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May 28, 2010

A Body Study, by Robert Charles

Creative minds were at play to come up with this newly-published series, "A Body Study."  These were intended to be artistic nudes, but Robert and I felt that by eliminating this concept and focusing more on body lines and textures we could create a stronger series of shots.  The result?  A finely-composed opus that found its way on EthanSays, a fashionably sound and entertainment blog covering many facets of the modeling industry.  Many thanks to Ethan and Robert Charles for displaying and collaborating on this fine series! Enjoy!

May 25, 2010

My Birthday Trifecta of Gifts

On top of all the wonderful birthday wishes my friends and family sent me, I received three very unexpected and surprising gifts as well...

First off, I'm happy to announce that I've become part of the CSA Models - Australia & International family.  CSA picked up my portfolio, adding it to their growing list of model profiles and has plans to share modeling assignments with me in the near future.  CSA was founded in 2009 and has become a global entity with over 20 years of industry experience and collaborates with models (male & female), Dancers, Choreography, Fashion shows, Catwalk, TV & Films casting, Photographic, Magazine & Newspaper editorials, and Event Productions.  They're affiliated with famous companies such as Boss Models, Calypso Models, Calvin Klein, and the Ford Agency.  Needless to say, I'm quite thrilled to be represented by this fast-growing modeling firm.  

The second birthday gift comes from, an extensive modeling website and Facebook fanpage (with over 33,000 fans and counting...), dedicated to displaying and promoting some of the hottest models in the industry.  I've been trying to be featured here for quite some time and they finally took notice, posting images from Midnight Cowboy and my Ohlala-featured set.

Finally, Michael Novotny, the one-man-team responsible for the wildly successful, featured me for the third time this year, providing audiences with an update on some of my most recent photoshoots. I have a close working relationship with Mr. Novotny and we email each other quite frequently, sharing ideas about modeling and the industry as a whole while giving each other insight from various perspectives.  Needless to say, when he approached me about being featured again, I couldn't say no.  Happy Birthday, indeed!

To read more about these featured columns and various fanpages/websites, please refer to the highlighted links.

May 16, 2010

Modeling Bootcamp

In order to stay fresh and innovative in all aspects of your career, you must be able to reflect on previous experiences and analyze your current state.  You don't want to remain stagnant, you want to continue moving forward even if you don't know the direction your career may be heading, as you can't predict who will see your work or what assignments you will be offered.

In my case, to achieve that next level of excellence it's time for me to undergo modeling bootcamp!  After shooting with my favorite photographer (YMIJ/Jimy Kosmakos) on a potential magazine feature, he pointed out many flaws that were inhibiting me from nailing the shots.  We got a few keepers, but not enough to where I was pleased.  I was torn between conflicting thoughts - trying to convey a competitive tennis player and making it look model-esque.  The images could not have portrayed my confusion any better.  We still managed to salvage a handful of images, but it triggered Jimy to diagnose me with "model fatigue."

Over the course of the next few weeks I will be studying and learning about this industry from a more detailed perspective, from experts with years of experience and backgrounds.  Jimy will be providing me with literature and source material to read such as fashion and runway print, various televised tutorials and programs, and other means necessary to study modeling from a broader perspective.

So it's time to shape up!  I will be going to Orlando to shoot with the AJR family again, so this bootcamp training could not have come at a better moment.  In addition, I have a potential magazine shoot with Jimy later this month, which will require me to be on point!  The bar has been raised, and I'm ready to hunker down and do what it takes.  Wish me luck...

May 6, 2010

The AJR Experience

From my preview post, it may have appeared inevitable that I was going to spend an entire weekend in Orlando doing a photoshoot with AJRimaging.  This past weekend's events were far from what I expected, but I was also more disappointed in myself to be so close-minded that I focused solely on tangible images that I almost missed out on experiencing the AJR family.  Is this what modeling is about? Just taking good images so you can move on to the next photographer in hopes of just repeating the cycle over and over?  Where is the emotional connection to all of this?  Why am I modeling to begin with?  How can I learn and grow from each experience with a new photographer?  There must be more...

And AJ taught me these lessons and answered some of these questions.  Here I was, wrapped up in my own ego that I was unable to convey strong feelings or emotions in front of his camera.  AJ had seen a void within me, an emotional disconnect that separated him from the subject in front of him.  I was stagnant.  As a former model and now an esteemed photographer, he put his camera down, we both walked away, and he had a long chat that took place over the entire weekend.  They are called AJR Imaging and Consulting after all.

It was therapy time, or what I prefer, "tough love."  After our first evening of shooting, we took the entire next day off so I could re-align my focus, to disengage myself from the outside world.  It was a turning point when after hitting the gym, releasing my nervous and anxious energy, having a hearty lunch, and waking up from a long nap that AJ's feedback kicked into high gear.

That previous night, I was just posing in front of him.  Anyone can pose, but just like Meryl Streep who can embody any role without any emotional fear, it was time for me to portray my inner softness and subtlety.  I'm still learning how to do this, but AJ taught me that once you find those feelings that link to your inner soul you can convey just about anything you want.  Needless to say, he hit a sensitive chord with me when he asked me to think about my nephew Hunter.  It's not enough that AJ asked me to think of him but in the way he was able to withdraw those emotions that I was able to connect with the camera in the way he envisioned.  The headshots we created together put tears in my eyes, for I've never seen this soft side of me in images before.  They're effortlessly sexy.

Although you won't always nail it on the first click, the dozens of drafts we sifted through looked much brighter and more energetic than day one.  We concluded the night with a couple more shots, including our final image of the weekend:  "Torture."  AJ is currently developing a Warrior Series photobook and will be including this shot of me with the sword close to my face within his book.  He originally wanted me to have a bow-and-arrow, but the equipment didn't arrive until after I left, so we went with the sword.  All of the equipment was hand-made and was not easy to handle, but I was up for the challenge.  After "Torture," we didn't shoot another image the rest of the weekend.  It was time for me to just have fun!

I'm thankful for AJ and Scott for believing in me and opening their home to me.  On top of just enjoying myself with them and getting awesome pictures, I was fortunate enough to experience a number of exciting things.  They took me to see my first Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba; I enjoyed Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues; I rode roller coasters and experienced Universal Studios for the first time; and I played video games with my photographer for hours!  It was after taking AJ's advice that I was able to enjoy these moments!  I'm also happy to say that I'm going back for another visit during the long Memorial Day weekend!  This was my AJR experience.