Category Archives: celebrities

FEATURED MODEL: Valya Romanova looks beautiful as ever!

Valya Romanova has always been known for her stunning looks.

Over the past few years, she has accomplished more than many models can only dream of.

Valya is smart, hard-working and absolutely beautiful.

She is highly educated and her modeling portfolio has become the envy of many aspiring models. The Florida-based beauty serves as an inspiration to many girls from all over the world to keep on going after their dreams.

Valya is sexy, sweet and gorgeous. She is living her childhood dreams to the max.

Valya has been seen in Maxim, FHM, GQ and many other publications worldwide. She has thousands of fans from all over the world.

Check out some of her amazing photos…

Above: Photo by Nino Batista

Above: Photo by Chris Lennon

Above: Photo by Tony Hayes

If that wasn’t enough, follow her on Facebook and Instagram. She always posts amaingly great pictures!

Valya Romanova: Beauty and Brains, Living Her Dreams in the United States

Valya Romanova and was born and raised in Russia. Ever since she was a little girl, she was fascinated by fashion. Valya dreamed that one day she would be that girl in the magazine.     Valya3byJohnFisher Above photo by: John Fisher

When she was a teenager, she modeled in Russia. Shortly after graduating high school, Valya left to go to college in the USA . She didn’t model in college because she was focused on her education.


Above photo by: Gary Miller

Just from talking to her for a short time and reading about her, I can see that she is far more than just a pretty face. Valya is extremely smart and ambitious. She possesses the kind of ambition that inspires people in many ways.


Above photo by: John Fisher

After she graduated from college, she decided to continue pursuing her modeling dream. Valya posted her modeling profile online and the rest is history.

She has been featured in FHM Magazine, Maxim Magazine and dozens of other popular publications. In a relatively short time, Valya accomplished more than many models can only dream of.


Above photo by: Chris Fisher (FHM Cover)

In addition to being beautiful, Valya has a ballet, figure skating and gymnastics background. She is interested is swimsuit, fitness, glamour and fashion. Valya is also an actress.

Here is how she feels about succeeding as a model: “I am fascinated seeing my dream coming true”


Above photo by: John Fisher

Valya developed an amazing portfolio and a stellar resume.

When she is not modeling, she is working as a physician’s assistant. Valya has got to be the sexiest physician’s assistant ever!


She is very beautiful, talented, hard working and smart. I’m very excited to be able to share her story with you all. Valya is fantastic and I can’t wait to see her on many magazine covers in the future.

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Model Mayhem. 🙂


Featuring: Top Canadian Bikini and Glamour Model Jacqui Childs

Jacqui has been a model and actress since her first pageant at age 14.


By age 21, she had been published numerous times including the “shoot that started it all” with the legendary David Mecey for Venus Swimsuit Catalog. She had also appeared as an extra in films with John Travolta and Lee Majors.


After taking 15 years off to raise her family, she re-entered the industry after doing a boudoir photo-shoot just for fun, which led to an appearance in the Toronto Sun as the daily Sunshine Girl. Shortly after that, she became an Anchor for Naked News and has had the opportunity to travel the world and interview some amazing personalities and characters.


She has completed over 150 photo-shoots and has been published over 30 times in the last two years. Jacqui has also been on many magazine covers, including: The Plan Magazine, FemmeXposure Magazine, RHK Magazine, and much more. She has definitely become one of the top bikini and glamour models in Canada.


Most recently, she the opportunity to participate in the filming of a comedy sitcom pilot being pitched to all the major networks and has achieved Social Media Celebrity Status after having her Facebook page verified and grow to over 1.4 Million Fans in less than a year.


In a very short time, Jacqui has accomplished more than many models hope to achieve in their entire career.


Her story is inspiring because she re-entered the modeling industry at an age when many models feel they need to move on to something else. It’s definitely only a matter of time before we see her featured on another magazine cover.


Jacqui is beautiful, smart and hard working. She has a great attitude towards the industry as a whole that will serve her well 🙂


Jacqui can also be found on and is very active with both Twitter and Instagram. You can find her on Model Mayhem as well.


Model Ana Braga continues to shine

Ana Braga is a great example of a model who followed her dreams and achieved her goals. She is absolutely stunning and possesses a great work ethic. Ana is amazing.


Photo by: Goodlivin’ Productions LLC

In a very short time, Ana has become an international sensation, having been featured in Playboy Brazil, Playboy Mexico, Playboy Romania, FHM Spain, People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Zoo, FHM Philippines,, Fighters Only South Africa and multiple other magazines.


Almost every time I look at her Facebook page, she has a new magazine feature that will inspire aspiring models and generate a lot of comments from her hundreds of thousands of fans.


Ana was interviewed on AH Life & Style a while back and I just can’t help but share more photos of this beautiful lady.


What’s great about Ana is that she is not just a beautiful girl on the outside. She also has a beautiful heart. Ana supports the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society and is an advocate of helping animals.


