Category Archives: interviews

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.



Featuring Amazing Model Ana Braga

Ana Braga is an internationally published glamour, swimsuit, fashion, fitness and lifestyle model originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has been living in the USA for almost 19 years and is currently based in Las Vegas.
Over the last year, I have watched her career blossom into something absolutely amazing that most glamour models can only dream of. Ana has become an international sensation, having been featured in Playboy Brazil, Playboy Mexico, Playboy Romania, FHM Spain, FHM Philippines,, Fighters Only South Africa and multiple other magazines.
She has garnered the support of thousands of fans from all over the world with her beauty, intelligence and positive attitude towards the industry. Ana has always been very determined to make her dreams a reality and she is doing fantastic work.
I am thrilled to have been able to interview her for this feature.
AVIVA:  What inspired you to become a model?
ANA BRAGA: My mom, my aunt and my grandma did extensive modeling in Brazil. I grew up in that environment so I had no choice lol. So I can say my mom inspired me with her beauty and class!
AVIVA: What do you feel is the most exciting part of your job?
AB: To be fortunate enough to be able to see the finish product, being published. Every time I get published is dear to me!
AVIVA: What are some tips that you have for aspiring models who would like to get published?
AB: I would say do your research and only work with respected and respectful photographers. Do not flirt or do anything else like that for your features! I never did and never will. Work hard and you’ll achieve anything you want. Be kind and cordial to all you meet. It’s a small industry and you want to have a good reputation. Be professional, be on time. I do all my submissions, you can do it too!
AVIVA: Which models inspire you?
AB: My mother, my grandma and Carmen Dell’Orifice. Carmen is 82 and still works. She’s beautiful, classy and here is one of my favorite of her quotes “I don’t do this thing in front of the camera to get love or for approval. I get my love privately.”
AVIVA: What is your most proudest moment in your career?
AB: When I came out in Playboy! It has been a dream for me for so long and I got Miss June 2013 in my home country, Brazil. I’m so proud of it because I did it all on my own. I contacted the editors and booked a great photographer and went from there! I’m proud of all I have accomplished! I hope I get to inspire people and they realize their dreams can be achieved too.
AVIVA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AB: Being a Chief editor of a great magazine or living in Hawaii!! Either one or both would be fantastic! Why not?
AVIVA: What do you feel is a critical factor in becoming a successful model?
AB: It is how you take rejection and how thick your skin is! You must never believe in negative voices. People will try and discourage you from following your dreams. Don’t listen to them, they are negative voices from insecure people. You must know who you are and only believe voices that come from love. If the dream is in your heart, no one can stop you! If a door closes, God has a bigger one for you. I’m living proof of that.
AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
AB: Would like to thank Gary Miller, Mike Prado, Dawn Grey and Anais Zanotti for believing in me and for all the love and support!! Also a special thanks to Aviva for always being so kind and sweet to me!!
You can check out Ana on FACEBOOK, follow her on Twitter @sambadiva, and Instagram @anabanana200
I wish her continued success! 🙂
Photographer credits for the images above: Kenny Roland, Mike Prado, Gary Miller, Tolga Katas, Kevin Genzel and Edward Aninaru.

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 Public Myth Clothing Designer Kerry Pollock

I am thrilled to have been able to interview Kerry Pollock, the founder of Public Myth. Public Myth is a unique Vancouver-based active wear company.  Traditionally, fitness clothes were not meant to be fashionable, but Kerry’s designs are living proof that fitness clothing can be fashionable, stylish and comfortable. Kerry is passionate about fitness and it shows! Kerry is very talented and Public Myth is a great company.

AVIVA:What inspired you to start Public Myth?

KERRY POLLOCK: The lack of style in active and yoga wear, I wanted to create a line with style, attitude and rock n’ roll flare.




AVIVA: What is your favorite thing about designing clothing?

KP: When I meet someone wearing pieces from my line and they tell you how much they love it.

AVIVA: Could you tell us more about your company’s vision?

KP: To bring style into active/yoga wear while investing in ecologically sound practices, including local manufacturing in Vancouver and using eco-friendly fabrics like bamboo.

AVIVA: What do you feel sets you apart from other fitness clothing companies?

KP: The designs, I bring influences from the rest of the fashion world. Also, attention to detail including zippers, buttons, mesh panels and metallic stitching that doesn’t look like your typical yoga line. The leggings have diverse designs that can be dressed up with you favorite boots to head out on the town or throw on a pair of runners with a sports top and hit the seawall. Some of the pieces aren’t for every girl out there, but definitely for the fit and confident ones that know what they want in life.

AVIVA: What do you look for in models that you select for your shoots?

KP: I have mostly worked with models looking for industry experience and am more focusing for the future on working with models who have a natural healthy look and who choose to live a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes the look also depends on the kind of shoot I want to do, just like fashion looks always change!

AVIVA: What is your biggest influence as a designer?

KP: Rock n’ Roll, California and European Fashion.

AVIVA: What are your other passions, hobbies and interests?

KP: I’m a bit of a health nut so eating healthy is big. I’m always keeping active including the gym, mountain biking and getting my vitamin D from doing anything active in the sunshine (when it’s around).

AVIVA: Name your top three travel destinations?

