe doppelgänger, maybe next time around!

Molly Sims, my wannabe doppelgänger, maybe next time around!

As the Marketing Director of a lifestyle brand, I’m lucky and grateful to tackle a million projects a day including hiring my creative team, working on seasonal look books, developing social media strategies, interacting with incredible influencers, selecting product for each season and even color naming – Fishnet Kiss anyone? As a director, you do just that, direct traffic, prioritize projects and make sure everything gets done usually under deadlines that get bumped up on you on a daily basis. Some of it is tedious, but if you love it, even the silly stuff is motivating. My favorite of all of it though is hands down organizing and executing the photo shoots. If you’ve read my blog before, you know this is my thing – to review, click here and here.

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Getting wardrobe ready for a shoot in Venice, CA w/ Kathryn Budig. Shopping trips to Free People and H+M made this prep fun!

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Spring 15 shoot with wardrobe courtesy of Athleta, ooh la la

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Treasures + baubles on loan from Bahgsu jewels…focus Kir, focus

Photo shoots take a lot of prep work. Depending on the scope of the project, you have to organize your models, photographer and location. It’s herding cats to get everyone in the right place at the right time. If you’re doing an outside shoot, a little “sun dance” to mother nature followed by a “sporadic cloud dance” so it’s not too sunny is also in order. It can be a long ass day and my job is to make sure we stay on track and keep everyone feeling energetic/happy so we get the shots we need. Cranky photographer or model and you’re toast! A visit by the police b/c you “forgot” your permit, also toast. So you need to know your plan well ahead and have your shot list dialed. And when in doubt, bring snacks! (veggies/hummus, m+m’s and Sofia Champagne in a can to lessen the nerves just ever so slightly)

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Happy girls! Kathryn and Casey – troopers shooting in a gritty, stinky parking lot in Venice Beach, CA. No luxury for these girls…

These beauties danced for almost 5 hours jumping over and over until we got it just right.

These beauties danced for 5+ hours jumping over + over until we got it just right.

Being in front of the camera isn’t easy. It can bring out insecurities for even the boldest, most confident girls. Shoots don’t wait for jet leg, bloating from the monthly delights of being a woman or injuries to heal. When you make your living as a model or public figure a big part of your job is being able to set all of that aside and show up bright and sparkly for the camera. On shoot day, my job is to build them up and make them feel comfortable and pretty.

The photographer looks at the light and the overall composition. I look at the model and the product. I don’t care how great the light is and how pretty the model’s skin looked, if the product we’re selling looks like crap in the picture, the logo is hidden or her hair is stuck to her lip gloss, the image will get cut. Hawk eyes and the willingness to fuss and pick at your models is essential. So you better make sure they like you because you will be up in their business all day long. Same goes for the photographer – he/she is tasked with the shot. It’s a subtle dance to make sure the shot is ready, then you get out of the way.

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Me w/lovely Christina, ToeSox’s foot model. Five hours of me fussing with her feet. She and I are fast friends now…

But when the stars align and the light hits just right, when all the hard work and planning comes together, you get your shot(s). When it’s over and the day is done, you get to sit back happy and exhausted. The downside is you can’t share most of the photos from the day because you are shooting 6-8 months ahead at any given time, but I’ll do a part 2 down the road once the campaigns have  been released. But here’s one I can share from Betty Designs called the Bettys of Summer. It was sunny and hot and the Bettys were assembled, styled and trying not to sweat or squint too much (“sporadic cloud dance” failure). Client (Kristin Mayer), photographer (Matt of Breedfreak) and stylist (me) were in sync. And then this happened. All in a very satisfying morning of work.

Behind the scene, assembling the Bettys

Behind the scene, assembling the Bettys in bright bright sun – ouch

The Bettys of Summer, photo by Breedfreak

Bettys of Summer campaign for Betty Designs, photo by Breedfreak

Moral of the story…find what you love to do. Don’t surrender, it may take years of dedicated trial and error. But when you find it, it will light you up. You may work your butt off, but you will feel satisfied at the end of the day. It’s like dating. There is something for everyone. So go forth and don’t rest until you find it. It’s so so worth it.♥

Back on the horse, back to the blog…

How do we know it’s summer? The Tour de France is in full swing, sunsets are extra pink and dropping around 7:30pm, my skin is getting nice and brown, my hair has a salty crispness to the ends, Luke and Lucy Bell – two of our Aussies in residence – can be seen out and about in Cardiff and the World Bocce Ball championship is kicking off as I type.

Aussie Invasion - Luk, Jo, Lucy, Jess - so happy you're here!!!

Sunset Aussie Invasion – Lukey, Jo, Lucy, Jess – so happy you’re here!!!

Life is goo-ood! Summer is my happy place. The beach is my happy place. The water is shimmering, beach parking is out of control and the line to Roberto’s burritos is consistently 6-8 teenage boys deep.

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My new mug courtesy of a lovely friend who gets me…

To me, summer is the world at it’s biggest and brightest. Everything is ripe, plump and drenched in warmth. This year June Gloom took the month off so we’ve been getting minimal fog and lots of sunshine. The water temp is already in the high 60s/low 70s – it’s not Hawaii warm, but we’ll take it. Usually, it takes until the end of August for this kind of warm weather streak. Fourth of July was hot and sunny with killer visibility for firework watching…Here are a few pics of summer so far. It does give a far better overview than my writing ever could.

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Snuggling and giggling watching sunset

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More snuggling and giggling – photo bombed by my nephew who’s looking a touch serious

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My beach HQ ~ tabletops

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Backyard in bloom ~ still amazed at the oranges, avocados, grapes and how cute M is

Too much perky sunshiny recap? Sorry, I’m sure I’ll be able to muster up a moody post soon, but for now. Life is wonderful. People around me are happy and blooming. And it’s a very good day! Now off to check out the 26th Annual World Bocce Ball Championship. Have a happy sun-drenched Saturday. xo

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