I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to chat with her before, as she is a very kind individual that shows you can be beautiful on the outside and inside.


I mean really…who wouldn’t fall in LOVE with Ana? 🙂

Featuring International Cover Model and Celebrity Anais Zanotti

Anais Zanotti is a Miami-based, French-Italian born and raised in St. Tropez, France. After relocating to the USA to learn English, Anais quickly became an internationally-known cover model.


In just a little over a year, she has graced the covers of over 35 magazines that most models can only dream of. Not only that, but she has become an inspiration to many aspiring models worldwide.

Some of the magazines and publications that she has been featured in include: FHM, Maxim, Playboy, GQ, Cosmopolitan, People Magazine, Fighters Only, New York Post and  many more!

What’s really cool about Anais is that she is not just a pretty face. She is also an actress and stuntwoman with over 900 jumps under her belt. She’s just awesome!


AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a model or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
ANAIS ZANOTTI: When I was younger, I did not really think about modeling until I got close to 14. I was approached by a photographer while I was at the beach with my mom. He asked if he could do a few shots of me. It ended up being a few hours. It was my first time and I was a natural.

I discovered that I liked to pose. I never thought it could be my career one day. After that shoot, I went to a modeling agency with my mom and started to do teen work, in between school. I did not take my career seriously until I was 19 when I started to work in St. Tropez, France, at the beach and traveling in the winter to bigger cities like Paris, Lyon, Nice, Milano, and etc..


AVIVA: What inspired you to become a model?
AZ: A few people inspire me. One of them was Brigitte Bardot, one of the first glamour models we had in France, she was a bombshell. There is also Monica Bellucci, Italian actress and model. and Cindy Crawford, who still inspires me.


AVIVA: What do you feel is the best part about your job?
AZ: Traveling and meeting new people in the same field. Getting published all over the world is very cool too and being able to have a flexible schedule.


AVIVA: What achievements in your career are you most proud of?
AZ: Really, so many things. I thought it was probably just a dream. I have been published in FHM France and Entrevue France, which was huge because it’s my own country. Also, I was stoked to have 4 pages in Entrevue. It’s a celebrity magazine. I’ve been in Playboy, which is very nice as well. Recently, I found myself in Cosmopolitan and People Magazine. That was pretty intimidating to me.


AVIVA: What do you believe is the key to getting published in magazines (apart from your look)?
AZ: I think lots of magazines are looking for someone who has something different and can be interesting to the audience.

There are so many beautiful models, but I have something else, other than just being pretty. I am a stunt woman, I have over 950 skydives. I’ve jumped from airplanes and helicopters, and soon, a hot-air balloon 🙂 I have done a few stunts for TV and commercials.


AVIVA: What piece of advice would you offer to an aspiring model who could be reading your interview?
AZ: I think if you believe in your dreams, they will come true. It’s very important to build a strong portfolio. First, get some nice head shots and body shots, so you can apply to a modeling agency to get more catalogue work and commercials. After that is done, you can start doing other types of shoots and being creative.

I think it’s very important to shoot with people who are very talented. Having a strong portfolio will get you more work quickly and they will not think of you as an amateur who shoots with just anybody.

After my shoot is done I always ask the photographers to send me a link on Smugmug or wherever I can see all images from our shoot. It’s very good because you learn about your poses, what to do better, what to avoid doing, your best poses, etc. When a photographer sends your shots, make sure they send them to you in Hi-Res without the watermarks, so you can use it to print for your portfolio or for publications.

Last thing, if you ever shoot nudes, it’s better to do it with a photographer that you know and trust. You want to be in control of your images and want to know where they are going to be seen.


AVIVA: How long after you started modeling did it take before you got noticed by the editors of major publications?
AZ: It’s hard to say. When I was in France, all I did it was agency jobs. I had no clue that I could published myself. I was published through the agency. When I restarted my career here it took 6 months and I was doing small magazines and a lot of online blogs. After a year, I was getting covers and from that I started to grow quickly.


AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
AZ: Big thanks to Model Mayhem who helped me come back into modeling. I met so many people through that modeling site.

You can check out Anais’ website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. 🙂

The photos published here have been submitted by Anais.



AH Life & Style Celebrity Feature: Amy Markham

We are thrilled to have a submission from Amy Markham’s management for this celebrity feature. Check out her amazing images and bio to find out why she is taking the industry by storm.

She is an inspiration to many models and is living proof that if you have a great look and work hard, you will succeed as a model. Amy Markham is an international model who has graced the covers and pages of many publications that most models only dream of. She has also appeared in countless ads worldwide.

As a small town girl from Texas, Amy has worked around the clock to reach global success and recognition and has shot covers and features for publications both in US and internationally.

As seen in her celebrity features in top international publications such as Esquire, Maxim, GQ, FHM and Vogue, this self-made model has made it well known to the world she was more than a one hit wonder in the industry.

