Category Archives: inspiration

Robert Voltaire captures perfect pictures

When I first stumbled upon Robert Voltaire’s work, I instantly fell in love. He is definitely one of the best fashion photographers in North America.


His beautiful work has been published in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Max, GQ, Maxim, Men’s Health, French Photo and many more.


Above: Tailor for Esquire

Robert shoots model tests for agents in LA and NYC. Some of the agencies that he has great relationships with include: Next, Vision, Photogenics, LA Models, Elite, IMG, Ford, and many others.


Robert knows how to capture a stellar image and many models dream of working with him one day. His work is phenomenal.


I’m thrilled to be able to share these images with you. I want to thank Robert for giving me permission to use them for this feature 🙂


Above image credits: Donna Feldman model, Anthony Merante make-up



The images here belong to Robert Voltaire. Check out more of his work on his website, like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.



10 Tips on How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

So, we’ve survived the “end of the world” that was supposed to happen on December 21, 2012. This means that we now have another year to look forward to! YAY! 🙂

I want to take this opportunity to welcome the new year. If 2012 did not go for you the way you would have liked, then this is a good moment to reflect on what went well and what you could have done better and how.

A moment of reflection of the past year is an opportunity for all of us to learn from past mistakes, celebrate past successes and reflect upon what worked and what didn’t.

I’m happy to say that I was able to achieve 4/5 of my 2012 goals, which in my opinion is a pretty good percentage. Therefore, I want to share of the key steps that I took to achieve my 2012 new year’s resolutions.

I hope that as you read, you will realize that you too can achieve your goals in 2013!

1. Don’t make too many at once. The problem with picking too many resolutions is that you may find yourself overwhelmed and not know where to start. Try picking the top 3-5 that you want to stick to throughout the whole year. When you have 3-5, it makes it a lot easier for you to develop an action plan for yourself, as opposed to having 10 of them.

2. Make them specific. If your resolutions are too vague, like “I want to save money” or “I want to get in shape”, then it’s very hard to keep them. This is because a vague goal is not really a goal that you can shoot for because you are not 100% sure of where you truly want to go. When you don’t have a clearly defined destination, how can you get there? It’s like if you’re driving somewhere you’ve never been before and all you have is the name of the city or street but not the entire address. Sure, you might get to your destination, or you might just get frustrated, turn around and go back .

So, if you want to save money, find out how much you want to save and how long it should take you as well as why you’re saving. If you want to get in shape, be more specific like lose 5% body fat in 3 months or gain 10 lbs of muscle over the year.

3. Write them down. When you write down a goal, it’s a lot easier for you to remember it and to clarify what it is you want. Also, when you write down a goal, you are able to clear up some space in your head so that you can start to take your goal to the completion stage.

4. Be accountable to others. A goal is always more easily reached when you have people around you who support you in it. So, tell a supportive friend or family member about your goal and what you’re going to do to get there. Better yet, if you have a friend who has similar goals to yours because then you can motivate each other, discuss your successes and talk about areas for improvement.

5. Have an action plan. If your goal is fairly large and requires multiple steps, it’s best to write out all the steps and not just the goal itself. When entrepreneurs start a business, for example, they create a business plan which is supposed to guide them in the right direction. An action plan that you will use to reach your goals will help guide you.

6. Document your progress.  It’s always good to be able to measure how far along you are. Seeing progress is very motivating. For example, if your goal is to make it to the gym at least 3 times per week, then get a calendar and put a check mark on each day that you went to the gym.

7. Make them realistic.  If your goal is to save $1 million in one year and yet your income is only $30,000 per year, short of winning the lottery, such a goal is very unrealistic. Pick a goal can achieve or choose a resolution that you know you can keep, while at the same time ensure that you will challenge yourself in the achievement process.

8. Make them attainable.  Setting an attainable goal sets you up for success. After you succeed in achieving your initial goals, you will gain more confidence in yourself. Once you’re confident, you will be able to set more challenging goals.

9. Evaluate last year. Recall what your goals/resolutions were at the beginning of 2012 (since we’re entering 2013 now). Check off any goals that you achieved and resolutions that you’ve kept. Recall the process and the work that it took for you to get there. Find out what inspired you to keep going. Recall any challenges that you’ve faced and how you dealt with them.

