This was my 5th time being Ms C’s assistant-cum-driver-cum-“makeup artist” cum Child Model’s Assistant.
We had to get up earlier than usual to get Ms C’s stuff prepared e.g. her favourite snacks, drinks, accessories bag, spare clothes, car DVD player, sat nav and potty. It was a lot of things to bring for my little model!
It was a stressful one hour drive to the photo studio in Nottingham. I am so glad that Ms C will happily watch Charlie & Lola on DVD but it meant my sat nav was running on battery. Ms C refused to give up her DVD and I had no extra cigarette lighter to charge my sat nav. Phew! We just made it in time before the sat nav died on me.
We were greeted by a bunch of friendly Hape staff, photographer and their assistants. Some of them we had met during Hape’s photo shooting in August 2011.
We were provided outfits for the shoot. When the time came for her to start ‘work’, she refused as it was neither her favourite dress nor colour! Not a good start especially as there was more of an audience this time around. We finally talked her around into accepting the outfit by telling her a number of gentle fibs!
As we got into the shoot, firstly, we had to “play” with a boy’s toy with a lovely boy. It was definitely not her favourite toy and she only decided she wanted to play with the toy after discovering the secret passage way! It was a brilliant set as they have lots of parts to be taken apart. Both of the kids played nicely together. During this time, I quickly nipped off to have a rest which was a bad move. She immediately cried! After 5 minutes to settle back down again, after bribing her with milk and an ice cream cone, she was a happy child again. Yes, just the cone as she doesn’t eat ice creams!
This time, we went back for more photo shoots for the same toy. It was not easy to get the right smile at the right time with two children on set. Once again, I was jumping around like a monkey hopping from tree to tree. I had to avoid blocking the lighting, get Ms C to stand in the middle of the room and make sure she had her priceless smile on!
Soon, we moved on to take with more good quality wooden toys. Each time, I had to stay very close to her. I had to lay flat on the floor to play underneath the table with her legs! I was wearing black trousers laying flat on a painted white floor board. Not great. And had to make up lot of games like playing shopkeeper with her.
Soon, we had more children join us on set to take more shots. It was a nightmare to get all of them to smile and excited at the same time. While other parents sit away from the set and put their feet up, I am sweating like a pig to keep Ms C entertained. I can not move away from her. Even for a toilet break, which I had informed her earlier, she would still walk around and ask the staff, “where’s mummy?”.
Soon, it was lunchtime and I had a good 15 minutes break. Ms C is not a big eater and I had to coax her to eat one mouth full of bread. Then she is ready to party again!
Four and a half hours passed quickly and we had finished our job for the day! Phew, not me though. We had an hour long drive back to Lichfield and I had to fight to get my Sat Nav charged while she played on my iPad. What a lovely day as a model’s assistant!
P.S: I do not get paid for my job as the money will go straight to Ms C’s Bank Account.
You can find Ms C’s previous HAPE toys’ photos at: http://www.hapetoys.com/
(Break Time playing balloons!)