Amy Markham is very well known for being diverse and for her exotic looks. As a blend of European and Korean, she is blessed with ethnically ambiguous features that make her simply irresistible to both the camera and magazine readers across the world. With one click of a camera, her dazzling exotic eyes, luscious brown locks, and her flawless skin certainly makes her stand out from the crowd of other models.


From Australia to the USA, South Africa to Mexico, Amy’s global popularity has been on the rise as she has become one of the most searched celebrity Maxim and FHM models in the world.

Not only is she a highly sought after and successful print model, Ms. Markham has also branched into television and can be seen on major networks such as Telemundo and Univision. She can also be seen on major news channel segments and interviews around the US covering her special appearances at events and shows. Additionally, she was also the host of BiteMeTv, a TV show based in Los Angeles that was recently a winner of the LA Web Series Festival 2011.

She also just signed a celebrity endorsement contract with Nutri-Sups Worldwide, one of the world’s largest supplement distribution companies in the fitness industry.


Amy is also a member of PETA and is an animal rights activist and supports animal adoption. She resides in Texas with her 3 adopted dogs in her downtime and travels between Texas, Los Angeles and the rest of the world for her career.

We wish Amy continued success in the industry and we look forward to seeing more of her published work in international publications. To see more of Amy, check out her WEBSITE, Facebook, and Whosay. The images featured in this article were submitted. 🙂

Markus Klinko’s Photography Workshops

I have had the honour and the pleasure to interview Markus Klinko about his and Indrani’s outstanding photographic achievements a few times.

In the first interview, I got to know more about him and his remarkable success story, in which he and Indrani rose to stardom to become two of the hottest photographic talents in the industry.

Later, as I continued to follow his career, I was thrilled to have been able to catch up with him and learn about his new book and views on Model Mayhem.


Now, for the first time in almost two decades of producing iconic images of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Markus Klinko is sharing his knowledge with photographers of all levels who are ready to take their own work to new heights.


Markus Klinko’s first upcoming workshop will be held on July 13th at the legendary Smashbox Studios. It will feature top agency models, in addition to celebrity hair, make-up and styling teams and so much more! 🙂

For just $1495 you can reserve a spot for yourself and learn from the master. If I was a photographer and had the budget to go, I would definitely be going. When it comes to photographic techniques, he tells it like it is and he knows what he is talking about.  Icons1  Imagine getting individualized attention and tips on how you can take your own photography to the next level from one of the greatest photographic talents in the world.


Together with his partner Indrani, their photos have appeared on the covers of such magazines as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, American Photo, Photo France, as well as 7 covers of Digital Photo Pro Magazine and many more.

In addition, they have worked with numerous celebrity subjects including: Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, David Bowie, Mariah Carey, Kate Winslet, Eva Mendes, Will Smith, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Naomi Campbell, Britney Spears, Anne Hathaway, Katie Holmes, and many others.


To find out more about the workshop or register, click HERE. Space is limited and it’s definitely an opportunity that you don’t want to miss.

Images in this post copyright: Markus & Indrani.

Markus Klinko & Indrani’s "ICONS" Exhibit in L.A.

I am honoured to have been invited to the opening of Markus Klinko and Indrani’s ICONS Exhibit in L. A. hosted by gorgeous Carmen Electra on January 10, 2013.

Markus and Indrani have collected nearly two-decades of iconic images and put together a fantastic book, called Icons: The Celebrity Exposures of Markus and Indrani. I am also proud to say that I have a copy of the book, thanks to Markus 🙂 I love the book. I think it would make a great gift for any of your photography-loving friends or anyone who loves to look at amazing photos of celebrities.

I am extremely fascinated by their work and their book. It is not a surprise that they are the “go-to” photographers for the hottest Hollywood stars.

Carmen Electra looked absolutely stunning as did Indrani.




Celebrities, artists, photographers and fashion fanatics attended the event.

The exhibit in LA opened January 10th and will run through January 26th.

Check out Markus & Indrani’s website and Facebook page.

Also, these images do not belong to me, but Markus gave me permission to use them on my blog.


Markus Klinko on ICONS, the Exhibits, Skinny Models, Model Mayhem and More!

Since my first interview with celebrity photographer Markus Klinko, many exciting events have happened in his and Indrani’s careers. Markus and Indrani have been working together for nearly two decades and have produced an admirable body of work. Their portfolio includes stunning images of the hottest A-list stars  like Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Mary J Blige, Kate Winslet, Katie Holmes, Eva Mendes, Anne Hathaway, Will Smith, Elijah Wood, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Keanu Reeves, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Val Kilmer, Serena Williams, Jay-Z, and Kanye West.

Markus and Indrani have also collaborated extensively with The Honourable Daphne Guinness, also known as the couture queen. The Legend of Lady White Snake: Tribute to Alexander McQueen is a great piece directed by Indrani which sums up their collaborations with Daphne Guinness.