You can reward yourself for the goals you’ve reached and learn from the challenges that you’ve faced. What was effective and could be applied to the next goal? What was not and thus should not be repeated?

10. Talk to people. Think of people you know (or friends of friends) who have succeeded in what they set out to do, especially if it’s something that you want to accomplish as well. Talk to them, ask them questions about what they did and how they did it. Most successful people who have “been there, done that” are willing to spend a few minutes to talk to someone about their successes, failures, and challenges. This can help you with your new year’s resolutions too.

The sprinter’s stance. Clothing by: Public Myth


I hope that you found this article helpful. I would be thrilled if you shared it 🙂

Happy New Year! 2012!

Hey guys & gals!

I want to take this time to wish you all a Happy New Year!

*May 2012 bring you everything that you wish for.

*May this upcoming year be a year that is filled with joy, laughter, friendships.

*Let this be the year that makes you go out there and achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

*Let this be the year that you go out and try something new.

*Let health, wealth, and happiness be in your life.

*Remember, everything is within your reach and it is up to you to go get it. Why not make 2012 be the year that you go and just do it?

I have financial, academic, fitness, and modeling goals for 2012 that I would like to accomplish. I wrote them down 🙂
Wishing you all the best!
Love always,

My Favorite 10 Inspiring Quotes for the Month of August

Hey everyone!!

Do you recall how starting in July, I told you that I will bring you 10 of my favorite inspiring quotes each month?
Here I am, staying true to my word, just like everyone should. 🙂

Below you will find 10 of my favorite quotes for this month. I will also let you know why I like them and what I think they represent to me. These quotes inspire me, and I am sure they will inspire YOU too.

1.It is better to fall short of a high mark than to reach a low one. – H. C. Payne
WHY? Think about it, if you aspire to just be a middle manager or to be published as a model in a local magazine that no one reads, then you are setting yourself up to be satisfied in a sub par position. Yeah, it’s easier than shooting high, and yes both of the aforementioned could be considered small “victories”.

What you need to do instead (considering the previous sentence as an example) is to aim to either be a CEO or to be published as a model in an internationally-renowned magazine.

That way, if you end up being an upper manager (instead of CEO) or published in a national publication (as opposed to an internationally renowned magazine), you will have succeeded further than if you had just aimed for a low mark to begin with.

2. Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.-Mahatma Gandhi
WHY?  Those who are willing to get what others don’t should be willing to put up with more struggles and drudgery than those who just want to be comfortable. Understand that if something is easy, then it’s most likely not worth doing and that everyone will be able to do it-which defeats the purpose of your competitive advantage.

3. Every single person I know who is successful at what they do is successful because they love doing it. -Joe Penna
WHY? Success takes time, and if you don’t love what you do, then you won’t stick at it long enough to be successful. I love doing this, and I will stick with it for quite a while.

4. When you know what you want, and you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it.-Jim Rohn
WHY? Because you will try very hard to think of every possible way to get something, provided that it truly is something you want. So, I guess, the first step would be finding out what it is that you want.

5.Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday. – Brian Tracy
WHY? Because people spend far too much time worrying about what they should have done, or how things should have been, and why things did not turn out the way they had hoped (yes, at times I am guilty of it too). The thing is, you can’t change your past, but what you can do is create your future. How you handle what happened in your past plays a big part in the creation of your future.

6. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
WHY? You must be well prepared to take an opportunity which can make you lucky; or you can also understand that the only thing you can do is prepare to the best of your ability and believe that you will soon find your opportunity.

7. While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity. – Publilius Syrus
WHY? Because I think that many people spend far too much time planning, analyzing, and thinking about “what if [fill in the blank with perceived problem]”. Too much thinking/planning/worrying/contemplating/etc and not enough doing causes them to miss opportunities.

8.You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can’t catch fish unless you put your line in the water. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t try. – Kathy Seligman
WHY? It’s great to have goals but if you don’t try to do anything and everything within your power to reach them, then you never will.

9. A goal is a dream with a deadline. – Steve Smith
WHY? A pipe dream is something that can come and go. A goal is a dream that is far more solid than that, with a plan and a deadline for reaching it. I have many goals, most of which I have spread into 5 year plans for the next 15 years.

