Monthly Archives: August 2010

Featuring Annie S…Fashion Designer from New York

Ana Segura, also known as Annie S, is a creative, passionate and dedicated fashion designer from New York. Throughout her career, she has created several beautiful articles of clothing, some of which have appeared on National Television on the Tyra Banks Show, as well as several fashion magazines. Some of the publications which showcase Annie S Intimates’ pieces include EXIT Magazine, Talent Motion Magazine, La Geneve, Intimate Apparel Business Magazine, Dominican Times Magazine, The Catwalk Magazine, El Nuevo Newspaper, and Body Magazine. Her designs have been worn on several runways, including the New York Fashion Week.

In this interview, Ana discusses her inspirations, visions, successes, and beginnings.

Image Credits:
Photographers (left to right)-Shannon Michelle, Debbi Rotkowite, Amy Dunn, Raiza Arroyo, Abdul Smith
Models-Vanessay Accey,Lupita and Erin, Diana Schnaidt (last 3 photos)

AVIVA: How long have you been a clothing designer?
I went to a vocational HS in NY for Fashion and then went on to college where I graduated with a Baccalaureate Degree in Science in Design and ever since I graduated in 2003, I knew I wanted to start to adventure on my own. I always believe to have a very clear view of what I wanted to accomplished and believe working for someone else would persuade my mind to see art through someone else vision, so I went ahead and started my first line under the then name Annie S. Limited as a sole proprietor. Now I have a couple of people on my team and 4 labels under my Brand Annie S. Intimates, LLC.

AVIVA: How did you get started with clothing design?
I learned how to sew at a very young age, it is a tradition in my family for the women to pass on their craft to their daughters. My grandmother taught my mom how to sew and crochet and my mom taught me. Growing up I did everything from ballet dancing, modeling, pianist even martial arts but never in a million years I believe the one thing that I would sit and do for hours become, what I consider today my passion and career.

I was once told by a wise professor, a job is what you do to pay for your bills. A career is what you can do for hours and enjoy the successes and challenges.

AVIVA: What excites you about designing?
My ability to remain unique and revolutionary, inspirations that come beauty and value from other cultures, historical time periods, ethnic traditions and everyday observations. When I create a line, is not just about the clothes, is about history, is about a story and all the pieces come together when to presented to the world. From the choice of venue, music and lighting I create an images of those times or places.

AVIVA: Do you have any designers that inspire you? If so, who?
Late Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, are both very influential in me as a designer and artist. Their ability to create has always break the mold of what fashion means to retail now in days. Not allowing the norm to decide what art means them is why I one day loved to follow their footsteps and only wish to be just as great of a designer. Creative, Innovative, theatrical, and mind blowing.

AVIVA: Do you have any interesting/exciting/crazy photoshoot stories that you like to share?
Every time I have a shoot there is a story to tell. My photographers, models alike know that working with me is going on an adventure. One of my many favorite shoots was shooting in a old broken castle in NJ that’s been around since the 18th century and although there is not much left of the structure the feeling you get when you are standing in it, it’s as if you could go back in time and picture how it really was back in those days.

AVIVA: What do you believe has been your greatest accomplishment(s) in the fashion industry, and could you tell me more about it?
My signature collections. To know that I could express my way of thinking and art through my work and know that I have full control of my inspirations.

AVIVA: If you weren’t designing clothing, what else do you see yourself doing (other passions and interests here)?
I always wanted to incorporate pastry to the my world of fashion. I remember watching a runway show when I was 16 were great designers pieces like Oscar de la Renta and Coco Chanel designs were paired up with the most talented pastry chef to create these intricate designs entirely out of dark and white chocolate. I always have envisioned myself creating art through pastries.

AVIVA: If money/time were no object, where would you like fashion to take you?
I would love for fashion to take me on global journey, to learned from other cultures while been able to influence their own and when preparing to re-created to have the ability to capture each place I’ve visited through my work.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
Yes, I am very excited for my new collection and I hope is well received, please stay tuned for my upcoming fashion event during New York Fashion Week September 9th.
It was a pleasure interviewing Annie about her career and artistic visions. She has talent beyond measure, and I hope she continues to succeed in the fashion industry.

