Apollo and I arrived home from our Everybody Plays trip about one am this morning. I began uploading photos to my computer as soon as I had brewed my first cup of coffee this morning. First let me say, our trip was wild, exciting, exhausting, fun and never boring. I am going to begin talking about the Everybody Plays photoshoot with Kelle Hampton and then move on to other parts of our trip.
This is the third year Infantino and Step 2 have run their Everybody Plays campaign. They are working hard to make sure that children of all abilities are reflected in their advertising and packaging. This is something that is close to my heart and I want to help support companies who believe this as well.
The shoot was just as fun (and maybe chaotic ) as you would expect a photoshoot for a toy company to be. The ladies from Step 2 made us feel right at home. Several of them recognized Apollo from photos they had seen. The green room was full of toys and snacks for the young models to enjoy. One highlight for me was getting an official name tag that read: Apollo’s Mom.
Apollo took full advantage of the toys and snacks available. In some crazy twist of fate my friend Sarah’s son, Jude, was also selected for the Step 2 photoshoot…That’s right, out of 800 applicants, our two boys were chosen! Jude is four years old and adopted from Haiti. He was born with spina bifida and uses a walker to get around. He has a GIANT personality that belies his small stature. Unfortunately, Jude was having an off day and was in no mood to have his picture taken. He was okay for the first few minutes and then was over it. I am sure Kelle got a few great shots of him anyway.
I think this is my favorite behind-the-scenes photos…Kelle is explaining to Apollo what she wants him to do and he is listening intently. Despite his body language, he was not intimidated by Kelle. He was game for whatever she wanted. I think the real magic with Kelle is the way she interacted with the children. She was comfortable and flexible with them all. If a child was having a hard time, she simply gave them a break. Once they were happy she was ready to shoot again. There was no pressure and everyone was having fun.
Apollo really surprised me by not being shy or clingy at all. He loved the toy train so much he was more than happy to ride it. Over and over again.Step 2 was allowing siblings to be in the shoot so Jude’s little sister Izzy was included. Isn’t she adorable???
In short, the day was incredible. Step 2 and Infantino are incredible. It was completely obvious that the women from Step 2 are pouring themselves into this project because they love children. All children. Of all abilities. As a mom, I am asking that you help encourage and support these companies. Whether you buy their products or simply leave them positive feedback. These are the companies that are going to make the world a better place for all of our children.
Thank you Ashley, Kelle and everyone else involved. We had so. much. fun.