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More Than Just a Pretty Picture

by Arsee LA Kings Ice Crew / Los Angeles Kings

Many of you reading this probably have a Kings Ice Crew calendar from seasons past hanging on your wall. Pages filled front to back with stunning snapshots of gorgeous Kings ladies hang before you. Each girl resembling a life-sized Barbie, perfectly posed, eyes sparkling, skin glowing and each hair appears to fall flawlessly. As you admire the beauty, thoughts of all the effort that went behind making that one simple shot is probably not at the top of the list for thoughts running through your mind. It is simple to appreciate the finished product, but just what all goes into making that one candid moment?

The making of the calendar can be broken down easily into phases, which I like to refer to as “the 3 P’s:” Pre, Photo, and Post.

The Pre phase (more often than not the most stressful of the phases) includes all of the preparations that take place in order to feel ready for the photo phase. A majority of this prepping includes getting yourself physically ready to prance around in front of cameras for an entire day wearing only a bikini. This means showing some extra dedication to your workout and nutrition routine and a full manicure pedicure is on all of our checklists. Although an overall preparation starts months before the shoot, my personal (more radical preparation) takes place one week out from the shoot. I pretty drastically minimize my intake of sodium, carbs, sugar, and dairy and up my intake of protein, fiber, and of course those delicious fruits and veggies and tons of water. I make sure to get in a high intensity cardio workout nearly every day, and show some added attention at the gym to those glutes and abs.

The pre phase also includes swimsuit shopping, which can be a mission unto itself. Since we have guidelines as to certain styles and prints we can bring, it can make choosing a suit fairly complicated. Not to mention, you don’t want to show up with the same suit as one of your teammates!

You must also mentally prepare during this time. For many rookie girls this might possibly be their first photo-shoot. A good chunk of time is probably spent posing solo in front of your mirror in your swimsuit options, trying to get an idea of what poses most flatter your figure and trying to accomplish that sultry bikini model face. Chances are also likely you’re guilty of “bikini model poses” appearing in your recent Google search history.

Then the day finally arrives when it’s time to let your hard work shine and put those poses to the test! Phase two, the photo-shoot itself.

This was the first year that the calendar shoot was broken into two days of shooting instead of one. With 15 girls to get through hair and makeup, do their shoot plus their interviews it made for a more tranquil environment to complete the task at hand in two days’ time instead of one.

I was honored to be asked to shoot both days.

Day one was located at a beach, which seemed like forever up the PCH to get to. Perhaps it just seemed longer since my call time was later in the afternoon and I had already been seeing images from the shoot being uploaded onto the Ice Crew facebook/twitter so I was extra eager to arrive and join their side. Upon arriving, and after hello hugs and brief story sharing of the day thus far I was whisked away for the suit finalization followed by sitting down for hair and makeup.

Bathing suit options and accessories were being loaned around throughout the production trailer, it’s a fun team effort to make sure each of us looks up to our full glamour potential. Then it was time to let my inner vixen come out to flirt with the camera for a bit.

I was assigned to shoot close down where the tide hits the shore. Posing on the sand while the sun slowly set over the ocean, all eyes on me, I felt like a mermaid princess…minus the fin. However I now see why mermaids stay in the water, it was obnoxiously windy and quite too chilly to be in a bathing suit. Nonetheless, I’m certain the shot was all worth it (see April 2013 and the back cover for proof!).

With day one wrapped I headed home to wash the sand out of my hair and peel off my glamorous fake eyelashes. The next morning I awoke, bright and early to head to the magnificent Terranea Resort for day 2 of shooting. This was another relaxing drive, filled with more breathtaking views. I rode the entire way with my windows down, without the normal burden of worrying about messing up my hair since it was not styled yet, just taking the time to appreciate the cool morning breeze. I couldn’t help but to think about how fortunate I am to be a part of such a unique experience. That I am actually blessed enough to say I grew up to live out my little girl dreams. Confucius must have been speaking about our job when he said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I again went through hair and makeup then strutted my stuff in feisty hot pink bathing suit provided this year’s swimsuit sponsor, Kandy Wrappers (located in our “fun” shots near the back of the calendar). My location took place down near the cove, waves were crashing behind me and the rocks were no soft pillow to pose on. Yet, somehow in the joy of the moment, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else but in front of that camera on those pointy rocks, trying to create the perfect picture.

Then, all too soon, my third Kings Calendar shoot was officially marked off in the books.

This brings us to the final phase, which usually can compete with phase two for being the most fun. Seeing as that it usually includes celebrating your hard work and dedication up to that point by consuming more sugar and carbs than any healthy individual should at one meal sitting.

By this point you have a slew of emotions including relieved, excited and nervous. For now you must wait weeks to months to see the finished project.

One must also recognize that the last phase also includes what is undoubtedly the most important part of the process: where we get to sell our finished product, the reason behind it all. As always, the entirety of proceeds raised through our calendar sales goes directly to the Kings Care Foundation (the non profit organization of the LA Kings). The Kings Ice Crew calendar has been a smashing, sell-out-success consecutively for 3 seasons (meaning, we sold out every season we’ve made one). To date, we’ve raised over $75,000 thanks to fans like you! This year, we’re on pace to eclipse $100,000!

So when approached by one of us ladies this season to purchase a copy, or you see the calendar on the store shelves or the link to purchase online, don’t think with just your eyes, think with you heart and purchase a calendar (or donate)…no matter what, it’s a win-win result.

Go Kings!

Purchase a 2013 LA Kings Ice Crew Calendar - Click Here

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