Markus Klinko is an inspiration to many photographers. Not only is he a true artist and a great talent, but he is also a man of integrity. I have talked to very few people who have achieved his level of success and yet remained so grounded.

I am honoured to have had the pleasure of another interview with Markus. It was great to catch up again and find out what two of photography’s biggest talents have been up to in the last couple of years. In this interview, he not only gives praise to modeling sites like Model Mayhem which have provided many models with the opportunity to enter the industry, but also he takes a firm stand against anorexic models. He also told me more about his new book, ICONS, the upcoming Exhibits, and more.

AVIVA: Could you tell everyone a general outline of what has happened in the past year in terms of your show, additional agency representation, and other significant events in your career?
MARKUS KLINKO: We are really in the beginning of a new chapter.  We are breaking away from that time when we initially entered the industry, found some initial success, and then becoming kind of well-known, the TV show Double Exposure. The book is summing it all up. Now, we are moving to Los Angeles from New York. We are also going to be on the West Coast like you. That has several reasons: I think that Los Angeles is becoming more and more of a global fashion city; many big brands have relocated their head offices to Los Angeles; in addition to shooting stills, Indrani and I have also started producing and directing short films, commercials, videos, and we might actually produce and direct a feature film; we are also engaged in creating a fashion line and a lifestyle brand; we have all these new ventures that we are involved in. Of course, the photography that we do will still be at the forefront of our activity but we are branching out into all kinds of new and different things that are related to fashion.

We are open-minded in the style of photography and our style has relaxed itself quite a bit since we started. In terms of production, we are a lot lighter now and we don’t necessarily need those gigantic productions that we used to put up. We can still get great images, in fact even better images. I’m actually really excited.

I mean you’ve seen the shots that we did with Daphne Guinness. She is a spectacular subject. She is a celebrity but is also an artist. Daphne is really a fashion icon and she has a huge following. We’ve done the film and it won a lot of awards, although the film is more of Indrani’s doing and responsibility, I am involved but just not in the center. I love still photography more and I’m not as much involved in video and film stuff as Indrani, that’s really her passion.

Definitely, I would say the book is a very significant milestone in our career, as well as the exhibits that we have coming up.

We really want to produce images that are not just for magazines or commercial purposes, but that are also art which will be used in galleries and books. This is another big development in our career.

AVIVA: Could you tell us more about your book, Icons?
MK:  Indrani and I have been working together now for 18 years. In a way, this book is a celebration of our 18th anniversary. It really looks back on all of our best work, which is very much focused on celebrities, like actresses and musicians, but it also includes a variety of models, like Naomi Campbell, Natalia Vodianova, Laetitia Casta, and Iman. They have transitioned from being models to becoming famous actresses and TV personalities. The book is doing phenomenal right now. I am happy that it has been well-received all over the world. We’ve been working on this book very, very hard and it’s really a labour of love for us. So much work goes into making a book. Even though the images in the book were not specifically shot for it, they were all shot for other opportunities that have come along but to put it together along with the text took a lot of work. The text in the book is about each photoshoot, there were hundreds of hours of interviewing with our writer. We’ve described our entire career when we were writing about these photoshoots, some of which were done 12-13 years ago, although quite a few were done six months ago. It really spans our entire career. This book has been one of our main focuses this year, in addition to growing our activity in the film and commercial.

We’ve got fantastic feedback from all the people who are in the book and their publicists/managers, we are pretty close with some of them. Actually, Iman wrote the foreword for the book and so did Fern Mallis, the founder of New York Fashion week. We have two forewords in the book, one by Iman and one by Fern Mallis. Fern is a very important person in the New York fashion world because she is the initial founder of New York Fashion Week. We really appreciate the fact that they have agreed to write with us.


One of the reasons why we are so excited about ICONS is because it is a wonderfully-printed book and yet it sells for as little as $15.00 on Amazon right now. Some of the other photography books are generally more expensive, some can even be above $100.00. We wanted to bring out a book that was very accessible to young people and to people of all income levels.

AVIVA: How about models?
MK: We typically don’t work too often with models, because celebrities are preferred for some of the top advertising campaigns and cover shoots. However, I feel that models will have a big comeback on the covers as well as spokespeople in big advertising campaigns. I am starting to see models coming back to land covers and I remember a period of about 5-8 years when almost no models were used on covers of big magazines. I feel that we will see a return to models being featured on magazine covers and in advertising campaigns.