You can see more of her work and updates on her website. You can also find Annie S Intimates on Facebook

Thank you,

My Favorite Magazines and Reasons Why I Read Them

There are several magazines that I like to read for various reasons. Some magazines provide useful information on beauty, fitness/training, fashion, and make-up ideas. Others allow me to find places where I can get better deals on wardrobe, as well as coupons to online and offline stores that I can use to purchase new and exciting clothing. At the same time, I look at magazines in order to study ads created by popular brands, look at the poses and expressions of featured models, and use the magazines as guides on how to improve myself as a model.

Quite often, when I see a pose/image that I like, I cut it out of the magazine, and add it to my “reference list of things to try”. The idea here is not to copy the image in the magazine, but to use it for inspiration in order to create something unique and make it my own.

Here are some of my favorite magazines that I’ve occasionally read, looked through and found they have some awesome posing ideas.

Please note: a lot of fitness magazines have ads that are selling certain supplements, diet products, and other items for sale. It is OK to disregard ads, and analyze only the information that is presented.

However, most of these magazines are good for posing references and make-up/wardrobe ideas, and not always the information.

The links provided here are Amazon links. The website offers better deals on magazine subscriptions than what you would find in stores and on newsstands.

1. Oxygen

2. Fitness RX

3. Shape

4. Runner’s World

5. Harper’s Bazaar

6. Women’s Health

7. Cosmopolitan

8. Women’s Running

9. Self

10. Nylon

11. Elle

12. W Magazine

13. Marie Claire

14. Vogue

15. In Style

16. Maxim

17. American Curves

18. Sports Illustrated (especially the Swimsuit Edition)

19. FHM

20. GQ

21. Digital Photo Pro

I will be reviewing each magazine individually, and adding new ones to this list as I remember them.


Interesting Reading for Photographers

Since photography is an interest of mine, I have found several books by highly respected experts in the field that are on my “to read list”. I will keep on adding new ones to this post, based on recommendations by others as well as reputations of the authors.

1. Professional Model Portfolios: A Step-by-Step Guide for Photographers is a book by Billy Pegram that reveals various techniques which photographers can implement to create high impact model portfolios. Billy Pegram shares his knowledge of the modeling industry, as well as agency requirements. With a 4.5/5 star rating on Amazon, this book can help both models and photographers achieve the results they would like.

2. Posing Techniques for Photographing Model Portfolios by Billy Pegram. This book reveals how to work with models, and how to contribute to a successful photo session. It is useful for photographers and models looking to create editorial fashion shots, athletics, glamour or nude photography, and shots designed to show curves, reveal personality, or showcase the hands, hair, or legs.

3. Christopher Grey’s Studio Lighting Techniques for Photography: Tricks of the Trade for Professional Digital Photographers has been well-received by intermediate and advanced photographers. It explores the fundamentals of lighting as well as teaches how to solve various lighting problems.

4. The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby reveals “how to take pro-quality shots using the same tricks today’s top digital pros use” (Amazon description). It has a 4.5/5 star rating on Amazon, and has achieved praise from photographers of all levels. Scott Kelby is currently President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and Editor-in-Chief of both Photoshop User and Layers magazines.

5. The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) is another book by Scott Kelby. On Amazon, a customer called it “the mother of all things Photoshop”. It currently has a 5 star rating, and teaches Photoshop users how to retouch images in order to make them look their best.

6. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) is yet another one of the many books by the highly-respected Scott Kelby, master of retouching. This book teaches the fundamentals of Lightroom, as well as step-by-step guides to using Lightroom

7. Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera is written by Bryan Peterson, who is a professional photographer, internationally known instructor, and the bestselling author of several other photography books. This book teaches how to take great photos anytime anywhere, as well as explains the relationship between aperture and shutter speed. You will also learn how to properly expose your photos in what many people would call “impossible lighting situations”.

8. Outdoor Glamour Photography: The Complete Digital Guide to Taking Successful Outdoor Glamour Photographs by Bill Lemon. Bill Lemon’s book explains step-by-step how to create beautiful images when it comes to outdoor photography. Some of the things you will learn about are: lighting, location scouting for various models, and depth of field, best times to shoot, and much more.

9. The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman. This book explains how to create beautiful, visually-stimulating images. A well-composed shot is aesthetically pleasing, and almost anyone can learn how to see and create great digital photographs.