KP: I work too much to travel but I love Southern California, would also like to visit Germany and Australia.

AVIVA: If you could meet any famous fitness person, who would it be?

KP: Tough question, not a big person in awe of celebrities but I have amazing respect for several rock bands that fought hard to make it big. So, on that note, I would probably pick Josh Todd of Buck Cherry just to hear some stories of the 10 + year battle they went through to make their passion for music a career. I find bands that have these stories in their music to be a big inspiration.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?

KP: Live with passion!

You can also like Public Myth on FACEBOOK.The photos displayed in this blog post were copied from the Public Myth website.

P.S. I would also like to thank Kerry for the beautiful pieces that were sent to me from Public Myth. 🙂

Interview with Fitness/Commercial Photographer James Patrick

James Patrick is a highly published fitness and commercial photographer based in Tucson, Arizona. He is a very talented and passionate photographer. James takes pride in his work and his team. His work has appeared in the following magazines: Oxygen, Scottsdale Health, Fitness Plus, Max Sports & Fitness, Physique, World Physique, Las Vegas Sports & Fitness, Tucson Lifestyle, College Affair, Entrepreneur, FHM, Maxim, The New Southwest, Tucson Green Times, Model Scene, eGirls News, So Scottsdale, 944, Campus, RedBlue, Latino y Style, Perfectify, SW Style & Living, Tombstone Epitaph, Oro Valley|Marana, Top Pair, Tucson Women’s, Young Money, Teeze, theScast, Petite Styles, Mobscene, Tucson Foothills, Biz Tucson, Iron Man, Muscle & Performance, M Fitness, CitiScapes, Fit and Firm and many more. Additionally, James works as a marketing professional, website strategist, and a public speaker covering a variety of topics including photography, marketing, and business development.

I really feel that this interview with James has given me a great insight into fitness photography and fitness modeling. If you are interested in being in the industry, I think that you will find James’ responses highly useful.

AVIVA: How long have you been a photographer?
I was literally tossed into the photography industry about nine years ago. I say “tossed in” because at the time I was a journalist for a small newspaper. As I was working late one night and about to head out to interview someone for a feature story my editor tossed a camera in my hands. Apparently there were no staff photographers in the office that night and I had to play double-duty of both writer and photographer. I fell in love with it instantly. From that point I had to figure out how to actually take a quality photo. I took only one photo class in college so a large portion of my development in the industry (pardon the pun) came from interning for various photographers as well as from making a lot of mistakes and learning along the way. I spent a few years working on the editorial side as a photo editor for both a newspaper and a magazine. In that field I had to manage a small staff of photographers, divvy out projects, select images for print, post process them and so on. In my mid-20s is when I really started to push myself into the freelance editorial and commercial markets.

AVIVA: Do you pre-visualize your photos or do you put all the components together as you go?
That would completely depend on the project. With a lot of my editorial clients, I will have either a sit down meeting with the Art Director or Creative Director – or at least chat through the phone. We will discuss the project in detail regarding who or what the photos are of, what the article is about, what is important to incorporate into the images. We share inspirational images back and forth and determine what we hope to achieve during the upcoming shoot. Then during the shoot we always keep our eyes open for on-the-spot creative ideas. Often times commercial shoots are also very precise in the planning stages. Many times as a photographer bidding or proposing on a job, we have to type up a fairly detailed project approach in our bid package that we send into the client. In that we state our “creative vision” for the shoot. That is exactly why any artist, including photographers, will live and die based upon their style. Their style will get them hired just as much as their style will get them overlooked. It is not about having a style that everyone likes. It is about having a style that your key niche or target client connects with. On the flip side of things, there are times where my team and I have to play the role of photographer and creative director right on set. We had that a few nights ago were we were hired to photograph a rock band at a small concert venue. We show up and the band and their manager tells us “we are open to whatever you think will look good.” Over the new few hours, my assistant and I had to fire on all creative cylinders. It worked out beautifully and the band received a variety of creative images and setups.

AVIVA: What achievement(s) in your career are you most proud of?
That is a difficult question because I look at each project my team and I take on as an opportunity to do something new, something different and something exciting. I would say what I am most proud of is that I can do what I do for a living. That I am fortunate enough to have built such a great team to work with, that I have such fantastic clients, that I can spend endless hours building something I am truly passionate about. No award, publication cover, or big budget assignment can compare to knowing that I am doing the right thing.

AVIVA: We have heard the statement: “Success in photography is 90% business and 10% photography skill”. Do you agree or disagree and why?
I may push it as far as success is 99% business and 1% photography. A photographer needs the skills, but just being able to take great images is not nearly enough. One of my favorite authors Daniel H. Pink stated “Persistence trumps talent.” I could not believe that more. I see brilliant photographers get passed up by those who, although may not be as talented, had a little more grit and will and drive to succeed. It surprises me that more art schools are not teaching basic business courses for their students. Standard things like how to do book-keeping, how to do taxes, understanding local laws and regulations (if there are any), and most importantly – how to market yourself. Every year I am privileged to return to my alma mater to speak to college photographers on what it takes to define their brand and then how they can go about marketing that brand to build their business. If one were to look at my bookshelf, they will see a bevy of books on photography for sure. However they will see three times as many books on marketing and business. That goes back to me being insanely curious. I love to learn and marketing is a universal language that can be applied to so many ventures.

