Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Value of Hiring a Professional Fitness Model vs. a Pro Athlete.

     I used to make fun of my own kind ('fitness' models), because we have so much emphasis put upon our appearance and aren't perceived as true athletes, however after doing this gig for 14 years I've come to value this title again, because when you need a fit body to exercise literally all day long with no whining or pampering, and make your prototype product or apparel look flawless, and be able to basically reproduce any sport or fake it pretty darn well with zero rehearsal, the pro Fitness Model will kick the pro athlete's ass 9 times out of 10.  Making the client's product look amazing is our sport!
     Not trying to take away anything from the professional athlete.  In fact many of you know I have always tried to draw parallels between myself and what I do as a working fitness model with professional athletes.  I've always advocated and almost preached, "function over aesthetics", "performance over aesthetics", and claimed I was in a sense a 'holistic athlete'.

      I've always had the utmost respect for professional athletes, getting paid to be the best at their sport and train all day for their profession and with purpose.  Many times however, it is the professional athlete who is so concerned with his upcoming race or training schedule, that he is afraid the demanding and often unusual or unorthodox exercises required on set by the director will either injure him or hurt is brand.  Or his rate set by his manager will be cost prohibitive.  He is worried that his actions will be seen as an endorsement.  He is used to being hired as a celebrity, not simply a generic model whose body is simply a prop for the product!  One pro athlete I recently worked with took so long to warm-up, and then needed a cool down...a lot of photographers will not accommodate this haha!

     The truth is, most of the top pro fitness models I have worked with over the course of the past 14 years and 200+ bookings, grew up playing many sports as far as the college level, and even beyond.  Some are Special Operations Forces veterans.  Some of course, are just gym-rats from day one!
     Even now as I mostly do fashion and apparel modeling, the apparel is usually performance or outdoor type, requiring me to stay fit and perform many exercises and sports.  'Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none'? - I don't think so.  The pro fitness model is a master at making our client's product look amazing - better than reality even.  Deceiving?  At times maybe, but that is beyond our job scope unfortunately.  We are athletes.  Everyday athletes, or  #OccupationalAthletes as someone said to me recently!

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