AVIVA: Wouldn’t it be cheaper to get a model for the same advertising campaign or a shoot though?
MK: That’s absolutely true, but you have to understand that advertisers and magazines know that there is a worldwide interest in celebrities. I mean even with our book, the title is ICONS, and it might as well be “celebrities” or the “unreachable Gods and Goddesses of our time”, but that’s what the public wants. The public really loves to put people on a pedestal. Therefore, the effect that an advertising campaign or a magazine cover has when it features a very well-known celebrity is a lot stronger than if it’s a model, especially if the model is new. Although the new model might appeal to some insider fashion crowd, but the reaction of the general public is so much stronger if it is a celebrity. When we photograph Beyonce for a L’Oreal campaign, everyone talks about it, but when we photograph models, even if they are great models from Elite, IMG, and other big agencies, the reaction is not the same. If we do a shoot with a celebrity, it’s going to get picked up everywhere, from Perez Hilton, to New York Post, which is not the case if we just shoot a model. I think that’s why the industry shifted that way.

I hope that new supermodels are going to be created soon and that the public is going to accept them. We are certainly ready for it.

AVIVA: Can you tell us about the exhibit at Lincoln Center on Dec. 11, 2012 as well as any other ones?
MK: The Lincoln Center is not only the world’s most fabulous Center for The Performing Arts but it’s also the location where New York Fashion Week takes place. On December 11th, we open Lincoln Center and then we will be in Zurich, Switzerland on January 6th, where we have another ICONS evening, where we are doing Photo 13, it’s the biggest photography festival in Switzerland. Then, we are opening the same exhibit as Lincoln Center in Los Angeles at a famous art gallery on January 12.

The first day at Lincoln Center will be mostly for the Press, VIPs and celebrities, but it will be open to the public from the 12th-16th of December. It’s at Alice Tully Hall, which is the biggest hall at Lincoln Center. We are going to be displaying 8 feet tall prints that are all the highlights of the ICONS book. We are very excited! Then that same exhibit will be in Zurich and Los Angeles.

We are also hoping that it will be in Hong Kong and that it will go around the world.

AVIVA: Since she is on the cover of your book, I’ve got to ask, what was Lady Gaga like to work with?
MK: Gaga is phenomenal. She is definitely, alongside with Daphne Guinness, and probably Britney Spears and Beyonce, Eva Mendes, and Kate Winslet, has been part of a handful of our favourite photoshoots that we have done. Of course, some of them we’ve worked with many times. Beyonce-we worked with her over and over again. Lady Gaga…we only shot her once and that was for Hello Kitty, it was a fantastic experience. She has actually used those photos as part of her album package. Gaga is one of the most interesting stars in the world right now; I was fascinated with her intelligence, the level of artistry and knowledge that she has, not just in her domain as a singer but also photography, fashion and general art. She is very, very educated and really smart.

Lady Gaga is one of those women, who, like Madonna, have these super glamorous careers, but they are very intelligent and very much in charge of their own careers. Lady Gaga more so than any other artist that we have worked with. Despite the fact that she has a large entourage of people that work for her, she is completely in charge and she dictates exactly how she works. It’s extremely clear after we’ve worked with her that nobody tells Gaga what to do, she tells people what to do. She is a great collaborator when we worked with her, we had a wonderful exchange of ideas, but she doesn’t have handlers that tell her what to do. A lot of artists have an entourage of people that handle everything for them, do everything for them, tell them what to do, what to wear, how to look, how to smile, how  to talk, but definitely not Gaga. She is not contrived, everything with Gaga comes naturally-that’s just who she is.She is not fake. She is super cool, fun, and is very, very passionate about what she does. I love her. She’s a great dancer, great entertainer, wonderful fashion leader, she’s a great superstar. The fact that she agreed to be on the cover of our book is a big deal for us. We are very proud to have her.
AVIVA: Have you ever worked with Kate Upton?
MK: No, but I would love to work with her. She is very cute and sexy. She definitely embodies the kind of new model that is exactly what I was talking about earlier. Those kind of girls are going to bring the models back onto the magazine covers and into the advertising campaigns because she is more relate able to women. I like to talk about this actually. Maybe we’ve talked about this before, but specifically about the body shape of a girl like Kate Upton. She is a real woman with curves; she is not a skinny anorexic 90-lb 6ft tall girl. Let me be more clear though. I am not against skinny girls. If a girl is naturally skinny, they can be very sexy and very beautiful but what I don’t like is all these modeling agents and all these designers pushing these poor 14-15 year-old girls, who happen to be very tall and very thin already, to become anorexic and be so unattractively skinny. I just don’t understand why and who wants that. I think that this is why celebrities have taken over the covers of fashion magazines because I think that people aren’t interested in skeletons. People want real women.
I can tell you for sure that women with curves are hotter than women that are sticks. But again, when Kate Moss first started out, she was very skinny and yet attractive. However, when you look at girls who are naturally a little bit curvy and they are forced to become so skinny that they are no longer themselves, then I get very upset.

To all the designers out there: If girls don’t fit the sample size, just make the sample bigger. That’s it. That’s the solution.Why do the samples have to be so small that no normal woman can fit into it? I just don’t get it. Take the biggest stars of today-none of them are super skinny and they look fantastic in designer clothes. Why do we need girls who model them to be insanely unhealthy? This is another reason why we dedicated our book, ICONS, to celebrities and women who are real trendsetters, like Beyonce, Eva Mendes, Lindsay Lohan-those are real women with real bodies.