AVIVA: Which photographers (if any) inspire you?
There are two that immediately come to mind. One was a professor I had in college. He was one of the first people who gave me the opportunity to sink or swim with my abilities. Over a few years I worked alongside him and learned as much as I could from him, not necessarily about how to take a great photo, but how to develop a great professional life. Another is a fantastic commercial photographer here in town. We go to lunch fairly regularly and are able to act as a sounding board to one another – helping each other out. I am also inspired by those that work as part of my team. My lead assistant is growing a fantastic business as a photographer and it is so exciting to see his journey along the way. My production manager has developed a fantastic business for herself as well. Watching their success pushes me to improve as well.

But in full disclosure, I am actually inspired by more than just photographers. I find inspiration from great videographers, visionary directors, thought-provoking writers, captivating public speakers and more.

One thing about me is that I am endlessly curious. So I am always seeking out new avenues for inspiration and education.

AVIVA: Since many aspiring models have asked this in online modeling forums, I’m going to ask you the same question and hopefully help them out: How important is breast size as a factor in getting published in fitness magazines?
I had to give a bit of thought to this question as my original response was simply just “no” – however after thinking it through I feel it really just depends on the goals of the model. Specifically it relates to what type of market is the model attempting to pursue. I’m sure there are probably markets out there that it may matter.

When it comes to fitness, the industry I work in, augmentations can actually sometimes be a deterrent that prevents a talent from being hired. I’ve been on sets where the stylists and wardrobe manager have to ask the talent to wear clothing that hides or minimizes the size of their bust. When looked at some athletic based publications – it is very rare that you will see augmentations at all.

I am not an advocate, nor am I against augmented talents. It all really comes back to what are the talent’s goals and where do they want to market themselves towards.

AVIVA: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to models (ie. what are some things that models do that you feel they shouldn’t)?
Another hard question. For the most part I work with some truly amazing, driven and energetic talents. I would say the only time it becomes frustrating is when there is a lack of drive and passion behind what they are doing. If a talent shows up on set and is not loving what they do, the photographer will notice, the art director will notice, the photo editor will notice. The same can be said for when a photographer shows up without being invested into what they are doing. Making the effort to try and have every project your best project will go a long way.

AVIVA: What do you feel is the biggest mistake that new models make?
Perhaps the same mistake a lot of new photographers make. Simply being able to take great images is not enough as a model, just as it is not enough as a photographer. Starting an online profile or throwing them up on a social media channel is not enough either.

It is about doing research to learn as much as you can about the market you want to be in. It is about developing a marketable portfolio that is going to resonate with your target clients. It is about taking the endless hours it requires to build quality relationships with the decision makers for your target clients. It is about super delivering on projects. It is about always staying in touch with your clients. And it is about doing that all over and over and over again.

A good friend of mine began their career as a talent about a year and a half ago. Through that time they’ve worked relentlessly to build up their brand, market what they do, connect to the right people, build quality relationships and more. They are starting to book some high profile jobs right now and commented to me recently “I never would have imagined how much investment this takes.” And it is true. It was an investment of finances, time and emotions. They then said, “I would not change a thing.” Their success, like the success of most, is earned, not given.

AVIVA: Do you have any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for (if you’re allowed to talk about them)?
JP: The team and I always have a few things in the fire at once. We are in the process of launching our second season of The Pro Exposure podcast which is available for free at – there you can hear our interviews with various professionals in the talent industry sharing tips and insights on how they made their own journey.

I’m presently working with my videographer on some creative projects. We are in pre-production right now, but hope to have more details available this coming fall.

This fall I will be speaking as well as photographer at Fitness & Sports Network’s FMI 2012 conference in Los Angeles, California. At the same event I will be working with Max Sports & Fitness Magazine as we will be casting the January 2013 cover model or models at the event.

Also my lead assistant and I are launching a new site before the end of the year that will share some of our more creative projects in a different format.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
JP: Just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to share these thoughts with the readers. If they are interested they can subscribe to my blog – as I post a new article each week. Also feel free to connect with me via my Facebook page.

I would like to thank James for the interview, and I wish him continued success.

Aviva 🙂

Interview with Full-time Traveling Model Jessi June

Jessi June has been a full-time model for about 3 years, so she definitely knows what she is talking about when it comes to knowing the modeling industry and where she fits in. This girl is amazing! Although she is 5’6″ and was constantly told that she is too short to model, among other things, she persevered and proved that nothing can stop her. Jessi has been published in countless magazines, has taken part in a large number of events, and has toured the USA being paid to shoot with photographers of all skill levels. She knows how to reach her goals and is always striving to improve herself as a model. Although she primarily shoots glamour, she excels at other genres too.

In her interview, Jessi tells us how to succeed as a model, how she got started as a model, and what keeps her motivated to advance in this brutally competitive industry. Read and share her success story to inspire others.