10. Complete Digital Photography, Fifth Edition by Ben Long.This book teaches the theory and technical skills that are needed in order to take great photos.

11.Lighting Techniques for Photographing Model Portfolios: Strategies for Digital Photographers by Billy Pegram. This book has had several good reviews by photographers who are interested in learning some lighting techniques. Billy Pegram is a well respected photographer and has written several books.

12. The Complete Photographer by Tom Ang. This book talks about how to photograph absolutely everything, from fashion to nature to architecture and everything in between. The book is based on different tutorials for different genres of photography and encourages photographers to develop their own style. Tom Ang is a highly respected photographer who has worked as a photo editor for many magazines.

If you have read any photography books that you feel should be added to this list, please let me know, either by posting a comment, or contacting me through my website. Also, please let me know why you liked and what you didn’t like about the book.

Featuring: Luciana of Lybethras Swimwear Interview

The other day I stumbled upon Lybethras Swimwear while searching for companies that produce beautiful, high quality bathing suits. I was very impressed with Luciana’s designs. All I could think of was how wonderful women would look at the beach while wearing Lybethras Swimwear. Lybethras Swimwear is a high end Brazilian swimwear company.

Lybethras Swimwear has been worn in beauty pageants, as well as featured in magazines such as Dietas Ja (Nov 2009), In Style, and Shape (Brazil).

It was a great pleasure interviewing Luciana. 🙂 I hope you all enjoy the showcase of outstanding images that go along with it.

AVIVA: How long have you been in the swimwear business?
I’ve been working with clothes and swimwear together since 1991, and since 2002 only with swimwear.

AVIVA: How did you get started with swimwear? Do you design it yourself?
I started with swimwear because I think it was missing good styles for all kinds of bodies. On the beach it’s only your body in your bikini and sometimes you are one size on top and another size on the bottom. In Brazil we had a revolution where many women got silicone breast implants. So it was impossible to find a size that will be good for the top and bottom. Then we created mix and match styles for Brazilians that don’t have this and they love it. I make every swimsuit to show the best part of body and hide the worst parts.Women need to be confident at the beach. Women that are mothers need more support. We create bikinis thinking of all kinds of bodies. This is one the reasons for our success.

AVIVA: What is the most exciting thing about your business?
Happiness in people who discover our label and have fidelity in our styles. We receive emails from people that love our swimwear, that never go to beach nor feel powerful, but they feel that way with our bikinis. This is the best part. We want 100% satisfaction from every customer.

AVIVA: What would you say is the price range for your swimwear?
We have prices for all budgets. We have swimsuits starting at USD 90.00to USD450.00

AVIVA: How can someone contact you to make a purchase?
On our website we have a online store. Also if they need a special bikini, please send an email to and we will answer it soon.

AVIVA: Do you sell wholesale?
Yes and also make private labels for Pepe jeans London, Christina liquori and many others in the international market.

AVIVA: How does one apply to become a model for you? Do you offer discounts to models who would like to shoot using your swimwear?
Just send us pictures when we have preselections that are in may 2011. Yes, we could offer 20% for models.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
No everything was a pleasure.

You can view more of Luciana’s work on the Lybethras Swimwear Website where you can order the suit of your choice. Also, look for Lybethras Swimwear on Facebook

I hope you enjoyed this interview 🙂


Why I Do Not Have a Gym Membership Anymore…

After I quit competitive running due to an injury, I wanted to stay in shape. My biggest mistake was thinking that by joining a gym, I would be a lot more motivated to work out because I spent money on it. Therefore, my thought process was, “I just spent $70 for the month, so I better visit the gym as many times as possible in order to get full value for my money.”

Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Some of my excuses were:
~I don’t want to drive there right now
~I’m too tired
~I get my exercise by running/walking/using my free weights at home and therefore I don’t need to go that often
~I’ll go tomorrow (and then that didn’t necessarily happen)

Ultimately, I maybe went 2x a week, and would have saved more money just by paying a drop-in fee each time I went.

