I recently announced that I'm a Garmin ambassador. Garmin is one of the few companies I've decided to stand behind because they have reliable products that have helped me improve as a runner. I got my first Garmin back in late 2014 when I started training for my first marathon. While their Forerunner 620 helped me through that tough training cycle and keeping track of my mileage, it really helped me improve my pace, do accurate speed workouts and tempo runs over the last 18 months. When Garmin reached out to me earlier this year to ask me to be an ambassador, of course I said YES!!!!!!
I was so excited to represent a company I absolutely love, and I didn't think it could get any better. Then they asked me to do a photo shoot because their team was coming to California. Um. O.M.G.! The Garmin team was going to be out here for about 4 days and myself and 4 other ambassadors were asked to participate in 5 hour photo and video sessions. This new campaign is great because none of us are professional athletes, but we all have real stories to share, which promotes a connection between athletes.
Their team asked us to provide outfit samples and some ideas for where we could shoot in advance. We had to make sure there weren't any significant labels showing and that everything could get approved through their partnerships. Since they were staying in Long Beach, it was so easy for me to come up with good spots to shoot at. Since Ricky and I do our own photo shoots for my Instagram, we had tons of ideas already.
It was cloudy the day of my shoot. We met the Garmin team - Katrina, Jake, and Julie - at Signal Hill. I brought Ricky because he was interested in seeing how the shoot would go down and maybe get some pointers on how to improve our own photos. We showed up around 7:30 am and Katrina started off by showing me the products I would be shooting with - the Vivofit and the Vivoactive. Both are activity trackers. It was nice to see and try on the products I don't have.
We did a few shots from the hill top and I got a chance to do video as well. It was both fun and awkward. Normally its just Ricky and I, so if I hate a photo, I just tell him to delete it or we do it again. This time, I had no control or idea how any of the shots looked. Jake, the photographer and videographer, was awesome - the entire team was - at making it as unawkward as possible. About 20 minutes in when he said "Now do that again, but show me 'fierce'" it broke the ice and we were laughing.
We spent about an hour and a half at Signal Hill doing photos and video clips. We still had about 2 hours to kill. While we were deciding what to do next, I saw Chittick Field, where I do all of my track workouts, from the top of the hill and it was completely empty. I thought we could get some good shots, so we all hopped in the cars and headed down there. When we got there, the parking gates were closed, but a woman who parked near us said we could still get onto the track by going in the side gate.
We made our way around and started setting up shop. We first sat down and did some recordings. Julie asked me a few questions that were part of our idea dialogue before the team came out for the shoot. I used some of my already made answers, but also winged some of it so it was more conversational. I wasn't sure whether or not they would use this as video or as voice over, but I am no performer and I realized that. I can run all day and have photos taken of me, but put me in front of a camera and ask me to speak and I seem to fall apart a bit. I always did terrible in school at solo presentations and speech classes, made evident as a continued problem in my adulthood!
While we were doing the interview questions, a female football league came onto the field to get ready for a game. They weren't playing touch football either! Full on helmets and suits - these ladies were badass. There were also a few track runners who showed up to run. What appeared to be a good idea for a clean, uninterrupted photo shoot ended up being the complete opposite! We did the best we could with all of the people on the field and track around us and ended up having a great time watching a bit of the game and listening to the music they were blasting out.
We finished up our shoot with a voice over of a short script I wrote to potentially go over a video clip the team would put together. We had to sit in the Garmin team's car because it was too loud near the field. We tried to time it to avoid passing cars so the microphone wouldn't pick up the sound. I had to read through it several times to make sure they had a clear one that sounded natural with no background noise.
I had such a great time with the Garmin team and am so happy I had the opportunity to be a part of the photo shoot. If you have any questions about Garmin products or which one might be best for you, please check out the Garmin website. I highly recommend it :)