AVIVA: What inspired you to become a model and how did you get started?
Well, it was always my dream to be honest. When I first started, I was another naive girl who thought “I wanna be a fashion model at 5’5 with big boobs and curves!” Well, that notion quickly dissipated into reality, but for the better, because I came to realize that I loved doing glamour model so much more than fashion anyways! As for getting started, your looking at it! I didn’t take senior pictures for high school because I graduated in 3 years, so I promised my mom we would go to glamour shots (I know, stop shuddering, I’m sorry! It’s the truth though…). In the mean time, I was trying to figure out how the hell girls became models, and found all these wonderful online sites. So we went, we took some shots, and when I got them back, I posted them! I worked hard at trying to get shoots, and finally, a photographer named Gil Purcil in Miami gave me a shot! It was a swimwear shoot, my mom came (It was a week before I was 18, so she had to, calm it down escort forum posters), and it went amazing! After that, I was hooked! I’ve been working my ass off ever since to make sure I made this happen!

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a model or did you have other career aspirations in the past?
This was always supposedly a pipe dream. “Theres no money in it!”, “You’re not pretty enough”, “Do you know how much weight you’d have to lose??”, and “Hahahaha, you?? Please!!” were just some of the responses I got when I told people. Granted, I was overweight at the time and not really going anywhere, but man, did that light a fire under my ass! If I wasn’t a model, I don’t know what I would have done to be honest, because I never gave myself an option. During my “Senior Year” which was spent at a community college full time, I spent my time modeling and working part time at a pet store and a night club to make money to get my 1992 AC-less 250,000 mile corolla to shoots. I’d have to fix it while there half the time to get it home. Photographers from Miami can verify this!

Above: Photo by Rich Cutrone

AVIVA: If you could meet 3 famous people, who would they be and why?
JJ: Well, that’s rough because I’ve met everyone on my old list of people I would love to meet. My first person would probably be Jenna Jameson, because I would love to discuss how the transition from being in front of the camera to CEO and best selling author went, and how hard it was for her to do. My second one would be Michael Jordan, because he may be one of the best self-branders to ever live, coming from basketball player and building a retail monster, that really, no other sport star has been able to match. The third would have to be one of the famous chefs off the Food Network; Anthony Bourdain, Bobby Flay, Emeril, etc. I love food, and I would love to be able to get down and cook one day with one of those guys, because I think just the talking shop be worth it, ignoring how great the food would be!

AVIVA: What career achievement are you most proud of? (name publications, etc)
JJ: The fact that I can call it a “career”. I mean, I’ve been in numerous magazines, and every time it’s still cool to see it, but the fact that I’m here, that I’ve been a model full time for almost 3 years, has to be what I’m most proud of. That I proved the naysayers wrong. Penthouse is cool to be in, I work for Maxim and am in that monthly now (international) and I worked for playboy in Miami, and those were all cool experiences, but I still think above all, the fact that I’m a “Professional Glamour model”, Chubby, ugly, little Jessi from 5 years ago who had no future, is just awesome, and I’ll never take that for granted. It still motivates me every day.

Above: Photo by TH Taylor

AVIVA: What do you believe has been the key to your success as a model in such a short period of time? 
JJ: Honestly?? This is going to sound kind of bad, but the fact that I take everything personally. I know, “crazy bitch!”, but hear me out! So back when I was starting, I had a shoot with a photographer which was gonna be my best to date. Well, he didn’t like how the shots came out, even though I did, and it was because of me. Well, that hit me hard! I didn’t have thick skin back then, and it got to me! I swore I would work so hard that I would never have to hear that again! So I did! And still to this day, when I have a shoot, which is almost once a day, that when I see a photographer not use the shots, it still bothers me, and motivates me to do better! I know it’s kind of silly, but I don’t want to lie either. Everytime I get passed up, told I’m too young, or anything else, it just adds fuel to the fire! I’m vindictive, but not in an egotistical way, it’s more like I just say “Told you so” in my head! I thank some of the Miami photographers everyday who treated me like I was nothing because I was a newbie down there, for keeping me motivated for these exact reasons.

AVIVA: What do you look for in photographers that you would do trade with?
JJ: A photographer who can add to my port. By now in my career, I’ve done a lot, and I’ve been so lucky to work with some of the best MM has to offer. I never look down on anyone who tries to offer me a TF shoot, because hell, I was that person at one point messaging people begging for a TF opportunity to improve myself, but I am more selective these days. I try to make sure that not only do they produce great photos, but that they are photos that sell me. See, there are so many amazing photographers on Model Mayhem that create amazing pictures, but sometimes, the shots they make, though great pieces of art, just don’t sell the model, and therefore, it’s not really something I can add to my port. A few photographers have gotten offended when I responded that I couldn’t trade for shots because people automatically think, “Oh, so you think your better then me”, but that’s just not the case. So if I’m going to do a trade shoot, it would have to be something I know I could use to book more work, so it ultimately does make me the money that wasn’t involved in the shoot, and if it doesn’t sell the model, then it won’t serve that purpose.

AVIVA: When you are not doing shoots/booking work, what can people expect to find you doing? (ie. other hobbies/interests) 
JJ: Wait a minute, there’s a time when people aren’t doing that?? What is this madness you speak of?!? Honestly, I would say on any given day, I work about 12 hours a day, minimum. I plan my schedule 3-6 months ahead, so I’m constantly negotiating and booking in shoots since I travel full time (ie no taking a break to go home). In addition to that, I’m planning a huge workshop for December with the best models on MM, I’ve got a business I’m starting to help people with their pinterest followings (, I run 3 different companies social networking efforts, so that takes time, not including blogging to my 2,000,000 followers on google plus and networking myself around the web. TL;DR: I don’t really do much else. I enjoy movies, so I occasionally hit up one of those, and I love food, so you can find me at good restaurants, but if it’s not a movie or a burger, I’m sitting at the Macbook typing my brains out.