I wish that the modeling world would be a bit more diverse. I think that it’s good that Model Mayhem exists. I think at least it gives a chance to girls who are not necessarily 5’11” and ultra thin to start modeling and they can do different kind of photos and maybe even get discovered. They may end up on the cover of Sports Illustrated, because clearly they are not looking for skeletons and I think Kate Upton is a very good example. I’m sorry for the long answer, but I’m very passionate about this.
AVIVA: That’s great. I wish that more photographers would be like you when it comes to thinking about this subject.
MK: I think that we need to speak out about this. The editor of Italian Vogue, Franca Sozzani, actually started a campaign within Italian Vogue with many of the Vogues following her because she is absolutely against skeletons. She has made very strong statements in press conferences that Italian Vogue will not publish sick-looking skinny girls and that they are showcasing beautiful healthy women. You can’t ask girls that are already skinny to keep losing weight-it’s unattractive, unhealthy, and it traumatizes the rest of the world. Young women all over the world develop this complex that they can’t live up to that standard of having a size zero body when it’s really a non-issue.
Some of the sexiest actresses I’ve shot, that are in the book, are a size 4 or 6-not zero. Why should they be?

AVIVA: I agree. I think that it’s good to have a well-taken care of, healthy, proportionate body and it doesn’t matter if it’s a 2 or a 4 or a 6, and then find clothes that complement the best features.
MK: I fully agree. We are on the same page. I’m not afraid to talk about it.

AVIVA: Do you foresee doing another book, exhibit, or TV show in the next few years?
MK: Yes. Absolutely. We are already talking about another book and we are negotiating a new TV show. This is only the beginning of some of the new activities that we have undertaken over the last two years.

AVIVA:What are some upcoming plans for you and Indrani in the near future that you can talk about?
MK: We have just signed a contract with the Gucci Group, which is a company that owns all of Gucci and other brands. Our partner in the exhibit at Lincoln Center is Girard-Perregaux, which is the watch brand that’s owned by the Gucci Group. They are the most high-end watch brand in the world, they have just recently been purchased by the Gucci Group and before that they were an independent Swiss watch-making brand at the highest level. We are actually going to be shooting all of their campaigns right now and we just started with an initial contract with them.They are going to be announcing it soon and they are actually the official sponsor of the Lincoln Center event. We are very happy and proud as this is a phenomenal partner. It’s phenomenal to be working with the Gucci Group.

We are also getting offers from galleries all around the world to join their roster of artists, so it’s a very exciting development for us.
I would like to once again thank Markus for his time and for the interview. I wish him and Indrani continued success.
You can check out their website and Facebook page.
**Images on this page have been used with the permission of Markus Klinko.Copyright Markus & Indrani**

Interview with Celebrity Photographer Arny Freytag

Arny Freytag is a very talented Playboy photographer based in Los Angeles, California. He knows how to bring out the best in people and his images are outstanding. It is not a surprise that he currently holds the record for the most Centerfolds shot and is under contract with Playboy Enterprises.

In addition to being able to create amazing images using amateur models, he is also well-known for his stunning photos of many celebrities, including Carmen Electra, Pamela Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith, Brooke Burke, Jaime Presley, Eddie Izzard, Shemar Moore, and many others.

Freytag has also appeared on many television shows, such as The Girls Next Door, Good Day LA, Extra, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and many more.

Currently, he is focused on helping glamour photographers step up their game by being one of the elite photographers who created Shoot The Centerfold. Shoot The Centerfold is where Arny Freytag joined forces with Jarmo Pohjaniemi, Byron Newman, and Ric Moore, all of whom are very successful and highly respected photographers.

I am honoured to share this interview with you all, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a photographer or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
ARNY FREYTAG: No, I started out as an Art Major first and then I stumbled into photography. I’ve been doing art since I was 5 years old and my mother was an artist. I realized I was much better at photography than I was at art.

AVIVA: And how did you stumble into photography? Did you have someone introduce you to it, or did you just one day pick up a camera and try it?
AF: I had to take a minor subject in art school, and I didn’t want to do pottery or sculpture, and photography was another option that was offered. So I thought, “OK, I will try it.” Then, I just fell in love with it immediately. I became a teacher assistant for the first six months, and really fell in love with it. After that, my art sort of faded into the background. Because I studied art for so long, I have a good understanding of light, composition, and shadows that a lot of guys don’t know unless they studied art.

Unless you studied art, you don’t know how light created texture, and shape, and form. I believe my understanding of light made a drastic difference in my career. Once you understand it, you can create the images you want.

AVIVA: I believe that this really is the difference between someone who knows what they are doing and someone who doesn’t.
AF: It very much is. That’s very true. I think what’s happening now, while I do a lot of seminars, is I see so much reliance on Photoshop that the art form is truly going away. There are not a lot of people out there that really know light and composition because those things can be fixed on the computer now; it becomes almost like a cartoon more than anything else.

