As our office moved locations this fall (my third office in the three and half years that I’ve been with 20/20) the other editors and I had some fun going through mementos, posters and relics as we decided what would and wouldn’t be making the move to our new space.

I felt like I was on an episode of “American Pickers” going through the bookshelves in the hopes of finding a rare treasure as they do on the show. Well on that Thursday at our old Midtown office, we did come across a hidden gem in the form of an old shoot book from 2005.

Every month, our Editor-in-Chief James Spina brings his shoot book—a black and white composition notebook—to the photo shoot and writes a trend for each frame and accompanies it with a picture of the model wearing it. I’m not going to lie… when I first started working here, it sort of seemed old-fashioned to me since I am from a generation that uses laptops and iPhone notes to write everything down. But it does help keep us organized, and it is fun to flip through every once in a while. So on that random Thursday, when James and I perused through the 2005 shoot book and laughed, I was grateful for that “old-fashioned practice.” Frames were tiny, and the clothing was hilarious yet the shoot book looks almost exactly the same. Same composition notebook, same cutout image of the model from that particular shoot and James’ same handwriting on the page with a fashion trend.


Nonetheless, there’s a distinct difference between the 2005 notebook and the brand new one from 2019 that’s just starting to fill up. That difference is the production quality of our photo shoots which has immeasurably increased over the years. It was incredible to see how far our magazine has come in those past 14 years. Clothing, locations, photography, models, hair/makeup—everything has had a major upgrade, and that is a huge thanks to our Art Director Iris Johnson.

Now, instead of thinking to myself it would be easier for James to just type this up, I’m appreciative of the physical book which very well might not exist in a few years from now. With the start of a new year, I can’t wait to see how the 2019 shoot book turns out. Stay tuned for creative photo shoots and the always exciting eyewear that takes center stage.

Jillian Urcelay
Associate Editor
[email protected]