Here are the reasons why I do NOT need a gym membership anymore:

1.To avoid being ambushed by a high pressure salesperson who will tell me the benefits of working out at their gym. They will tell me that they care about my well-being and they will be my best friend for the hour that they lead me around the gym. However, their ONLY goal is to get me to sign a non-refundable 2 year contract in order to milk me for approximately $900. Face it, the longer the contract you sign, the higher the commissions the salesperson will make.

2. I work out on my own. When I’m at home working out, I can get as sweaty as I want to, while listening to MY favorite music. At a gym, I usually don’t work out as hard, because I don’t want to get too sweaty.

3. I do not need to wait for a shower. I can shower immediately after my workout at home. At gyms, people often have to wait for a shower, and even worse-some people are nervous about showering in public.

4. I save gas money. Every time I drive to the gym, I am using gas. Gas costs money, so I’ll have to add the cost of gas to the cost of my gym membership to find out the real cost of going to the gym.

5. I do not have to worry about parking anymore. In bigger cities, people have to pay for parking. Even if it costs $1/day to park your car each time you go to the gym, you are looking at almost $30/month worth of parking expenses.

6. People do not generally need a gym membership in order to stay in shape. Yes, having a variety of equipment to try and having access to knowledgeable gym staff is great, but at the same time a gym membership is a luxury. That being said, those who are serious about being fit will find other ways to get and stay in shape.

7. The “knowledgeable” gym staff are not always as knowledgeable as they claim to be. That is especially the case if they are paid on commission.

So, save the $70/month and instead put it towards something you want or need. How about that savings account? Do you want to treat yourself to nice new clothes? Well, cutting out the gym membership and finding free ways to get fit might be a good start.

I wish you all the best in your fitness endeavors and I hope that you achieve your goals! I will be posting an article on ways to stay fit without a gym, so stay tuned 🙂


Preparation for Photoshoots: Photographers

There are several things that photographers should remember to do when they are preparing for a photoshoot. A lot of the upcoming points will appear to be “common sense trivial things”, but it is not uncommon for photographers (and models alike) to forget a few things in the midst of organizing and preparing for a photoshoot. Preparing for a photoshoot, especially for those who are new, can have its challenges. Considering that we are all human, we all make mistakes and forget things, and that’s just life. 🙂

Please note that this article is mostly directed towards newer photographers. As a newer photographer myself, I did a little bit of research on what a photographer can do to prepare for a shoot.

The other day, I wrote a blog post on what a model can do to prepare for a photoshoot, which can be found by clicking HERE

1. Make sure you know how to use your equipment and are familiar with all the features of your camera. If you have a new camera or lighting equipment, read the instruction manuals. There is nothing worse than coming to a shoot, where the photographer is blindly fidgeting with the camera, not knowing how to adjust the settings.

2. Study up on some lighting techniques. For example, Billy Pegram’s book called Lighting Techniques for Photographing Model Portfolios: Strategies for Digital Photographers has had several good reviews from photographers and is worth a read.

3. When you contact a model about a shoot, be sure to include details of the shoot. Such details include, but are not limited to: proposed date and time of the shoot, location, type of shoot (fashion, glamour, lingerie, swimwear, etc), compensation (TFP or paid), and whether or not there will be a make-up artist or hairstylist present. That information is important, because it allows a model to do her part of the preparation for a shoot. The more information, the better.

4. When planning a photoshoot, include a contact number, so that the model can call you if needed. Also, have the model’s (and other team members’) phone number. It’s always best to talk to everyone involved prior to a shoot. Additionally, it’s a lot easier to discuss shoots over the phone as opposed to endless emails.

5. 24-48 hours before a shoot, confirm to make sure that the shoot is still on. This includes, having talked to the model on the phone. Also, make sure that your own phone is charged before the shoot, so that people can get ahold of you for any reason.

6. If you are shooting away from your home/studio (or out of town) bring snacks and water. It’s always good to be energized and hydrated for photoshoots.

7. When you contact a model (or when shooting, or when you’re on the phone), do not bore models with some long-winded explanation about the artistic meaning of the images you have in the portfolio and how much of an artist you are. If you truly are an artist, you don’t need to keep saying it-people will see it.

8. For shoots on location, it is best to scout out the location before you decide to bring the model out there. For example, if you are shooting at a park, check to see when the least busy times are to prevent interruptions. Also, some locations may require permits, so be aware of that before you start shooting.