AVIVA: What is your favorite skincare/beauty tip?
JJ: You know, I’m no expert on cosmetics and if I knew more about skincare, I wouldn’t still get pimples every few weeks, but I do have a Beauty tip for people. This industry is rough, especially on ones self confidence. No matter what you choose to do, be it natural or through surgery, do it for you, and you alone. Don’t get fake boobs JUST because you think it will get you more work, because you know what, there are just as many people who like small natural boobs as big fake ones. Don’t get lip injections or nose jobs because you think it will pay off. Do whatever you’re going to do, but do it because it will make YOU feel better, not for the job. Cosmetic surgery, diets, etc. have been some of the best things to happen to some of my friends, and some of the worst to happen to others, and it all comes back to their reasonings.

AVIVA: What other endeavors/goals would you like to pursue in the next 5 years? (ie. where do you see yourself in 5 years)
JJ: Well, hopefully this workshop goes over well in December, and I’ll still be running those. I’m hoping a few of my side businesses take off before then, but I guess my main goal will be to be more established as a business woman and a CEO than as a model. I love modeling, with all my heart, and I’ll never stop until it tells me to… but this life ends one day. When the cuteness fades and the lights stop flashing, I want to make sure I used this time wisely to not only create a life for myself outside the lens, but to make it’s a sustainable one for my loved ones. Whenever I look back on my early high school years, I’m full of regret for not being smarter about it, as it was so easy to just get good grades and I could have been in an Ivy-League school or something. I promised myself I would never feel that way again, so I work myself to the bone every day to make sure when I look back on this crazy life of mine, and all that’s come with it, I’ll be able to smile and know, successful or not, that I left it all out there!

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
JJ: Just to thank you guys for asking me to do this, and all the AH Life & Style followers and readers who took time out of their day to read it! I really appreciate it!

I would like to thank Jessi for her interview. I wish her continued success in her career.

If you want to see more of Jessi’s work, check out her FACEBOOK page, Twitter, and WEBSITE, and Model Mayhem.

Interview with Model, Actress, and Stunt Performer Michelle Jeanpierre

Michelle Jeanpierre is a fitness model, actress and stunt performer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is originally from Victoria, BC. Michelle is an inspiration to many women because she has the drive, ambition, and the right attitude to go for her goals regardless of how difficult it may be at times. She has worked hard to get to where she is and she is showing no sign of slowing down! She is also part of a show called “Primeval”, which she booked not too long ago. On top of being super driven and goal-oriented, she is absolutely stunning!

 Michelle Jeanpierre is amazing! I am thrilled to have been able to interview her! Her answers have inspired me and they are sure to inspire you too.

Above: Michelle Jeanpierre on the cover of Natural Muscle Magazine

AVIVA: How long have you been pursuing the fitness modeling and acting industries?  
MICHELLE JEANPIERRE: I originally moved to Vancouver in 2003 to pursue a career as a professional dancer! I had been dancing for a while in the city and doing a couple of small back-up dancing jobs and casino style shows to make money, when someone approached me to come in for a stunt performer job on Scary Movie 4. I guess they needed a performer with a certain aesthetic, and at the time they couldn’t think of anyone in the industry who fit the description so someone in my network suggested me. So I went in and met with the directors and they booked me in for my very first stunt job. That was in 2004. I also worked my first fitness conventions in Las Vegas and California that year after being approached by a supplement company owner at my local gym. I didn’t start competing till 2007. I took several consecutive 1st place wins that year. Acting is an art that I’ve had the opportunity to explore throughout my stunt career. I’m currently working with a private acting coach and looking to branch out a bit more this year : )

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a stunt performer/actress/fitness model, or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
MJ: I’ve always just wanted to perform, for as long as I can remember…I grew up in Victoria BC and started in my 1st ballet class at the age of 3. And all through elementary school I danced 8 classes/week. I had my own bus pass and would catch the bus downtown after school to make it to my dance classes. I joined a dance company and we would perform all around the city at different venues and always using different sized stages etc. The scenario would always change and it taught me to quickly learn new blocking, choreography, and to hit my ever changing stage marks…all of these skills are paramount to what I’m doing in my life now. That said, I’ve got a broad spectrum of interests, but at the core of it I’ve always wanted to be a performer.

AVIVA: What achievements in your career are you most proud of?
MJ: What am I most proud of?? Hmmm…probably my perseverance. It’s not an easy life to be a performer. There are many peaks and valleys. The highs are incredibly high, and the lows are usually accounted for by the “waiting” that is involved. If I can offer some advice on this it would be this: Don’t ever spend your time “waiting” for things to happen! Be proactive, keep yourself busy, have a positive thought process, explore interests and talents and try lots of new things, and practise the things that you love doing…because the great opportunities in life will come when they come. But if you’re always waiting…they seem to take so much longer.

