By Jay Hathaway, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
A local model and producer are bringing together two staples of American culture — beer and swimsuits — in an effort to spotlight Toledo for a possible national advertising campaign.
Cory Rist recently coordinated and posed for a photo shoot that was sponsored by the brewers of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) beer. The session took place entirely on location at the Bartley Lofts in Downtown Toledo.
Rist, who also runs her own interior decorating company called Simply Put Life, said the catalyst of the photo shoot was a celebrity birthday party.
“Back in October, one of the owners of PBR contacted me and invited me to an event they were doing at the Playboy mansion for Snoop Dogg’s birthday,” Rist said. “They also own Colt 45, which is partnered with Snoop. They were basically throwing him a birthday party with PBR. I flew out there for the weekend.”
While she was there, she met the PBR owners’ girlfriends, one of whom owns Éclairée in New York City. During the meeting, Rist was asked if she would like to do a photo shoot modeling one of Eclairee’s swimsuits.
“I mentioned that I had a photo shoot coming up with a local photographer and it wouldn’t be a problem. I already had a shoot scheduled for pictures of my son and I. So, then my friend from PBR asked if I would shoot some of their product, as well. He offered to sponsor the shoot, if I was willing to do that,” Rist said.
Rist agreed, believing that Toledo is more representative of the Pabst brand than other larger cities. Pabst then sent a variety of items to be used for the photo shoot.
“I actually have a skateboard they sent me. It’s so cool. It’s a longboard, and it actually has a beer bottle opener on the bottom,” Rist said.
Rist then began putting her production skills to work, and sought out local businesses to take part in the shoot.
“I put a team together to help, because I know there’s a lot of talent here in Toledo,” Rist said.
She asked Natalie Pohorecki if she was interested in doing the makeup. Pohorecki is an award-winning makeup artist who hosts the “Makeup Monday” and “Trendy Toledo” fashion segment on WNWO. She agreed to get involved with the PBR shoot, and explained a bit about how she was able to contribute to the project.
“I was the makeup artist and clothing stylist on location for the day. I did airbrush makeup to give Cori a perfect glow,” Pohorecki said. “We kept her makeup modern and classy. I pulled clothes from a few local boutiques, as well as from Cori’s own wardrobe, to add to what PBR sent us.”
Local photographer David Sprott took charge of shooting the pictures while Omar Khan recorded and produced a video of the process, which can be viewed on Facebook. Additionally, Phillip Kaplan shot behind-the-scenes photos and Ali Gallaro from Salon 180 styled Cori’s hair.
Rist said she is unsure how the photos will be used by PBR once they receive them, but is hopeful they will gain a lot of exposure. Rist also noted that PBR tends to have a strong social media presence and suggested that the photos could possibly be used for that, as well.
Following the photo shoot, Rist and the crew decided to hold a contest to help PBR get some local exposure.
“We thought it would be fun for Toledo to see one of their favorite beers being shot in their hometown,” Rist said.
The contest is currently being hosted on Facebook (“PBR Toledo Swag — Contest Page”), and challenges locals to post their best pictures of themselves enjoying PBR. The contest will run through Feb. 10, with two winners — one male, one female — to be announced. The winners will receive “swag packs” from PBR. Entrants must be at least 21 years old to be eligible to win.
Rist added that the PBR skateboard will not be up for grabs, and that no actual beer will be given away, “because it’s illegal, or something silly like that.”