9. Bring spare and charged batteries for your camera, and for any wireless flash devices that you may have. Also, bring an extra memory card, because you might end up taking more images and shooting longer than you’d planned.

10. If you are going outside to shoot, check the forecast, and dress for the weather. If it’s hot and sunny, bring sunscreen and lots of water. If it will be wet and rainy (it’s probably best to shoot on a different day). However, if the forecast says there’s a chance of rain, bring a raincoat and a spare change of clothes.

11. Always test your camera. Keep practicing photography before you plan any formal photoshoots. It’s also always good to know that your camera and lights are working properly before you start shooting.

12. Make sure that you have all your photography equipment and accessories in an organized place. See if you need any filters, sync cords, USB wires, different lenses, extension cords, etc (depending on the circumstances of the shoot).

If you believe that I’ve left something out, please feel free to add it in the comments section, or comment on my Facebook Page.
That way, more people can refer to it later on.

Thank you for reading,

Fashions on the Streets of Victoria, BC

The other day, I decided to go for a walk downtown Victoria, to see if I can find any interesting people to photograph. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t the greatest, and the camera that I was using is only good for snapshot quality images. However, a heavy professional camera would have been impractical for the day, as I was shopping, and walking around in the scorching heat.

I was walking up Government street, and right as I was about to turn onto Johnson Street to go check out some of the local boutiques, I spotted a beautifully dressed tourist, and I approached her.

She was from Santa Barbara, and was on vacation in Victoria (good choice!). She stated that her colourful dress was Italian, and that instead of paying $350 for it, she paid $80. Additionally, her beautiful Mariano Orlandi purse only cost her $200 as opposed to $600. She got her stunning high heel shoes at Nine West. Nine West, from what I’ve seen, often have deals on shoes. 🙂

Above: Tourist from Santa Barbara.

The next image was taken as I was walking down Douglas Street on the same day.
The girl had just walking out of a cafe, and I took a quick snap of her because I liked the colourful dress that she was wearing.
Below: Local girl walking down the street.

Both ladies were flattered to be approached for a photo.
I am definitely hoping to get out more often, and photograph more people, wearing clothes that I like. 🙂


Shimon Karmel: Photographer from Vancouver

Shimon Karmel is an internationally published photographer, who is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
He specializes in entertainment, fashion, portrait and editorial photography. Additionally, he does headshots for several actors.
Shimon has a passion for photography, and uses his background in the film and beauty industries in order to give his images an extra edge.

Image Credit: Photo-Shimon Karmel, MUA-NightShade Beauty, Model-Aviva(me), Hair-Eriko Yamamoto

AVIVA: How long have you been doing photography?
SHIMON KARMEL: I’ve been doing photography for 6 years.

AVIVA: Do you have a favorite subject?
SK: People in music/ fashion/ personalities.

AVIVA: What got you into photography?
SK: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

AVIVA: Can you think of a few photographers/artists whose work inspires you?
SK: Annie Leibovitz, Michael Grecco, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Joe McNally, Richard Avedon, David Lynch, David LaChappelle, Stanley Kubrick, Paul T. Anderson, Allen Ball, Mike Nichols, Woody Allen.

AVIVA:Do you have any weird/funny/interesting shoot experience that you would like to share?
SK: I ripped the crotch out my my pants while doing a calendar shoot a couple of months ago- very embarrassing. Luckily, I carry spare pants in my kit. My shooting experiences rather lack amusing anecdotes to this point.

AVIVA: Other than photography, what else do you like to do?
SK: I’ve recently become a bit of an obsessive gym monkey. I also love film and am a complete metalhead and general dreamer.

AVIVA: What are some of the publications where your work has appeared?
SK: Photo (France), Photolife, American Photo, Exclaim, Xtra Vancouver, Drum Magazine, The Globe and Mail.

AVIVA: How would you best describe your style of photography?
SK: Dark and fairly still. 6 years and I’m still finding my style.

AVIVA: If money/time was no object, what is your ultimate goal in this industry?
SK: Shooting for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair etc. etc. being happy and somewhat creatively satisfied is really all I care about.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
SK: Do what you love, the rest will follow.

