Monday, February 2, 2009

Check Out My Butt in Oxygen Magazine!

Flip to page 108 in the March 2009 issue of Oxygen, and you'll see a close-up of my caboose.

That's right! For the fourth time, my booty is featured in one of my favorite fitness mags.

I must admit—I'm happy with how it looks. But it didn't feel that way while Paul Buceta, photographer extraordinaire, was telling me to arch my back, stick out my butt and hold it while he snapped away!

In fact, I didn't know much about modeling until I started doing photo shoots. Contrary to popular belief, modeling is a lot tougher than it looks.

The exercises demonstrated in magazines look pretty typical. But for a photo shoot, the art director and photographer work together to position you in certain angles that feel unnatural—and it's not always easy to hold those positions until they've captured the perfect shot.

They do this intentionally, of course, so that the reader sees the appropriate muscle groups once the magazine is laid out. And even though it can be uncomfortable, it's well worth it for the end result.

My favourite part of photo shoots is getting my hair and make-up done. Anyone who knows me knows that I typically look like a ragamuffin. Seriously, you wouldn't think I was a model! My hair is usually in a matted ponytail from my morning cardio, and I'm so rushed to get to work after training that I often don't even button my shirt correctly. Even worse, colleagues have pointed out holes I've torn in dress shirts by accidentally flexing my lats! (Thank you very much, Lina.)

And if that's not bad enough, my pants are falling off because I'm dieting again.

Hmm. Sounds like I need to work on a few things in my day-to-day appearance!

But once I'm at the studio, the transformation begins! Hair and make-up are done, wardrobe is assigned, my body is oiled up and … WHAM! I feel beautiful! BAM! I'm ready for my close-up!

I've also learned a lot from the shoots I've done. One of the most important lessons I've picked up is that you have to feel confident and smile naturally. A forced smile is obvious and will ruin a photo.

Try it for yourself: Take one photo with a forced smile and then a second with a natural smile and compare the two. Natural smiles need to come from within.

During my last photo shoot, I thought about things that made feel happy … particularly what I was going to eat as soon as I left the photoshoot—carrot cake!

Naturally, the fact that I've been lucky enough to appear in Oxygen also makes me smile. This shoot, like the others, was a fantastic experience—one that helped me grow as a model and as a person.

And I'm looking forward to future growth (just hopefully not from the carrot cake).

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