AVIVA: I see that. Now would you say that magazines prefer more of a natural look as opposed to the “over-retouched” look?
AF: Yeah, I think they came full circle around for a couple of reasons. All the modeling agencies have what they call “Polaroids” and when you click on that you see the girls without make-up and without Photoshop, and that’s the real person you are getting. You are not getting the one that is Photoshopped and retouched to death so the agencies don’t want to fool the photographer into thinking that the girl looks one way when she looks nothing like that. So that’s why the untouched photos are provided. I think a lot of magazines are starting to do that because there was a huge lawsuit in England against Lancome where they lost millions of dollars on an ad campaign where they were selling an anti-wrinkle cream and it was all Photoshopped. The government then said, “That’s false advertising, the cream didn’t do it-your retouchers did”. If you Photoshop the wrinkles out, the cream didn’t do it-the computer did it.

So I think you will start seeing more truth in advertising because you can get sued for false advertising.

The other thing is, National Geographic does not do retouching at all. They got caught once on a cover and say that they will never do it again. 

So, I am all for not retouching. Most of my work is not retouched. I don’t use body make-up either.

We got to shoot centerfolds with an 8 by 10  box camera.

AVIVA: Could you explain what an 8 by 10 camera is?
AF: It’s a camera that has been around the longest. It is nothing more than a box with a lens on one side and a place where you put your film on the other side. The film is 8 by 10 inches. It’s a camera they used in the civil war; it’s a big box camera. We don’t use it anymore, but we shot centerfolds with that for 30 years because it provided us with the best image quality possible and there was nothing better than that. Now it’s digital, but in film days that was the best we had. They were never designed for people because you can’t move at all, and if a person moves even a quarter inch the image will be out of focus. So it was a very difficult camera to operate, but the quality was unbelievable. We spent days lighting, and posing, and working on wardrobe to make the image flawless because we didn’t have Photoshop; it didn’t exist. We had to get a perfect image and we did it in camera.

Photoshop) but myself, I don’t retouch my pictures at all. They retouch some of the covers once in a while, but really what you see is what you get with me. The other guys, I can’t speak for.

AVIVA: That’s amazing because there are people who say “if you can’t work in Photoshop, then you won’t succeed as a photographer”, but then there is you and you are living proof that they are wrong.
AF: I believe in pure photography. I don’t like Photoshop.

AVIVA: How did you feel about having Ken Marcus as a mentor?
AF: He is an incredibly good teacher. He is the most open and honest person I have ever met. He is never afraid to share secrets. Ken is very detailed and without him I would have never entered Playboy. I would have never got to where I am without Ken.

Ken is meticulous about detail.

AVIVA: Would you say that he is one of the best you ever met?
AF: As my mentor he made a huge difference in my career. I learned lighting and posing from Ken, which you can’t learn in school. No one really teaches posing in school, especially the type of posing needed for glamour and centerfold photography.

He is still a very good friend of mine.

AVIVA: What personal achievement are you most proud of?
AF: There are a few things. One is having the most centerfolds ever published and I did a pictorial of an Olympian years ago. We had I think 8 or 9 Olympians and they said that they wanted me to do a coffee table type book, like an art book. They said, “Don’t think Playboy, think outside the box”. They just gave me the crew and sent me off. It was so nice to have the freedom and not have to please the editor.

AVIVA: What piece of advice could you give to a photographer who aspires to shoot for Playboy?
AF: I think the main thing is try to shoot in their style but do not copy me. You know, they already have me, but they do work within a parameter, so shoot that style without copying me. Do something unique and different but not too far from what they have.

AVIVA: Good to know. I guess the other thing is “don’t give up and just keep submitting”?
AF: I’m not going to say that because usually you get one shot at this. The editor will look at your work and decide if they want to use you or not but he is not going to change his mind next month.

Going back to the Olympians…Christie Hefner actually sent me a letter saying “Thank you for taking Playboy to an entirely different level”. The New York Times also had an article about me where they said “Wow, Playboy is now shooting Olympians”, but then after that they said that Freytag took it to an entirely different level. It was very classy, and different from the Playboy look. Christie also really appreciated it.

AVIVA: What do you feel is the most critical success factor in a glamour model?
AF: I think the desire and the drive to make it happen but also the look (the face and the figure) are important. Obviously, that’s what you are selling, that’s your instrument. What I see is that girls who want to be a Pam Anderson or Carmen Electra don’t put the effort into making it happen. They just want to stand in front of the camera and say, “Well, make me a star”. It takes work and practice. You have to practice your facial expressions, your body positions, know your face, know your body, know your angles. Women like Pam and Carmen study and practice in front of the mirror constantly. They know exactly what works and what doesn’t work. When they come to a shoot, they can contribute because they know what works and what doesn’t. When you shoot a girl like that or a fashion model, you just turn the camera on and walk away. Once the lighting is done, you can just walk away because they move on their own. However, glamour models and Playmates, some of whom have never posed before, they are complete amateurs.