AVIVA: How did you get started? What was(were) your biggest challenge(s) when you were first starting out, and how did you overcome them?
MJ:  I’ve sort of answered the 1st part of this question in #1. My biggest challenge starting out was probably getting myself in front of the right people. And since you can’t just walk on to a film set and introduce yourself, I had to consistently send out my packages and try and be seen. So I would send my headshots off every month to the production offices and just HOPE that they actually made it into the right hands! I overcame that challenge by persevering. I was told from Day 1 that the stunt industry doesn’t just “let people in”. It takes on average about 5 years of pushing till you can start performing regularly. PERSEVERANCE KIDS! Don’t give up on your dreams. At times I’ve questioned some of my decisions, but I can tell you now that I’m so happy that I stuck with it. I’m actually getting to live out my dream! I’m just like anyone, it’s funny because people seem to get the idea that success is an instant thing and that it only happens to some people…what people don’t see are the years leading up to it…there are usually lots blood, sweat and tears that are exerted before success is achieved.

AVIVA: What does the average day look like for you?
MJ: There really are no average days, my schedule is constantly changing. I’ll think that I finally have a chill week coming up when I’ll get a call and BAM….gotta jump out of a moving car. But that’s what I love about it, constant change. Some people need stability, I thrive on excitement. One constant in my routine is that I train most days for an hr/day with intensity, sometimes more depending on what I’ve got coming up.

AVIVA: What piece of advice do you have for aspiring models who would like to get published?
MJ: Some advice I have for aspiring models who would like to get published is to only shoot with good photographers!!! If you’re starting out in your career, it’s worth it to find someone whose work you like and pay to have a shoot with them to get your portfolio started.

AVIVA: What are some of your upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
MJ: Some upcoming projects to look out for are probably the shows I’ve worked on in the last 3 weeks. I’m appearing as Melinda Lane in the 100th episode special of the hit TV series PSYCH that is airing on USA Network. And you won’t know it’s me, but I just stunt doubled the character “Anna” on Steven Seagal’s TV series True Justice 2. And I’ve just been cast as the surfer girl (actor/stunt performer) in a feature film called Prime Evil that should be out later this year. I don’t know dates yet, but if I find out in advance I will be posting on my Facebook Public Figure Fan Page “Michelle Jeanpierre” so I invite you to LIKE my page if you’d like to keep up on these types of updates.

AVIVA: What are your favorite foods?
MJ: My fridge is generally full of clean eats. Lots of organic produce, chicken, fish, yams, oatmeal, nuts, protein powder…that sort of stuff. When I go out to eat my fave foods are anything ethnic. I love Japanese, Thai, East Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese….but my fave clean staple is definitely going out for sushi. I also love a good steak every now and then, and turkey meatballs!

AVIVA: What exercises do you enjoy the most?
MJ: These days I enjoy switching it up frequently. Truth is, I spent a few years competing and got into the habit of always lifting heavy…I loved training back, glutes/hamstrings, chest/Tri’s….let’s just say I LOVE TRAINING! But these days I’m doing a lot of body weight exercises, spin classes, and outdoor training. I am making a conscious effort to streamline my physique as this is a much more marketable look for a female in the film industry. Right now my training focus is on performance, ability, and improving my skill set. The fortunate side effect of this type of training is strong lean physique.

AVIVA: What exercises do you enjoy the most?
MJ: If you’d like to stay in contact with me and hear about my fave workouts/recipes/life/updates and general misadventures, I invite you to subscribe and contribute to my Public Figure Page on Facebook! I also write articles for various fitness publications so I will be posting tear sheets up there from time to time as well. I would also like to mention that I am the female face of Canada’s leading Mixed Martial Arts organization “AGGRESSION FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP“. If you are a fan MMA, I’ve attached a link to the AFC site so you can visit there to find updates on upcoming events and breaking news from the world of MMA. We’ve just undergone a major company merger so the site is currently under construction but will be up and running very soon if it’s not already. So stay tuned!
I would like to thank Michelle for this interview and I wish her all the best. 🙂

Interview with Los Angeles model Lauren Calaway

Lauren Calaway is a highly sought-after model based in Los Angeles. Although she is 5’2″, she is agency represented in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, San Diego and Chicago. Lauren is very experienced, highly published and she excels at commercial, fashion, swimsuit, editorial, beauty and lifestyle modeling. She has been a part of major campaigns and has been featured in publications that models who are 5’9″ always dream of being a part of. In addition to being a phenomenal model who beat the odds given her height, she has also recently launched a new online magazine called Nouveau Magazine.

Above: Nouveau Magazine: The Beauty Issue

AVIVA: How did you get started and how long have you been a model?
LAUREN CALAWAY: I actually got started on the other end of the camera as a makeup artist. Every shoot that I did, I became more and more interested in modeling. So one day, I just got out there and did it. It was definitely love at first shoot. I have been modeling for 8 years.

Above: Photo by James Bassett

AVIVA: What excites you about the modeling industry?
LC: There is so much that excites me about the modeling industry, but the creativity grabs me the most. The endless possibilities that you can create is extremely exciting. To me, modeling is like painting. I am the subject from which the painting is created. Every detail is chosen with such care, down to the makeup, clothes, and hair. Then you have each photographer that has a different style with which their “painting” is created.

