Meet the Experience Life team, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the magazine comes together each month.

Posts Tagged Bob McNamara Photography

Experience Life Magazine

Behind the Scenes: Yoga 4 You

  • Makeup and hair stylist Natalie Hale uses a steamer on the yogis’ wardrobe.

  • Yogi model Martha Williams warms up before her portion of the shoot.

  • Martha finds her balance in Dancer’s Pose while photographer Bob McNamara shoots.

  • Natalie gets yogi model Carlton Morris camera-ready with some light makeup.

  • Carlton adjusts his Warrior II pose.

  • Art director Lydia Anderson and Carlton discuss his photos.

  • Natalie does yogi model Jan Johnson’s makeup.

  • Natalie’s tools of the trade.

  • Lydia and Bob review Jan’s photos, while Natalie readjusts a lock of Jan’s hair.

  • Photos of Jan, ready for review.

  • Yogi model Matt Portwood warms up with some handstands before his shoot.

  • Matt demonstrates his yoga skills with a challenging arm balance.

  • Natalie adjusts Matt’s shirt to smooth out the wrinkles.

  • Matt stays in a challenging foot-behind-the-head pose as he reviews one of his photos.

Since joining the Experience Life staff just over a year ago, I’ve been introduced to lots of new ideas, many of which have worked their way into my daily life in terms of what I eat, how and when I exercise, and trying to live mindfully. But none of my new habits have affected me as much as yoga. And my journey started at the photo shoot for the “Yoga 4 You” article in our April 2013 issue.

Watching our yogi models through my camera lens gave me insight into the way yoga transforms us. I noticed not only the physical strength and grace they each possessed, but also their calm demeanors. The common denominator between them, obviously, is their yoga practice, so I made a New Year’s commitment to take one yoga class per week. I started with Jan Johnson‘s Monday Vinyasa Flow class, which my co-workers Courtney Helgoe and Heidi Wachter already regularly attended.

I was immediately hooked. Jan is an amazing teacher, and Courtney has been super helpful by answering my yoga questions outside of class. My one class per week quickly turned into three to four, as I found myself always needing to know when my next class would be. The LifePower Yoga program has been perfect for me in terms of balancing traditional yoga with physical fitness. I can sweat it out in a Warrior Sculpt class, or really get in touch with myself with Yin/Restorative.

As long as I know I’ll be able to attend a yoga class within a day or two, I feel like I’ll be fine no matter what life throws at me. Every class I take invigorates me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I try to take my yoga practice off the mat and into my daily activities, and because of it, I feel like I’m slowly becoming a calmer, gentler version of myself (I have a few rough edges that could use softening up).

Thanks to all of our yogis, and especially Jan, for guiding me onto the yoga path!

Experience Life Magazine

Behind the Scenes: The Perfect Warm-Up

  • Stylist Pam Brand does Alli’s makeup.

  • All of the wardrobe options for Alli.

  • Some of Pam’s styling tools.

  • Alli waits for direction on set. Photographer Bob McNamara uses an iPad to instantly preview shots.

  • Pam fixing Alli’s hair while she demonstrates the “Quadruped Extension/Rotation.”

  • The crew looks on as Bob shoots.

  • Alli demonstrates the “Power Skip.”

  • Art director Lydia Anderson and former fitness editor Jen Sinkler discuss a shot while photographer Bob McNamara looks on.

  • Pam fixes Alli’s shirt.

  • Alli demonstrates the “Supine Bridge With Reach” for the video segment.

  • Alli takes direction from former fitness editor Jen Sinkler and associate editor Jocelyn Stone.

  • An iPhone provides another angle for the video.

One of the things I love about our photo shoots is getting to spend the day with all the talented people involved. It’s inspiring to be around folks who are so dedicated to their craft, like photographer Bob McNamara and stylist Pam Brand.

I’m always pleasantly surprised at how likeable our fitness models are, too. Take Alli McKee, for example, who demonstrates the moves in “The Perfect Warm-Up.” One might expect a fitness model to be a bit of a diva, but somehow we manage to find “normal,” nice people like Alli who just happen to also be in awesome shape. Thanks, Alli, for bringing your positive energy to the shoot — I think it really comes through in the final photos.

Experience Life Magazine

Behind the Scenes: The Countdown Workout

  • Pam Preps

    Pam Preps

    Pam gets Frank camera-ready

  • Setting Up the Shot

    Setting Up the Shot

    Bob and Jen check out some test shots, while Lydia and Frank discuss the shoot

  • Minor Adjustments

    Minor Adjustments

    Pam makes a wardrobe adjustment while Jen directs Frank

  • Getting It Right

    Getting It Right

    Jen demos an exercise for Frank

  • Never Let 'Em See You Sweat

    Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat

    Pam touches up Frank’s makeup

  • What Do We Think?

    What Do We Think?

    The cast and crew review photos

  • Into the Light

    Into the Light

    Frank demonstrates exercises while videographer Matt Peiken captures video for the “Show Me How” segment

  • Might As Well Jump

    Might As Well Jump

    Frank demonstrates an exercise while Matt shoots video

  • Time Out

    Time Out

    Frank takes a break, while the crew discusses the next scene

  • Another Angle

    Another Angle

    Matt shoots Frank from a low angle

Our fitness photo shoots are always fun and challenging, and there are many talented people involved. Above are some behind the scenes photos of the shoot for The Countdown Workout. Our model, Frank Jones, was friendly and professional, and our expert shooter, Bob McNamara, got the lighting perfect as always. Editor Jen Sinkler was there to make sure the exercises were performed correctly, and Pam Brand, our wardrobe and makeup stylist, made sure Frank looked his best. And of course, art director Lydia Anderson was the creative force behind the whole operation. I hope you enjoy taking a peek behind the curtain!

