Goodwill Back to School Photo Shoot a Family Affair


Nicole Longstreath here, from The Wardrobe Code.

Imagine a fashion photo shoot for a retail advertising campaign – what do you think of?

If you’re like me, you might think of fussy models, strutting around in expensive, unattainable clothing. An ironic, editorial location with a grumpy photographer barking orders and a generally uptight atmosphere.

Then again, that could just be me. I’ll admit, I did come of age in the early 90s and probably watched one too many George Michael videos featuring notoriously high-maintenance supermodels.

However, when the Goodwill of Orange County marketing team organized a “Back to School” photo shoot in July, the experience couldn’t have been farther from my dated 90s stereotype.

Instead of hiring a team of models, Goodwill went totally grassroots and recruited the children of employees to model Goodwill fashions. Not only were they easy and fun to work with, they each brought their individual, playful style to the photo shoot.

Goodwill models hamming it up for the camera

Goodwill models hamming it up for the camera

And, as the stylist for the photo shoot, I sourced every piece we used exclusively from Goodwill of Orange County locations. Each model had their own mini wardrobe that we used for the day, individually curated from real Goodwill donations. This is even more astonishing – and a testament to the vast selection – when you realize that each model was of a completely different size from the others.

As I have been an avid Goodwill shopper since 2010, I can tell you that the average cost of a complete outfit clocks in around $25 – including accessories, shoes and bags. Although, the outfits in the photo shoot range from $9 to $56 for an outfit with a leather jacket and boots. In fact, one of my favorite things about shopping at Goodwill is knowing that most clothing is priced by garment type and that I get to choose the best quality and brands I like.

a sampling of the clothing we used to style the models

a sampling of the clothing we used to style the models

I should also note that our photographer for the day was totally professional and a great collaborator. In fact, everyone on the set brought unique talents.

Joe Burke, VP of Marketing and Community Development, acted as the art director – helping each model hit their mark. New Creative Manager Ryan and I crafted a cohesive wardrobe look for each set. Our hair and makeup technicians made everyone look great, and coordinators Stephanie and Shane’Pale ensured that everything ran smoothly.

Joe, expertly wrangling 5 child models in the brutal July sun

I’m convinced that, because everyone had such a good time, the shoot yielded photos that truly captured the excitement of the “Back to School” season. These kids were proud to help – and it showed in the photos!

a sneak peek at the final set

a sneak peek at the final set

Enter to win cool prizes on Goodwill’s #FIRSTDAYBACK Back to School contest running now on Goodwill of Orange County’s Facebook page.
Now it’s your turn to get trendy fashions for back to school! Keep an eye for our “Back to School” campaign in stores, in print and social media – and don’t forget to get your own back to school shop on at any Goodwill of Orange County location before the fall semester starts. Your purchases help real people in your community facing barriers to get and keep jobs which provide purpose, pride and dignity.

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