Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Made the cover for REPS magazine, May 2013 issue

     I was fortunate to make the cover for REPS Magazine, May/June 2013 issue.  These covers are not easy to land, and it's very competitive, the irony being they don't pay much either.  Probably because so many models are bribing the editors to be on their cover, haha!  And no matter how many covers one may have appeared on, you always want another one, because few things can boost your modeling career and your relevance as much as a recent cover can.

      This cover was shot by Robert Reiff at his MagicLight studio in Marina del Rey, CA.  Robert Reiff & I have landed 3 covers together and he has shot probably over 1000 fitness magazine covers in his legendary career, so you may want to contact him if you want to try to move your fitness modeling career from the inside editorial pages to the coveted cover.  Let's be honest - landing a cover has as much to do with who you know as it does with how you look.  Work hard to build some solid relationships with some A-list photographers in the industry and it will continue to pay big dividends throughout your career as you both develop a professional trust with each other's work ethic and reliability.

     Like I said, landing a coveted cover of a major fitness magazine is super competitive.  Guys are literally knocking down doors everyday trying to be on the cover.  Not only do you have the traditional legends, who have almost become celebrities to compete with - guys like Greg Plitt, who is on a new cover every month, not kidding! - but you also have a non-stop influx of younger, new talent coming in, who are all in better shape with more muscle-mass, and are annoyingly eager.  And they're single too and have a lot more time on their hands.  In fact the day I shot this cover, (cover-TRY at the time), in Robert Reiff's studio, Kyle Clarke had just shot before me, and Plitt before him, and a few others from the A-lister, usual-suspects the week before that.  All of us, going in with the dangling carrot of  'cover-TRY' hanging in front of us.  In fact here is a photo from my camera that Robert took of Kyle Clarke and I on the day of our cover shoot in Robert's studio set:

     Of course, Kyle got the first published cover to come out following this shoot, and it was well deserved.  He looked incredible.  Robert Reiff was funny too, because he made everyone of us in front of his camera feel special, like we were the best of the best, and he inspired the confidence we all needed to get the shot!  But of all the boys to shoot that day, I can claim I was not only the oldest, but also the only family-man of the bunch with a full-time career as an airline pilot to boot.  And you can bet I'm claiming all that now - these days I no longer hide the fact that I'm forty-something, but rather am embracing it as part of my new branding.  Any kid can get in shape in his twenties with no family to be accountable to - when all he has is the gym and his body to be accountable to.  But when you can land a cover with age forty-something hormones, forty years worth of injuries, fatherhood duties and a full-time career, THEN you've truly accomplished a feat with bragging rights!

     Shortly after this cover was shot, the founder of this magazine, Robert 'Bob' Kennedy, of RKP publications, passed away.  Publishing icon, Robert Kennedy also launched MuscleMag International, Oxygen & Clean Eating magazines.  You can learn more about his story and his battle with cancer at his memorial link, Robert Kennedy 1938-2012.  R.I.P. Bob Kennedy, and thanks for putting me on your cover twice.

     This makes almost 30 covers for me, but honestly in 2013 I didn't know if I had another cover in me, both because of my age and because I've gone on record condemning the shady, deceptive side of the 'fitness industry', to include an extremely unbalanced emphasis of aesthetics over health, to the point where some models couldn't hold up to any basic athletic standard, and some of the photographers and editors have to have a Masters degree in PhotoShop to stay employed.  At one point during my most outspoken, idealistic phase, I was basically blacklisted or disavowed by many of my clients & colleagues in the industry.  Since then I've realized the harshness of my approach, and that I was naive to be so idealistic.  In the end a professional fitness model (talent) gets paid to look exceptional and demonstrate the given exercises with proper technique, as the paying client directs.  We're not paid to actually be holistically healthy on the inside or to share our opinions, or to judge.  Now I choose not to judge, but rather to set a better example personally, and also to remember there are times when I'm being paid to just shut-up and be a model like I did when I was first starting out in this biz, and other times when I'm being hired as trainer & endorser.

     Thanks for your support and please pick up an issue, avail on newstands April 23rd!  And by the way, if you're wondering who did the 'styling' for this shoot, it was exclusively your's truly - my boardshorts, my volleyball, my hair and no make-up:)  Best, Max

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