Issue #7


by HardFitness

2005 USA's Figure and Female Bodybuilding Results and Photos

2005 Team Universe Results and Photos

2005 USA's in Vegas Review

2005 Team Universe Review

Credible Constructive Criticism
by Katie Szep

Video Interview: Pamela York NPC Figure

The Basics
by Chrissy Garcia

Cover Model Video Interview: Traci Redding

The Logic of Abs Training by Rossella Pruneti

featuring Traci Redding, Tamee Marie, Karen Zaremba, Debbie Bramwell, Melissa Degasis

20 Questions with our Cover Model Traci Redding

Video Interview: FBB Debbie Bramwell

The Supplement "Activator": Water
by Rossella Pruneti

Video Interview: FBB Sherry Smith

Editorial by Juan Carlos Lopez

Time for another piece of interesting information, it now seems everyone reads these editorials. First of all the last two weeks have been really hectic since all the traveling and shows I've attended. 4 shows in five weeks is a lot and I remember doing almost the same last year, except last year I had 5 shows in a row. But didn't have this site to maintain and organize by name all of the photos.

I learned new things and met many interesting people on this trip. There are several issues I would like to touch but I will begin with what most impressed me and really got me thinking. One person, a personal trainer from Florida Randy Scoates changed the way I viewed the industry and it's details. I met Randy and her client Alia Anor for a shoot on Wednesday night in NYC. I had just arrived from JFK airport and got in a bit late. My flight arrived Wednesday night at 9:20pm and I was at the Hotel at 10:10pm roughly. We did a 2 hour shoot and it was very fun. Randy was there to aid Alia and between outfit changes we got to talk about several things. One thing that made Randy from any other person i've met in this industry was his bluntness. In talking about certain competitor that came up to conversation he would immediately point out their weak points and things he didn't like like posing, presentation, etc... Rumor is that Randy carries around a dictionary where the word "professionalism" is highlighted. He shows this page to his clients very often to remind them on how to behave and direct themselves. It had been a long time since I had thought about what the word meant. I've been dealing with several flaky people in this industry and as a photographer when setting up appointments back to back you need to have responsive people to work with you. In my case I have people waiting for a open slot and sometimes a no show messes things up. A call is always appreciated to let me know they can't make it to a shoot and that way I can fill that spot.

So the word professional means that and more. Randy was mentioning how many competitors came to check-ins without make up and dressed up in sweat pants and shirts. Few competitors did make it out there dressed up nicely and looking good. I think this issue can be a point of view but it adds a bit more to a competitor 's overall image. The one thing I can say in the last few months of scheduling shoots was that IFBB Pro in the majority are the best to schedule things with. I remember calling IFBB Pro Lea Waide to confirm a shoot in the morning of the shoot and she was surprised to hear I had to call my shoots to confirm. A great example regarding professionalism is Jenny Lynn. Not only does she excel in competition and in training clients but she also is very responsive thru email. If I send an email to Jenny today she'll get back to me today or tomorrow unless she is out of town. But you don't have to wait until you are a famous pro to showcase professionalism. Several amateurs I have worked with have been able to showcase professionalism which is a trait I admire over a great physique or pretty face. In my experience figure and fitness are the most professional and female bodybuilders are the worst.

To end this subject, some people have asked me what does someone have to do to appear on a cover of I always consider a great physique and pretty face but the determining factor is their attitude and professionalism. I don't want anyone to represent my magazine that first of all doesn't showcase professionalism. I don't care how many trophies they have or how great they think they are. This site is only growing and will grow even more every year. For example last issue's cover model Andrea Giacomi was chosen not only because of her physique and face but because of her high degree of professionalism in such a short amount of time in this industry. So you never know who I will pick but I always make the point in picking someone I think represents my ideas and point of views best.

Just recently at Team Universe I was going to put on my cover a competitor but she made the mistake of asking for monetary compensation saying she was very tired and $200/hr would make her do the shoot. She has only competed in two Nationals shows and is fairly young but given the amount of quality competitors I shoot it made no sense to me what she was asking for. I said no and will probably never ever give her a cover or even put her on my site anymore. Why? Because I don't agree with her point of views and direction she is heading to. I think it's poor form to ask any photographer for money. Be aware of the sites around the industry and pick those you want to work with. Most of the pro competitors don't ask for money so next time if you are a competitor and look for monetary compensation think about it twice. So in other words try to be as professional as you can be and think and research before you speak, this industry is very small and in most cases most exposure helps.

Next topic on hand is the politics and the judging, I did about 35 shoots in total for both the USA's and Team U. So I heard a lot of ranting and people wondering why they placed here and there. Most people are aware of the politics behind a person's win or as to why some physiques place high up there even when they look far from the top 2 placings. The industry in which we all live in and compete in is a business to begin with. If I sponsor a show I would obviously like my athlete to win it. A simple reason is that if my athlete wins then I can put up more money in the industry. This seems to work very well and makes the industry a business rather than a sport. So next time anyone competes do your homework and research who is competing. Class A at Team Universe many people where shocked at the results. Of course Karen Zaremba looked the best but didn't get first place. This is when you have to calm down do your research and look at it as a business. I was sitting next to trainer Randy Scoates on Friday night and he was twisting and turning at the callouts. On Saturday he was also not agreeing with most of the callouts for the amateur figure. Some competitors have paid their dues and that's why they turn pro, other simply deserve it and others turn pro because of political reasons. The way figure and fitness is heading to is to the mainstream. They are trying to make more money and in a business that is the main goal. I've heard from judges certain competitors have been placed 3rd or 4th in their classes not because of who they are but because they want to make a point with that persons look or physique. Sounds insulting huh? But maybe a top 5 placing you get it's because the industry wants your look among all these hard physiques to show everyone things are changing. You have to compete for yourself and try as hard as you can to get that pro card or qualify for the Olympia but make sure when you do you indeed look you best.

I don't know how many of you reading this are athletes from other sports such as soccer, football, track & field, baseball or whatever. But when I play soccer the one thing I hate is having an advantage. I simply dislike it as it seems that when you win that win is not as deserving. On the other hand when you have one player less than the opponent and you are at a disadvantage it is that what makes that win special. I don't know many people who have done this but when I played competitive soccer back in Mexico I was in a tournament and getting close to the finals. I dribbled inside the penalty area and a defender followed me from behind. The field was wet so when trying to motion for a right foot shot my left foot slipped and lost my balance. Since the defender slid at the same time the referee called a penalty kick. I got up and went up to the referee and told him I had slipped due to the wet spots in the grass and that it was no penalty. My teammates yelled and cursed at me as we were loosing the game and needed that goal to tie it. At that moment for some reason under pressure I was able to admit to what really happened, not helping my team but being fair which I considered much more important even when we lost the game. I've yet to see a competitor who wins a show to hand a trophy to the person who really deserves it. And when this happens is when our industry from being a business will turn into a real sport.




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