Feeling like a model at the NATJA conference – Thank you Sandra Foyt!

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Before heading to Branson for this years North American Travel Journalist Association Conference, I spied a note in the NATJA Facebook feed from Sandra Foyt of Getaway Mavens,  asking for a guinea pig to try out her new techniques for taking portraits.  Recalling Midwest Travel Blogger’s co-founder Sara Broers mentioning that everyone should have a professional photograph, I sent a message ASAP to Sandra saying I would love to be her guinea pig!

My friend Rose Hammitt and I traveled to Branson a day early, so Sandra and I were able to carve out some time before the conference officially began.  While I went early to meet up with Sandra before our first luncheon and educational session, Rose shopped like a professional in Branson’s historic downtown and on the lovely Branson Landing.  Our hotel the Hilton was conveniently located within walking distance of major shopping and dining.

Before we met up, Sandra had already scouted out a few places that appealed to her artistic eye.  With a stone wall to my back (and a hidden garbage dumpster to my right), she carved out the light and poses she wanted.  I don’t know if she had ever had such an advanced subject as a model before, but it was great fun.  Somehow she kept the worst of the wrinkles at bay and found my best features, weathered as they are!

When I first saw her huge camera, I knew I was working with a professional!  She had a light reflector that she was working with and somehow managed to direct me, balance her big sphere of a light reflector and snapped away. “Tilt your chin, turn this way,” Sandra said, and I did.  See kids, I knew that watching all those episodes of America’s Top Model would pay off someday!

Sandra was professional and very patient with someone more used to being behind the camera than in front of it.  Thank you Sandra Foyt for allowing me to be your guinea pig and taking a professional picture of me.  I felt like a model at the NATJA conference and glided right on up to the educational sessions on top of the world after a whirl-wind photo-session!

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