Also, the opportunities excite me. In our industry, there isn’t a ceiling, only the one you create. You set the bar for how high you can go by your ambition. I was always told that I had no hope in modeling due to my height, but I went out there and did it anyway. I have worked for many big photographers and some even bigger clients.

Above: Photo by Robert Voltaire

AVIVA: When did you first sign with an agency and what was that like?
LC: I first signed with an agency when I moved to LA in June of 2010. I didn’t need an agency before that time. I had been doing quite well as a freelance model. Once I moved to a major market, I knew that I would need an agent to help me get the bigger jobs. I was incredibly green to the whole process and jumped on the first agency that offered me a contract. They turned out to be a horrible agency and I left them only a few months after signing. I tell people that agents/agencies are like relationships. You have to go through a few before you find the right fit. Most people think that you should always go with a big agency, but that is not always the case. Remember that they have a ton of clients to take care of and sometimes you can become a number. Look into boutique agencies and see if that is a better fit for your needs.

Above: Photo by Malachi Banales

AVIVA: What achievements in your career are you most proud of? (publications, etc)
LC: I am extremely proud of my makeup campaigns (Bare Minerals and Stila Cosmetics). I always wanted to do strong beauty campaigns with high end clients. Makeup lines and fragrances are some of the highest paying jobs in the business. I am on the hunt for my fragrance campaign.

AVIVA: Could you tell us more about your new magazine that you just launched?
LC: I launched Nouveau Magazine in May of this year. As a model, I have been in quite a few magazines. Unfortunately, the magazines do not always view you as important as the photographer. Your name is rarely seen in the credits. I set out to amend this, not only for models but makeup artists, hair stylists, and wardrobe stylists. My magazine also features interviews on top industry professionals. Where you can read about them and their advice. We also feature fashion and beauty editorials from photographers all over the world. I hope to build it into something amazing, because as an artist you should always be evolving. I find Editor in Chief to be a great fit for where I see my career going.

AVIVA: What do you look for before deciding if you would like to collaborate with a photographer or not?
LC: I look through their portfolio on their website. You get an in depth look into what their tests are like, as well as their clients. I look for someone that inspires me, that will give me something different for my book.

Photo by Angela Marklew

AVIVA: What is the biggest mistake that you see aspiring models making time and time again?
LC: Getting wrapped up in testing. You should test to build your book, once it is built, you should take it and be able to use it to book paid work. They shoot with photographers because they have a big following online and don’t stop to ask the important questions.

1) Are these photos going to further my career or just gain me more social media notoriety?
2) Will my agents (agency) use them in Comp Cards?
3) Will potential clients see the MODEL, or just the post production methods of the photographer?
4) How much of YOU will be in the picture? (v.s. location, setting, props, etc.)
5) How clearly will they see your face in the photos? (far away shots or too much elaborate makeup) 75% of models are chosen for their facial traits

You need to take into account your agency, your market (for example: LA is extremely commercial), and your future. You may be a model today, but 5 years from now that could change.

Above: Photo by Jon Santana

 AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
 LC: Follow your dreams, but be smart about it. As a model, you are basically a startup company. It takes a lot of investment to get them off the ground. You should be professional and hard working because it isn’t all glitz and glam.

I would like to thank Lauren for the interview, and I wish her continued success!
You can also check her out on FACEBOOK and Model Mayhem. Also, check out the Nouveau Magazine Facebook page.

Interview with New York Photographer Yann Feron

Yann Feron is a very talented fashion photographer based in New York. He was raised in France and has traveled to over 38 countries. In addition to fashion he shoots glamour, swimsuit, lingerie, art, commercial and fitness. He has been an avid photographer since he was 17. Yann shoots for international magazines and has been instrumental in helping to launch the careers of musicians, actors and actresses, models and artists.

In addition, he has worked with male and female models from the following agencies: 301, BASIC, ALL ABOUT HYPE, CODE, CHOICE, ELITE, MAJOR, ID, APM, IMG, IPM, IKON, NEW YORK MODELS, CHOICE, MC2, LEVEL1, Q, SILVER, RACE, RENEGADE, TRUMP, WILHELMINA, NEXT, KARIN, MEGA, CRYSTAL, MADEMOISELLE PARIS, RED, and many others.

I am thrilled to have been able to interview him! He is great!

AVIVA: Have you always wanted to be a photographer or did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?

YANN FERON: I started my career as a semi-pro photographer when I was in high school. I went to Ecuador for a hiking trip and did a documentary in slides in 1992. That’s how I got more serious about photography, but I did not think about being a pro photographer. I studied then SPORTS SCIENCES and got a bachelor degree in Physical education, which I taught for ten years.

After travelling to more than 50 countries and documenting my trips, I landed in NYC and started doing portraits of people for fun, and I started doing fashion… 10 years later I only do photography and gave up teaching 4 years ago.


AVIVA: What photographers inspire you and why?

YF: There’s only one-Helmut Newton…that is all! He is a master in sensuality and empowering the beauty of women.


AVIVA: What achievements in your career are you most proud of? (ie. publications, etc)

YF: Lately, I’ve had the cover of FHM in CZECH and get more and more features like in Singapore, Netherlands etc.

