Moo!

090829-shamrock-farms-shootIt may be heading for 112 degrees today but in magazine land we’ve moved on to October. This morning, we had a very early photo shoot for our October cover. Art Director Michelle-Renee Adams, photographer Daniel Friedman and I left my house at 5:30am to drive to our location: Shamrock Farms in Stanfield, Ariz., southeast of Maricopa.

We were met by Molly Costa from Shamrock, who’d arranged for us to use the facility, and who proved her 110% commitment to her job by showing up with us in the wee hours (six months pregnant, no less). The Shapiro family of Scottsdale was close behind. Daniel I. Shapiro, M.D. and his wife Lisa won the cover opportunity more than a year ago (thanks for your patience!) at a fundraiser for HomeBase Youth Services, an Arizona-based, non-profit organization founded in 1991 to address the growing needs of at-risk and homeless youth age 21 and younger. Our models were their two children, Sophia and Dalton. Sophia was totally into it but Dalton needed a bit more persuasion — and a few reassuring hugs from mom.

090823-daltonThis is the fun part of my job…watching creative people work their magic. Dan and Michelle, both former teachers, know all the right tricks when it comes to keeping kids engaged. Dan shares information, respecting the kids’ intelligence and taking advantage of their natural curiosity. At one point, he asked both kids to look at the preview shot so he could explain why shadows were showing up on their faces and tell them how to avoid it. A bit later, when Dalton was growing weary of standing still and smiling on command, Michelle asked him to close his eyes. “Open them on the count of three!” she said. He did–with a big grin.

Both kids were troopers in their long-sleeved shirts (remember: October cover) and they never complained about the heat, the farm, uh, scents…or the flies, which Molly says are only a problem in the hot summer months.

Shamrock Farms is a real working dairy farm (10,000 cows!) and reopens for school tours and public enjoyment on Oct. 6. Molly told us that tours even stop by the nursery and that sometimes kids are lucky enough to see a calf being born. We want to go back for that.

090823-cowI’m learning my way around slide.com, so I apologize for the technical awkwardness (and these photos are mine, not Dan’s, which we’ll save for the magazine…) but I wanted to share my mini-documentary of the making of a cover shoot for Raising Arizona Kids.

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