10. Men do not succeed in business or in life, no matter how intelligent they may be, no matter how sharply their aptitudes are defined, no matter how brilliantly they may be educated unless they are oriented toward the proper goals and have the drive or motivating force to succeed. One has to want something mighty hard and keep on wanting things all his life.- Wallace H. Wulfeck
WHY? To succeed, you need to find out what keeps you motivated enough to keep going regardless of what circumstances you are faced with. You should also be motivated for the right reasons. There are so many amazingly intelligent people who are educated in top universities who are broke and generally unhappy with the rest of their lives, and the reason for that is because they have not clearly defined their ultimate life goals making it difficult to find out what motivates them.

So, what quotes inspire you? How do you stay motivated?

My Favorite 10 Inspiring Success Quotes for the Month of July

Starting this month…I’ve decided to bring something new to AH Life & Style. I want to share with you quotes that inspire me, and help me get through days when I feel disappointed in something.

Doesn’t everyone sometimes feel disappointed in something?

Sometimes, all you need is an inspirational message/quote from someone you admire in order to get yourself re-fired up.

So, without further delays…here are my July Quote Picks and why I chose them:

1. Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. ~David Frost
WHY? I am a big believer in doing what you love and have a huge passion for. When you’re doing what you feel is great for YOU, you will keep trying, and eventually, if you stick at it long enough, you will be one of the best at it. When you’re one of the best at it, don’t you think you’ve succeeded?

2. There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way. ~Christopher Morley

WHY? Well, if you’re not living life on your own terms…then whose life are you living? The best reward for succeeding at something is that you can keep doing what you want and have the freedom to choose what you would like to do and when. In other words, if you are rich/wealthy, but you have to work 80 hours a week at a job you hate, is the money really worth it for you?

3. Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success. ~Dale Carnegie
WHY? Your enthusiasm shows passion to people around you. Then, if you have a good idea of where you want to go, you will be more able to make a plan and try to follow it. As you’re following your plan, you must be persistent because there will be roadblocks that you will have to take care of before you arrive at your destination. Also, it is enthusiasm that will help you break through those roadblocks.

4. Eighty percent of success is showing up. ~Woody Allen

WHY? I think that this one especially applies to modeling and just general business sense. You can only miss an appointment or flake so many times before people mark you as “unreliable” and will never give you anymore chances. I knew a girl who flaked 3 times on one of the top glamour/fitness/fashion photographers in Canada, until eventually he has had enough and said “Well, I guess that’s it, then. Good luck”. Talk about a bad business move…

5. Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill
WHY? When you are pursuing something, you will encounter many roadblocks as well as sometimes take paths that take you in the wrong direction. It’s very important to remain positive because the more you fail, the closer you are to success (whatever that may be for you).

6. There is no point at which you can say, “Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.” ~Carrie Fisher
WHY? I think that the achievement of one goal is the starting point for another.
7. Sometimes in life you don’t always feel like a winner, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a winner. ~Lady Gaga
WHY? Everyone occasionally goes through times when they are disappointed that their hard work did not yield the desired results they are looking for. That’s OK, because often along the way they don’t realize the value of the experience, which can one day make a difference between winning and losing.
8. Whenever I hear, ‘It can’t be done,’ I know I’m close to success. ~Michael Flatley
WHY? There are always people around who will say “that’s impossible” or “that can’t be done” but what’s important is that you have a vision and you are on a mission to make that vision come true.
9. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.~ Thomas A. Edison
WHY? There is always the “what if factor”… as in…”what if after having 999 doors slammed in your face, the 1000th will open and all the 999 times times of rejection/failure will be worth the whatever it is that’s behind the 1000th door?” If you quit after failure #999, then you will never experience the success that awaits you behind door 1000. Then you really have failed not because you were rejected, but because you quit.
10. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all. In which case, you’ve failed by default. ~J.K. Rowling
WHY? Nothing risked, nothing gained. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward. If you are too afraid of risk and failure, you will never ever find out what you are capable of and how far you can go.


(Oh, I’m sure that when I go through these 10 years from now, I will have a completely different reason why I chose these right now)

What are some inspirational quotes that you like?

Your online friend,
Aviva =)

Iman by Markus Klinko & Indrani

Today, while browsing around on Facebook, I couldn’t help but notice Markus & Indrani’s latest creation in my news feed: this photo of Iman for the London Times Magazine (July 2011). It was styled by GK Reid, who I think is, and has always been, a great addition to their team of photographic excellence.