Experience Life Magazine

Behind the Scenes: The Art Department

Hello! My name is Stephanie Glaros, and I joined the art team here at Experience Life back in March. Along with our talented art director Lydia Anderson, and our equally talented production designer Jane Meronuck, I try to bring the articles in the magazine to life visually. Starting with this blog post, I plan to share what goes on behind the scenes here in the art department, including the process of collaborating with illustrators, as well as the work that goes into our photo shoots.

I’m an avid photographer, and I enjoy documenting the action on set when we shoot original photos for our Confident Cook, Workout, and Worthy Goods departments, as well as many of our Features. Above are some photos from some shoots that took place earlier this year.

  • The Right Light

    The Right Light

    A Worthy Goods product shoot at Unleashed Productions in Minneapolis.

  • Prop Styling

    Prop Styling

    Lydia arranges berries for the photo on page 58 of our July/Aug 2012 issue.

  • A Biking Bag

    A Biking Bag

    Photographer John Mower sets up the shot seen on page 38 of the September 2012 issue.

  • Prop Perfection

    Prop Perfection

    Lydia arranges whole grains for the photo on page 48 of our July/Aug 2012 issue.

  • The Right Angle

    The Right Angle

    Photographer Terry Brennan sets up the raw egg shot on page 52 of the October 2012 issue.

  • Egg Prep

    Egg Prep

    Betsy Nelson prepares one of the egg recipes featured in the October 2012 edition of “Confident Cook“.

  • Salad Styling

    Salad Styling

    Betsy and Lydia put the final touches on the Lyonnaise salad for the October 2012 issue.

  • Model Prep

    Model Prep

    Lydia and photographer Bob McNamara describe the article “Can School Lunch Be Saved?” to our young model.

  • All Hands on Deck

    All Hands on Deck

    Lydia prepares the healthy food bouquet held by our model on page 61 of our September 2012 issue.

  • Reviewing the Shot

    Reviewing the Shot

    Lydia adjusts our model’s wardrobe while Bob reviews the previous shots.

  • Exercise Demo

    Exercise Demo

    Editor Jen Sinkler demos one of the exercises for the “Rev It Up!” workout, while Lydia snaps a reference photo.

  • Strike a Pose

    Strike a Pose

    The crew watches as our fitness model strikes a pose for the photo on page 25 of the September 2012 issue.

  • Wardrobe Tweaks

    Wardrobe Tweaks

    Patrice makes a wardrobe adjustment during the shoot for the September 2012 edition of “The Workout”.

Experience Life Magazine

Post-Baby: Photo Shoot Round-Up

Last week, I did the fitness photo shoot for the November issue of Experience Life, and let me tell you, I had a blast. It was hard work — holding elevated poses without going boggle-eyed so the photographer can capture the moves is challenging — but really fun. Lydia and Jen, if you’re reading this: ANYTIME! JUST SAY THE WORD.

I started getting excited the week before, when I received an email from Pam, the clothes/hair/makeup stylist, asking for my clothing and shoe sizes. Then I got the call sheet: arrival time for “talent” (that would be me!) was 9:30 am. No problem.

Until it was. My day got off to a crazy start when my 9-month old got sick on the way to the babysitter’s house. Twenty minutes from home, with 45 minutes to get to the shoot location on time, I did a quickie clean-up of MK before turning around, canceling the babysitters and then calling my mother-in-law (MIL) in a panic to see if she can fill-in. Yes, she’d meet me at the house.

We pulled into the driveway 15 minutes from call-time, and I proceeded to hand my fever-stricken, throw-up-covered little girl off to my MIL before dashing out the door. (FYI: MK was happy to see her grandma and in surprisingly good spirits despite not feeling so hot, so I didn’t feel quite as bad for leaving her during her first real illness.)

I arrived at the club 20 minutes late, and though I was stressed about putting everyone behind schedule, it turned out to be no big deal. Senior fitness editor Jen Sinkler was getting prepped for new headshots for her Expert Answers column; while she was having her pics taken, I got the full hair and makeup treatment (like I said, Jen and Lyd, ANYTIME). Within 45 minutes, we were on the workout floor:


EL senior fitness editor Jen Sinkler coached me on technique for the squat-assisted muscle up. I have no idea how many of these I did, but I was sore the next day.


Posing in my new favorite workout outfit between shots.


Practicing the golf-ball pick-up — Jen has much better balance than me! Technique tips: Keep your hips level, glutes tight, chest out and back arched. A slight bend in the supporting leg is also helpful for the balance-impaired like me.

Lifetime_04695_Web.jpgBear crawls should be easy, but there’s definitely coordination and brain power required (learn why in this overview on how crawling builds neural networks).

It took about an hour for Bob McNamara and his team to shoot all six exercise moves. We then grabbed some lunch, before filming the accompanying video (both will be available online at ExperienceLife.com by late October).

Before I knew it, it was a wrap and I was out the door, heading back home to reality. I made it there just in time to put my little one down for her afternoon nap. Not a bad day at all.