Did you know that?

AVIVA: No, not particularly. I didn’t expect to hear that, actually, they are mostly amateurs. So, usually they are first time posers?
AF: Yes. It’s their first time posing, and they are nude. There’s a lot of pressure and nerves. It’s pretty intense because here they are: their one chance at Playboy, they are at a studio in Los Angeles, they are staying at the mansion, they meet Hef, and the next thing they know they are in the studio with me and my crew, and it’s very intimidating. It’s quite an eye-opening experience. I mean it’s up to me to get the girls to move, do the expressions, and make them look sexy and all that, but I do tell them to go home and learn their face and their body by looking in the mirror and seeing what works. A lot of times they don’t. What I see with a lot of these amateur glamour types is that they don’t try enough. They think, “Oh, I’m a pretty girl I will just stand there and look great”, but that’s not enough. You have to contribute to the party. Don’t come to a photoshoot without ever practicing. You need to know what works with your face, your expressions, your smile, your body shape.

AVIVA: What do you personally look for in a model for any of your workshops?
AF: Well, the models at my workshops are basically Playmates. I have worked with them so I know them pretty well, and I know what works and what doesn’t work when I shoot with them. As far as the other models, I like to work with someone that wants to be there, not a girl who just wants attention, but a girl who wants to look her best. I am looking for someone who practices, who knows her body, and her face, and who really wants to contribute to the shoot.

AVIVA: Do you think that there is only one body type that is suitable for glamour modeling or are there various ones?
AF: I work with all different kinds of body types. I’m not really a big boob or small boob guy, and I don’t really care about that. It’s really the face I look at first. You have to have a great face and the body comes second.

AVIVA: I think that the first thing people look at when they look at the picture is the face. Then, if the face is not good, then they are not going to look at anything else. Is that correct?
AF: I think so too. Yeah, I agree.

AVIVA: Do you pre-visualize your photos or do you put the components together as you go?
AF: I absolutely pre-visualize everything. I don’t like surprises and I don’t hope that something is going to happen because it won’t, unless you set it up. There are many people who go out, trying to make “magic happen” but they don’t know what they are doing. Magic won’t happen unless you set the stage for it. You have to create it. By pre-visualizing, you set that up and you set the stage for success. I always have an idea before I go into the studio.

AVIVA: When you have an idea, do you also have plans for make-up and wardrobe as well?
AF: Yeah, we all have a meeting about everything before we go to a shoot. We plan all that stuff way ahead of time. You can’t just go to a shoot hoping that something good will happen.
AVIVA: Which photographers inspire(d) you and why?
AF: Well, I’ve been at this a long time so they are much older. Victor Skrebneski from Chicago. He does really dramatic lighting and his pictures are very sensual. I really like the dramatic look.
Richard Avedon is another one. He had an incredible sense of style and movement. He also had a fantastic ability to project a person’s personality in a photograph. His portraits weren’t just portraits, they were statements about the person. Another guy is David Hamilton. He is an English photographer and he was the guy who invented soft focus. David has a romantic, dream-like kind of quality about his images, which I think is very pleasant.

AVIVA: Could you tell me more about Shoot the Centerfold for those readers who may not have heard of it?
AF: It’s an educational based website where we are trying to teach very specific techniques for achieving the Playboy look and glamour photography. We host seminars, workshops, and we have DVDs coming out soon, and we also have posing guides to help people learn poses.

AVIVA: Great. Are any of them going to be online for people to look at?
AF: Yes, the posing guides are available now, and the DVDs will be available shortly.

It’s a very unique field because the models that I use haven’t posed before, so they need help on how to pose their body, as well as what to do with their legs and arms. When I’m on set, I generally have to tell the girls “do this with your left arm, do that with your right arm, move your legs this way, etc”. I’m very specific about what I want and a lot of them just don’t know. Many amateur models don’t know what to do with their hands, and wrong hand position can make you look awkward.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
AF: You have to have your heart and soul into this. You can’t go into this half-heartedly. It’s not a part time job. You have to have passion.
AVIVA: Would you say that that’s true for both models and photographers?
AF: Absolutely. I think it’s true for anything you do in life. Every successful person has reached their level of success because of passion. It’s not a job where you work 9-5 then go home and eat pizza and watch TV.
I feel very very fortunate to be able to do what  I am passionate about.

And I feel very fortunate to be able to interview such amazing and talented people like Arny Freytag. In case you missed it in the introduction, here is his WEBSITE.

(I recently read an interview with Arny by Digial Photo Pro, and it appears like we did the interview around the same time.)

I wish Arny continuous success in his career, and I am sure that we will all see many more Playboy covers and pictorials from him.

Aviva 🙂