More of Shimon’s work can be seen on his WEBSITE

I would like to thank Shimon for his time, and I hope that he keeps doing what he loves.

I wish him continuous success in this industry for many years to come.


How to Prepare For A Photoshoot for Models

Image Credit: Photo-IMS Photographic, MUA/HairStylist-Mallory McGowan

There are several things that a model can do in order to help make a photoshoot run smoothly. Sure, the photographer’s job is to take good photos, but most photoshoots are two-way streets (that’s not including shoots that involve make-up artists, assistants, hair stylists, and wardrobe people). Regardless of who is getting paid,

Here are some things that a model can do to prepare for a shoot:

1. Make sure that you have the photographer’s (stylist’s, MUA’s, etc) phone number.(Emails are not enough) If you are going to be late, you should call to let them know that you are not simply flaking out. People put a lot of time and energy into preparing for a shoot.

2. Have a list of things that you need for a photoshoot ahead of time. With that in mind, ask the photographer (or whoever is creating the concept) to let you know what you should bring, and then bring some extras. What I mean by extras is a few more changes of wardrobe, shoes, etc.

3. If you are doing your own make-up, be sure to bring your make-up kit with you. Even if you do your make-up at home, bringing your kit to the shoot allows for touch-ups if necessary.

4. If you are shooting lingerie, esp if it’s see through, be sure to cut the tags/labels off. It adds work for the photographer when he/she is finishing the photos in post production.

5. Look at a few magazines that show the style of images that you are looking to get. For example, if you want fashion images, check out the models’ poses and expressions in Vogue, Elle., Harper’s Bazaar, and 125 Magazine. If you do glamour/bikini/fitness/lingerie, check out Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Maxim, FHM, Oxygen, and Playboy. Magazines, catalogs, ads-study the poses and expressions. There is a reason why those photos are used that way, and that reason is-the photos are aesthetically pleasing and easy to look at.

6. It’s not enough to just look at magazines. You should try some of the poses that you like before your photoshoot. The reason for that is because no matter how beautiful you are, not every pose/expression will suit you. Look at your poses/expressions in the mirror, practice, practice, practice. Then again, even if something looks good in the mirror, it may not look good in a photo due to the difference in angles between the way you looked at yourself in the mirror and the angle at which the photographer captured it.

7. Take care of your nails. Get them done. No, I don’t mean spend $100 on a manicure/pedicure. I mean, trim them accurately, and paint them a nice colour.

8. Wax/shave your legs, bikini line, and armpits. Unless the concept is au naturelle nude photographs, it is probably a good idea to always remove unnecessary body hair. Also, do not wax/shave right before the shoot, or else you’ll have razor burn/red marks from doing so, which add more unnecessary retouching work for the photographer. It’s best to just keep shaved/waxed. 😉

9. Drink water and avoid salty foods and alcohol for at least 3 days before the shoot. You don’t want to appear dehydrated and hung-over in your photos.

10. Get plenty of sleep before your shoot (and no partying). Eight hours is usually what most people need to feel well rested. If you are tired, have dark circles, and bags under your eyes, you will not look your best in your photos.

11. If you’re bringing props/accessories, prepare everything that you need to bring to the shoot the night before it. Have a checklist of things you need, and check them off as you put them into your suitcase/duffel bag that you take to shoots. This almost eliminates the chance of forgetting something when you go to your shoot, not to mention prevents the unnecessary stress the day of the shoot when you’re running late and have not packed yet.

12. If you’re shooting outside, and the forecast predicts heat and sun, bring sunscreen, water and a towel. Also, it’s helpful to bring make-up with you to the location, in case you need to do some touch ups, after you sweat it off.

13. Before you leave your house, make sure that you know exactly where you are going and where you’re meeting the photographer/team. There is nothing worse than not knowing where to meet everyone, and appearing like a flake because you couldn’t find the rest of the people and didn’t have any phone numbers to contact them.

14. Whether you’re driving, taking a cab, bussing, or walking, leave a little bit earlier than you think you should. You never know when traffic will prevent you from being on time, or some other mishap will cost you some time.

15. If you have nude coloured underwear, bring it just in case you’re wearing see through items, and you’re not comfortable having them see through.

16. If there are any accessories that you are bringing, make sure they are packed nicely, so you are not going through a mess of tangled up necklaces looking for the right one to use.