The colours of this photo are perfect. They all go so well together. Everything from the hair to the make-up, to the wardrobe and lighting is amazing in this photo. Her dress is very beautiful and elegant, not to mention that it showcases her figure in great light.

Want to see more great stuff?
~Visit Markus & Indrani’s WEBSITE
~Become their fan on Facebook
~Follow Markus on Twitter
~Follow Indrani on Twitter
**Yes, this image was posted here with Markus Klinko’s permission**

Markus Klinko+Indrani+Daphne Guinness=A++ Team

I am thrilled to be able to post the results of yet another great collaboration between amazingly talented celebrity photographers Markus Klinko & Indrani, and gorgeous Daphne Guinness. These images were shot for an advertisement for Barneys New York, and they look absolutely stunning.
When it comes to shooting, Markus & Indrani, and Daphne are an A++ team. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what the wonderful creative team will come up with next.
Earlier this year, I had the honour of interviewing Markus Klinko, and you can read the interview HERE.
You can also follow Markus & Indrani on FACEBOOK, check out their WEBSITE, as well as follow Indrani’s TWITTER, and Markus’ TWITTER.
Aviva 🙂

Clothing Designer Karen Hira Talks About Her Vision and Passion

Karen Hira is an up and coming fashion designer from Victoria, BC, Canada. She began designing and sewing last year. Karen loves bright, exotic colours and finds her design inspiration comes from tribal wear all over Asia and South America.

She has an impressive collection of beautiful swimwear, lingerie and dresses that she designed and sewed. Besides having the passion for fashion, Karen loves helping children who are in poverty.

Her work can be seenHERE

I had the pleasure of asking Karen a few questions to share her artistic vision with me.

AVIVA: How did you get started with clothing design?
A year ago I had a vision for a dress that I wanted to wear for my birthday. I couldn’t find it anywhere so I borrowed my aunt’s sewing machine and decided I was going to try and sew it (the only other time I had sewed was in high school and I got a horrible grade lol). It worked! and I was like wow I can sew! After that I tried sketching out ideas for other dresses and I realized I could draw so I started sketching anytime I was sitting around, and it became a passion after that.

AVIVA: What is your favorite thing about designing clothing?
Well there is always something amazing about creating something that exists only in your mind. I think that’s why any kind of art is so unique. There is no other person who can put together your vision with your passion. When I sketch that idea on my blank canvas, it is a piece of me and you can’t find that anywhere else.

AVIVA: Can you tell me a bit about how you came up with the concept of “India”?
Most clothing lines are named after the designers themselves, well pretty much all of them. I wanted to name mine after my children (children that I don’t have yet). I want to name my daughter India and my son Tye so my women’s line will be ‘India’ and my men’s ‘Tye’. I am also very inspired by the palette of colors in Indian culture.

AVIVA: What is your biggest influence?
My biggest influence is simplicity. I am very inspired by tribal wear all over Asia and South America. The colors and beauty of garments made of necessity. Exquisite garments made of simple materials and bright colors. The patterns, and details on their clothing are absolutely amazing to me. These people have probably never seen a fashion magazine in their life, but I truly believe they embody real fashion.

AVIVA: On your website, you state that National Geographic is your favorite magazine. Do you have any other magazines that you like?
I don’t read magazines aside from National Geographic. But because I model, I do enjoy looking at ads in magazines like Vanity Fair and Vogue.

AVIVA: If you weren’t designing clothes, what else would you be doing? (other passions that you have)
My other other huge passion is for helping children. I hope my fashion career will help me to complete my passion of traveling around the world and working with organizations to help children in poverty. Once I start traveling and visiting impoverished areas around the world, I plan to write a book on what I have seen.

AVIVA: If money/time were no object, what would be your ultimate goal in the fashion industry?
My goal is to use my talents designing to help contribute some sort of positive change in the world.

AVIVA: Do you have any last comments?
I am really sick right now, my sinuses are in disarray, and I can’t taste my ice cream. 🙁 Life without ice cream is like a peanut butter cup with no peanut butter. Just saying.

Karen definitely has a unique product to offer the world of fashion. She is talented, passionate, and strives for a positive change in the world.

I wish Karen success in the industry for many years to come.