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Elsa Hosk's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Promo and Half Stack

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Kenny Muzzey

Ever feel like the world is doing everything in its power to prevent you from doing something, or being somewhere? Of course you have, we have all felt like that at some point or another within our existence. I happened to be in this situation last evening as I was headed to a promotional event for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

First, I had a doctor’s appointment run long, as if that never happens, I know. Arriving home after a few errands, I suddenly realized what time it had been. As I checked my schedule to see when my train departed, I panicked. I had previously misread the train schedule and in reality, the train departed about 45 mins prior to my initial belief. Quickly, I grabbed camera, changed, and rushed out the door, hoping that I would arrive on time for my train. As I wasn’t sure what to expect with beginnings of rush hour traffic and seemingly endless amounts of construction that plague the state of Illinois, now even extending into the winter months.

As this started the whole spiral of events that would seem like a problematic snowball gaining speed as it rolled down a slippery slope collecting more snow, and thusly compounding the problem as it sped on. Thankfully, traffic had not been too bad and I arrived at the station about twelve minutes before the scheduled departure. “Great!” I thought to myself, I have time to pay the parking meter, “I don’t have to rush.” As the train arrived I eagerly jumped on, not really sure what to expect from this exciting opportunity.

Relaxing in my seat, I started to doze off, uncomfortably warm I came to and stripped off my hat, gloves, scarf, and heavy wool coat. Passing in and out of consciousness I grabbed my phone to check the time and took notice that we had not moved in quite some time. An announcement had rung over the speakers stating that they were experiencing problems and that the train was operating about ten minutes behind. “Awe geeze” I said aloud in a strange accent, as I could hear the other passengers groaning in displeasure.

After what seemed like an eternity, a second announcement was made, basically a repeat of the first, only now we were running twenty minutes behind. “This is gonna be close!” Finally, the train slow started to glide down the rails. I felt feelings of hope rise up from the pit of my stomach, anxious hope.

Darting through Union Station, considering it was rush hour, but still remaining hopeful, I flew through the doors and arrived outside, the blinding bitter air hitting my exposed face. “Of course, there are no cabs, and I am due in in fifteen minutes!” A lady asked where I had been headed, telling her, she informs me that she is going in the opposite direction. Word had spread however and I wound up in a cab with three kind strangers. As I sat jammed in the front seat, my knees touching the dash, I watched the clock closely as the cabby fought through traffic. I could feel the anxiety rising up again as the clock read 6:15. 6:15 check in for press. 

Arriving about two minutes later, 6:17, I had to dart through the mall in WaterTower Place, and arrived a mere ten minutes late. I checked in with security and they let me right in. At which time I readied my camera and attempted to get into position.


Elsa Hosk, a model for Victoria’s Secret, at the time was in front of a pink wall being interviewed by a television crew. I snapped a few photos from an unsatisfying location and tried to find a better position to shoot from as the Halfstack team readied for their interview with Elsa. Before I knew it Rey and Teresa had taken the stage and were interviewing her. I continued to snap away, noticing facial expressions, hearing laughter, trying to pay attention to the conversation as I made adjustments to my camera and positioning.


Following the interview, I touched base with my team, and we parted ways after. I overheard Elsa’s security detail talking to her discussing a break. She had moved about the store, posing here and there for photos.

The store itself had been decorated with an array of big yellow balloons with a smiley face on them, and in the middle of the floor was a giant inflatable ball also depicting the smiley face. There were a few displays set up special for the fashion show, a little table with bags of popcorn on it nicely arranged in individual boxes with fancy wrapping and bows.


On an adjacent table there were candies, chocolates wrapped in foil, again depicting the smiley face, gummies, little hard candies, each of which were coloured in a way that complemented the theme of the store. Little scoops and bags accompanied the candies so the eager crowd outside could help themselves.


The line out front of the store had begun to wrap around the frame blocking the open areas below. In this time I had taken the time to speak to one of the employees, she told me that they were allowing 250 people in to visit with Elsa and take photos and then at nine o’ clock she was going to join them all outside the store and watch the fashion show with them.


Moving outside to see the miniature theater that had been set up, I noticed the velvet ropes and Chicago Police that had been restricting the area to passerbyers. The theater had taken on more of a comfy living room feel, giant brightly coloured pillows had covered the floor, in the very front a giant television had been sitting, and in the back there were numerous rows of chairs, each had a little stuffed dog sitting on it with the words “Love” on one side and “Pink” on the other. As one could have expected the dogs, were also brightly colored and had various bows on them.


Returning to the store, I took a few final shots of Elsa as she posed in front of the VS backdrop. One of her team member had jokingly warned me that people were going to be allowed into the store any minute and he was only paid to keep them from trampling her and not me. I laughed and told him that it was probably a good idea that I move out of the door way then. Finding a safe place I packed up my equipment and set off on my way.


A few things I want to touch on here, first of all, the obvious, learn from your mistakes, or better yet…. Learn from the mistakes of others. Plan accordingly, arrive early, and in some cases arrive very early! Punctuality is key, sometimes there are external factors we cannot account for, that is called real life. We all do our best to factor circumstantial evidence that can get in our way, best advice I can give is give yourself more time than you need to get ready, to prepare and to get where you need to go. Second, never underestimate the kindness of a stranger or the cruelty of a friend. The cab I had shared with the three random travelers, they offered to pay for it, which is above and beyond what I would expect from anyone. Third, musicians, models, celebrities, they are regular people, just like you or I. They are not Gods nor are they Kings among men, they are just people trying to live their lives, like all of us. Sure their lives are more glamorous than ours, but that does not make them any better than any of us. In the end, we are all the same, we are all here trying to do what makes us happy, we are all here trying to survive, we are all in this together.


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