I just wrapped up the most amazing day shooting with my friends Michael and Amanza for the launch of my up-and-coming book! I've been writing and working on my book for about a year now, so it was amazing to see everything coming together finally, like the pieces of my own huge empire puzzle!
Michael is one of the most generous and kind souls I've met, and he has honestly blown me away with his generosity while putting this collab together for me. Beforehand, he did everything he could to make sure that the day was going to go seamlessly, and he connected me with his close friends and glam team for hair and makeup: Tay Rivera, who beat my face numerous times for 6 different looks, and Jose Cortez for the hair and pin curls of a star. Tay is such a feisty soul who is dependable, confident, and action-oriented. I liked that about him because, sadly, it's difficult to find people these days who aren't flaky. He has such an amazing work ethic, and that goes a long way in this world where so many people don't. Of course, he has the magic hands and made my glam so flawless that the images can easily be used without retouching. Jose is a fun-loving and charismatic soul who has a lighthearted and happy presence. He is very good at adapting and going with the flow of things, and he's so easy and pleasant to be around. He cares a lot about people and how they're feeling, and he will go the distance to make you feel comfortable and confident. I can feel the genuine pleasure he gets from helping and doing what he loves.
For the first look, we started with hair down and loose curls, pictured above as featured in the photo, and then we tweaked it from there, adding different types of shimmer and shadows throughout until I had the highest glam by the end. I loved the fact that I was working with basically an all-gay team, and we chatted up as I did readings on everyone throughout the day. They also shared with me their own experiences with spirituality, weight, sex, love, and relationships.
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I knew going in that I wanted a dress that would thirst trap the audience, because we all know that the cover is actually more important than the book itself! It needed to be powerful, eye-catching, and captivating.
So Michael walked me through his stunning showroom that's full of the most beautiful gowns I've ever seen in my life, ranging from his ready-to-wear (as seen on Revolve) and then merging into his customs and runway pieces. Michael picked out a handful of dresses he knew I would love and that would complement my body shape, and then we got the show started!
Everyone worked together as Amanza brought the vibe and helped style me with all the most fab jewelry and helped with my poses. Amanza is as real as they get; she doesn't put on a show or pretend to be anyone she's not. She's always the same; she is HER across the board. She is the most unselfish person, and she has something so special about her. She's raw and deep and not overly concerned about material labels and things, although, of course, we all enjoy them! And she also has the strength of a warrior and is the most amazing momma. Everything she does is to make her kids' life what she always wanted for herself, and she has been such a great friend to me. She was also the one who ended up pulling the dress that I used for the cover, which I can't wait to show you. Oh my God, it was a total plot twist from what I was picturing in my mind! It just goes to show you, no matter how many plans you have for yourself, if you get too specific with your vision, sometimes you can actually block the magic and miracles of surprise from coming through! This is why I never go into a shoot with a complete, full, and exact vision. I usually have an idea of how I want it to go, but I also like the professionals I'm working with to let their own gifts and creativity flow, and that's when the masterpieces really come together.
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I don't want to leak too much of the fun looks before the book comes out, but we did a variety of colors and lengths for the dresses, some going into neon and then also some sultry blacks. We went from flowy to fitted and everything in between!
Every time I go into anything, whether it be a regular day or a work event, I always set an intention that the result will be for everyone's highest good, and my intention in life is also always to make lifelong friends. I value long-term relationships more than anything in this world, and I don't really enjoy one-night or one-day flings with people. (By the way, if you know that's what you also want in life and love, you'll want to check out my program called...) EXHALE I teach you how to meet your soulmate and forever person by healing anything that is blocking them from coming. I like to have lasting connections that continue to grow and thrive. When it comes to lasting connections, you need to remember that people don't want to stay in your life when it's only beneficial for you. It needs to be a two-way street of giving and receiving, and that's what makes an authentic partnership in anything. Just like how breathing is inhaling and exhaling, you can't have a healthy flow unless you're doing both of those things smoothly. You also need to have an open heart, and when you keep your walls up or keep people at a distance, that prevents you from getting hurt, but it also limits the amount of love and growth you can receive, so you're really just hurting yourself in the end.
Since finishing the shoot, everyone has been continuing to help me by picking out my cover photos and giving input on which look to use for THE look. I do value the opinion of people who have been in the industry and doing this for 20 years plus. We were all on the same page with the dress that we chose for the cover look, and that's how I know it was definitely meant to be.
So now I have all the final mock-ups done for my cover, both front and back! And all that's really left is waiting on the edits of the photos before we submit them for print. Because of the holidays, after it's submitted to print, there's another 14 business days' wait until it will be live on Barnes & Noble, Coles, Target, Amazon, and about 30 other retail outlets. So I am jumping out of my skin with excitement!!!!
Everyone is going to absolutely die, laugh, and transform while reading this book.
I love you, Tasha!