Downtown Toronto was a hub of activity on September 10 and 11, as Western Union’s Face of This Is WU contest winners converged on the city for a two-day photo shoot. The weekend’s best photos will be featured in Western Union’s new ads on billboards and other outdoor sites across Canada, this fall.
The contest winners: Saraf Khan, Charlene Spence, Sylvia Bebel, Theresa Karla Peralta and Ahmed Baja, aced the contest with their amazing selfies and were very happy to have their photos taken in a professional shoot at locations around Toronto including Harbourfront, Union Station, Nathan Phillip Square, the financial district, St. Lawrence Market, Rogers Centre, the CN Tower, Kengsington Market, and Chinatown.
Just sitting for hair and makeup in the early morning hours, picking their wardrobes and getting ready for the shoot was an experience in itself. “I love getting my makeup done,” admitted Toronto’s Sylvia Bebel. “Toronto is a beautiful city. All the locations are fun and I love Harbourfront, so I’m really looking forward to the whole experience.”
“I never thought I’d win!”
Saraf Khan, kept her win to herself when she first found out, “in case I jinxed it,” she said. “I was at a concert when I heard about the contest. I went onto Facebook and uploaded a selfie. I didn’t think I’d win because I never win anything.”
In fact, all the winners sent in their selfies without ever even dreaming they’d win.
“I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw the contest where you could win a trip to Toronto and $500, so I tried without expecting to win because I’ve never won anything before,” recalled Theresa Karla Peralta, from Alberta. “I was so happy! It’s a once in a lifetime experience. It’s my first time being made up and having my photo taken, and I’m thankful and grateful for the opportunity.”
Ahmed Baja, from Calgary, loves to take selfies and thought the contest was perfect for him, but (of course!) he never thought he’d win. “It was a shock for me. [Western Union] told me ‘you’ve really won!’ and that I needed to come to Toronto for a photo shoot. I told my wife and she said, ‘how come I didn’t win!’ The whole experience has been wonderful. Everyone welcomed me to Toronto and took very good care of me.”
Charlene Spence, from Toronto, was ecstatic about the whole Face of This Is WU experience – especially the part about being on ads across the country this fall. “It’s pretty exciting,” she said. “You picture yourself on pamphlets and advertising – and when you see yourself, you know other people will see you too. I never thought I’d win, but I was happy when I found out – I told my sister and my mom, and they were proud of me and happy for me too.”