17. Have the “How?”, “What?”, “When?”, “Where?” “Who?” of the photoshoot figured out, and preferably in writing BEFORE the shoot. Is the shoot TF or Paid? What is the purpose of the shoot? Where will it be? When are you supposed to be there? (don’t accidentally mix up the dates)Who else will be there? (will there be other people around, as in hair/make-up/etc.)

I hope this was helpful. If you have any other points to add, please use the comment section, or simply comment via my Facebook Page.

Thank you for reading,

How To Spot Fad Diets and Why They are Popular

Image Credits: Photo-IMS Photographic, Model-Ian Simpson

I visit modeling forums daily. There is one subject that comes up in the forums at least 3 times per week.
That subject is something along the lines of:

“I need to lose weight fast. Do you have any advice?”

I took a few courses on fitness and nutrition in order to fill my timetable in the first two years of university. There, I learned a few things about weight loss and I still have the textbooks and notes from those classes to refer back to.

One of the things that came up when we were learning about weight loss is the popularity of fad diets. The main reason fad diets are popular is because they claim to provide quick solutions to weight problems. People want to believe that a certain diet will work, and they have nothing to lose by trying. However, what they don’t realize is that they are enabling the creators of fad diets to capitalize on their insecurities and fantasies. Fad diets are based entirely on marketing gimmicks that appeal to public desires and fears.

Why else are fad diets popular? Why do people resort to fad diets?
~Girls who see slim models in magazines want to become skinny fast
~Women are told that skinny=beautiful
~Men are concerned about not being muscular enough
~Being overweight is a huge problem all over the world
~People want to believe in something because they think they can get great results, which will make them happy.
~People want to achieve desired results without an investment of time and energy.

The bottom line is, people want to be happy, and some will attempt to fulfil that desire for happiness by allowing themselves to be ripped off. Don’t fall victim to aggressive marketers. It’s amazing to learn that Americans spend 30+ billion dollars/year on fad diets.

The following are the hallmarks of fad diets:
1. Promote quick weight loss. Almost any diet that indicates you will lose more than 2 lbs/week, is a fad diet. The healthiest way to lose weight is by losing about 1-2 lbs/week over a more extended period of time.

2. There are limited food selections. You are told to cut out certain food groups. A healthy diet consists of a variety of food groups and encourages balanced eating.

3. Use of testimonials. First off, how do you know the testimonials are real? I’ve read about how some people are getting paid to say good things to promote a diet. I could say right now that The Grapefruit Diet made me super healthy and slender, and how do you know that I’m not lying to you? And no, I have never been and will never go on a fad diet (that’s the honest truth).

4. It claims to be a cure-all. Not only will you lose weight, but you will also reduce your stress levels, improve your memory and stop the aging process. Wouldn’t it be nice if one pill could do all that? Life would be so easy…we’d all just take the pill, stay peaceful, look young, feel happy, and be slim and beautiful.

5. It criticizes the scientific community. For some reason, these diets are miraculous and whatever scientific research shows does not matter. The people who created the diet almost always guarantee it to work: “It’s a miracle!”.

6. Expensive supplements are recommended. This is so that the company behind creating the fad diet can profit even more from your hopes and dreams. “You must buy Supplement X in order to achieve the maximum results”.

7. There’s no mention of permanent lifestyle changes. Oh yeah, that’s because with a fad diet, weight loss is so easy that you can achieve instant results. Wrong. Although you will lose weight when you go on a fad diet, unless you make permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits, you WILL gain back the weight that you’ll have lost and then some.

8. There’s no mention of consulting a doctor before going on it.Doctors are the ones that approve diets/lifestyle changes, and almost all legitimate diets/exercise routines ask to consult a doctor before beginning a program.

9. The rigid diet plan does not allow for flexibility. So, forget going out with friends for dinner at your favorite restaurant, and ice cream-don’t even think about it.

Remember the old adage:

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

I hope the above ways will allow you to spot a fad diet, and make good decisions about your weight loss goals. It’s one thing to lose weight quickly, but it’s another to keep it off for a long time.

In my next article about dieting and weight loss, I will discuss what entails a good weight loss plan.

Thank you for reading, I hope this is helpful.