I’ve shot also for SHOEHOLICS magazine with their 2 entire issues in 2 days. It was a lot of work but filling 80 pages of a magazine in 2 days was a great accomplishment. I learnt lately that some of my photos were showcased in TIMES SQUARE NYC. Although I did not see it, it feels good to know that.

AVIVA: Do you pre-visualize your photos or do you put all the components together as you go?

YF: I always start with an inspiration and with my guts. I am surrounded with talented people for make up hair and wardrobe stylist, so I explain to them my vision and then they do their crafts. I am like a conductor of a classical orchestra i.e. I direct lead but don’t impose.
AVIVA: What excites you about photography?
YF: The plurality of photography: this week I shot an art series with a ballerina for a book I am preparing (” BACK TO BACK”), a headshot for an actress, a glamour spread for FHM, a test shoot for an agency, shot Javier Colon (winner of THE VOICE) for HOMBRE magazine and did 2 castings for two shoots for next week. Every day is something special.

AVIVA: Do you feel your travels have helped you with your photographic visions and if so how?

YF: Well I shoot super fast, I don’t spend lots of time on each look. I know what I want and I guess my photojournalism past has helped me to capture a moment without building it.
A photo has to stay natural.
AVIVA: What piece of advice do you have to models who would like to succeed in their careers?

YF: Be a pro! This means: lifestyle, health, diet, fitness, no smoking (your skin will thank you when you’ll be in your late 20s) and have fun, take risks. In America nudity is a taboo, and in France nudity is art and models are so concerned about a nipple showing because most of American photographers use nudity in a sexual way,and in Europe nudity is used in fashion as a must for the beauty of a woman… there is a big difference.
AVIVA: What do you look for in a model?
YF: Spontaneity, versatility and personality.
AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?

YF: Stay tuned and watch me. 🙂 In 2013 I should have a new TV show on STYLE TV network called MODEL GENIUS where I’ll be the co-host and judge.

I would like to thank Yann for the interview and I wish him all the best! Check him out: FACEBOOK, Tumblr, WEBSITE, TWITTER, ZENFOLIO.

Interview with European Model Veronica LaVery

Veronica LaVery is an amazing European model, originally from the Czech Republic currently living in California. She is very versatile in her looks and posing ability, although she specializes in fashion, lingerie, bikini and commercial modeling. Veronica has a wide range of publications under her belt, including the cover of Playboy Czech Republic, features in FHM and MAXIM, and many others. She is stunning, knows how to work in front of the camera, and has the drive and ambition to make huge strides in the modeling world.

Photo & Make-up by: Philipe

I am thrilled to have interviewed Veronica and I hope that you enjoy this interview as much as I did. 🙂

AVIVA: How long have you been modeling?
VERONICA LAVERY: In August ’12 it is gong to be 3 years since I started working on my modeling portfolio wink

AVIVA: What is the most exciting part about your job?
VL: There is more than just one ‘exciting part’ of my job, I love how I get to work on various projects all the time, I never know what to really expect from my schedule and upcoming opportunities. For example, in an 8-hour everyday office job you will hardly ever get any unexpected surprises; and I’m glad modeling is not like that.

Photo: Philipe

AVIVA: Did you always want to be a model or did you have other career aspirations when you were growing up?
VL: Not at all! I never felt like I could ever be a model, I grew up as a little ’emo kid’, with piercings, hating my life, and I didn’t have any ambitions. The moment we moved to the States has started to change me and my vision on things and the opportunities I’m being given. So I started using them, and look where I am today.

Above: FHM CZ, Photography by Dre

AVIVA: What achievement(s) in your career are you most proud of?
VL: Besides all the big names I worked with, or for, magazines that are coming my way, magazine covers. I think I’m mostly proud of the ‘progress’ in what I do and in my own personal life in general. I think I keep ‘shocking’ people with my abilities in modeling. Which I like big_smile

AVIVA: Apart from having a great look, what else do you think is an important factor in succeeding as a model?
VL: You gotta be the whole ‘package’, there are millions of beautiful girls out there, but do their features and height give them the ultimate success? No, not at all, you gotta work hard, keep in shape, make smart decisions, know who you are, be professional, stay focused, know your advantages and your personality. I think the personality plays a major role here apart from the look, because that is what can make you stand out more.

Photo by: Martin Alonso Castaneda

AVIVA: Where do you see your modeling career going 5 years from now? (best case)
VL: I believe I can push myself into another level and that would be acting, there’s still a lot I can and will do in modeling itself but I do want to stay in the entertainment industry and in front of the camera, so acting will be a good call. Let’s hope I can do it even with my little Czech accent big_smile

AVIVA: What would you do if you won the lottery?
VL: Get at least one house, new cars for me an my family, invest in big things. I don’t even wanna dream like that…haha

Photo by: Barry Fontenot

AVIVA: What piece of advice do you have for aspiring models?
VL: Once you set your goals, go towards them, don’t let uneducated people put you down, be around the right people, and do what you love.
AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
VL: Visit me on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, my other Facebook, and my WEBSITE so you know what’s new in my modeling life smile and thank you for reading all this.

I would like to thank Veronica for this interview, and I wish her all the best in the future.