Stretching for both Models & Photographers

This past weekend I had the opportunity to organize a TFP (Trade-For-Photo) photo-shoot in Kissimmee FL. I organized the event to allow my wife Leslie, who is a special effects makeup artist, the chance to get some new portfolio pieces under a controlled environment. Controlled being the key word in that sentence, because when you are applying makeup on the set of a movie or TV show there is often not enough time to stop and get a photo.

The event produced some amazing portfolio pieces, and 9 models, 3 SFX artists, and 2 photographers (including myself) participated. Despite the event being a success, and us achieving the goal of the event, everyone involved in the event was exhausted by the end of the weekend. Contrary to popular belief photography and modeling work is hard WORK! Both photographer and model are required to endure some very physical challenges including, but not limited to, being on your feet for hours at a time, working under hot lights, holding a variety of poses for long periods of time, and so much more.

So I guess it should not have come as any surprise that one of my models looked me up and saw that I used to own and operate Geek and Gamer Fitness, and Olympia WA based gym that catered to the geeky side of fitness. When she saw this she reached out to me and asked if I had any suggestions on good stretches models could do to help with their flexibility and endurance. It was and still is a great question, and I asked her if I could have a few days to ponder her question so I could answer it properly.

So without further delay here are my Best Fitness and Flexibility Tips for Models and Photographers.

Drink Water
Honestly this may seem like a simple tip, but believe me when I tell you how few of us drink enough water. Photography shoots are often early in the morning, and I have been on more then enough shoots where both models and photographers are running on coffee and canned caffeine. Your body needs water to function and drinking plenty of water will have tremendous benefits to any shoot you are doing, both in front of and behind the lens.

Have a regular fitness routine
There is no right or wrong way to exercise and workout. As long as you are moving your body in a safe way you will reap the benefits. Some people like walking/running, others, like myself, enjoy weight lifting, some people like yoga. How you exercise is not as important as actually exercising. I often suggest to models Yoga with Adriene. She literally has hundreds of free guided yoga videos that have all sorts of challenge and skill levels. Leslie and I often find ourselves doing one of her videos when we can’t make it to the gym.

Stretch before and after the shoot
Stretching does not have to be complicated, or long. Further there is no end of free guided videos on YouTube. In fact doing a quick search on YouTube just now gave me this.
Now these three tips may seem overly simplistic, and you may even be inclined to ignore this because of how simple these tips are. In our society we have been led to believe simple things have little value, and complicated things have more value. This isn’t true. In fact, it is often the simple things in life that bear the most fruit and yield the greatest results.

So try these things and I promise that they will help you during your next photo shoot.

In the meantime if you would like to follow me on my other socials I encourage you to do so. Check the links here.

Success Is Slow…But Its Worth It!

I was reading an article today by Jon Acuff, talking about success being a slow process.  I think its important to be dedicated to you craft, regardless of how many people are in your audience.  After reading his post I couldnt help but think about my own journey over the last several years.  I started Geek and Gamer Fitness with no clients, no plan, no real idea what I was getting myself into.  All I knew is I want to start a group that would provide a safe place for Geeks and to workout.

IMG_0143 1My very first class had two people show up, Tiffany, and Alia.  To be honest I don’t remember much more about that class.  I was just happy people had shown up.  But over time two people turned into 4 people and 4 into 8 and so on.  Now, two years later, we have 16+ people showing up every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Geek and Gamer Fitness has been invited to speak at conventions such as Emerald City Comic Con, Rose City Comic Con, and Wizard World Portland Comic Con.  We are even making plans to open up Geek and Gamer Fitness clubs in Seattle and Portland this year.

The point is, if you had asked me on that first day if I saw Geek and Gamer Fitness growing into what its become I would have told you no.  Even more exciting is I cant wait to see what Geek and Gamer Fitness grows into in two more years, and hopefully many more beyond that.  So if you are struggling with building something be patient, keep going, and no matter how big your audience create something amazing.

Project Gratitude 2014 – Day 17

OK I have been really bad about this.  This was a major 2014 goal of mine, because expressing thanks for the things we have is important.  It helps us remember the posative aspects of our life, and keeps us from getting overwhelmed by the negative parts.  Today I am grateful for…

    1. Fraiser – When I was in high school while all the other kids were watching 90210 I watched Fraiser.  The show was funny, and no matter what kind of mood I was in could always make me laugh and smile.  I always enjoyed hearing about Seattle, and think its wonderful that I now get to live and work so close to a city I grew up admiring.  I also really enjoy the style found in the show.  From wine, fine dining, suites, artwork, and more, I have always enjoyed fine things.
    2. Experimenting – Piggybacking on Fraiser I decided to try an experiment today.  In the show Fraiser and Niles are always drinking Sherry.  I have never had Sherry before so I decided to try some tonight.  I went with a cream blend and…about choked!  This is a VERY sweet drink.  I am not sure if its because I bought a cream or if that’s how all Sherry tastes, but it has A LOT of sweetness to it.  I am not sure if I will buy another bottle after I finish this one, but I am thankful for the experience and the adventure.
    3. My Fit Geeks – Several years ago I started Geek and Gamer Fitness

. Tonight while I was running the Friday night class I was so proud of how inclusive my Fit Geeks are. They support and encourage each other, while pushing themselves to be the best they can. I was very impressed with Chris tonight who really pushed himself hard tonight. He had missed part of Monday nights class, and was doing his best to make up for it. I was very proud of him.