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Model of the Month
Cristina Valenzuela, Fitness Model and Vocalist/Songwriter was selected Model of the Month for June. We have interviewed Cristina. Here is what she shared:
  • How would you describe your professional interests?
My professional interests are in the arts in general. I've always been very artistic and creative. I am a Vocalist/songwriter and a Dancer. Those two things have always been my passion and i have always wanted to pursue them professionally. I have had some great opportunities in both fields and am currently working on some projects but in this day and age you can't just be good or marketable in one thing. You have to have multiple hats that you can wear and excel in. I know in the entertainment & fashion industries the more versatile you are the more you are worth. That is why I also want to excel and work in the modeling industry because that will be one more thing under my belt. Plus I see it as another art form. It’s another great way to express and captivate different feelings and moments just like music. My goal is to become a brand that has longevity in all the different aspects in the entertainment/modeling world, maybe even create my own cosmetic line and clothing line. 
  • What is your nutrition? How often do you go to the gym? Do you practice constantly? 
Well, I am actually a Fitness Competitor so Fitness and Nutrition is a HUGE part of my life. I keep a pretty clean diet I stay away from processed food and greasy fried foods. It’s super important for me to know what goes in to my body because that plays a humongous role in getting my body where I want it to be. I go to the gym 5 days a week on my "off seasons" and 7 days a week when I’m in prep for shows. I practice daily when it comes to my posing. when competing 30% of your score is your posing and stage presence so I’m always making sure i am on point and most importantly comfortable and having fun!   
  • What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progress in this field?
Well, since I’m really into fitness and the competing aspect of it my ultimate goal is to be fitness model. I am currently in the "bikini" division and plan on staying there as far as my body goes so I think I will be very marketable and can really do well in that category of modeling. I really love IFBB Pro's Michelle Lewin and Ana Iturrondo there photos inspired me and are what sparked my interest in taking the next step further and actually going for it. I'm almost where I want to be physically so I would love to get to the pro level and eventually model for some of the top sports brands and supplement brands like Nike, Reebok, Under Armor, Dymatize, etc. I think I can do really well and be successful as long as I keep working hard towards it and my head in the right place. I can't wait!!
  • How do you prepare for a modeling shoot?
When it comes to a modeling shoot especially if you have to bring your own outfits I tend to be over prepared. I always tell myself expect the unexpected and be ready and prepared for anything. A week to a few days before, I make sure all of my waxing, tanning (if needed), nails, and hair is all ready and set. I also make sure my diet is adjusted accordingly, and most importantly my mind is in the right place and ready so when it go time its go time!
  • Do you have any hidden talents?
I don't have any "hidden talents" so to speak. I believe if you have a talent you shouldn't hide it you should embrace it, but depending on how some people know me they may not know about my other talents which are singing, dancing, make-up artistry, & cooking.
  • Do you do your own hair and make-up?
I always do my own hair and makeup unless there is going to be a hair stylist and makeup artist on set. I actually am a free lance makeup artist on the side so I have my own kit which gives me the option to do so many different looks. 
  • How would you describe your style? Consider anything and everything from color to historical eras and more. 
Hmm it’s hard to describe my style because I love mixing it up and changing it up all the time, but I would have to say my style is sassy and urban meets bohemian. With my crazy curls and my New Yorker attitude I am not afraid to try crazy patterns and be bright and "out there”, but I also love wearing maxi dresses and fringe tops in cool neutral colors. I love to accessorize everything. I guess it just depends on my mood and where I am going.  
  • Where do you generally shop?
Well I absolutely love going into NYC and just hitting up all the different clothing shops in Washington Heights or in SOHO but since I’ve moved and am currently in North Carolina I tend to shop at mostly online and the usual places that you can find in any mall like Forever 21 (LOVE THEM), H&M, Charlotte Russe,Pacsun, Tilly's & Macy's. As far as online my favorite store at the moment is Gojane.com !! they are amazing!!!
  • What makes [your city's] fashion unique?
I’m originally from New York one of the fashion capitols if the world. I think it’s unique because it is extremely diverse! Whether your into high fashion or street wear you can find it all there! there are so many different fashion styles and statements that you will only find in New York i love it and the best part is that it’s all right around the corner from each other on one block you've got Prada & Dolce & Gabbana  and on the next you've got urban outfitters and forever 21. Not to mention all of the major fashion events that happen every year like fashion week and various red carpet events. I can go on for days.
  • Boyfriend/Girlfriend. Does it become a problem with your progress?
I am happily married and my husband is the most supportive and understanding person in my life. I am so grateful for him. He is a soldier in the army and plays the drums for the army band. I think because he's always been a musician and in the entertainment business he understands the work and sacrifices that have to be made in order to be successful. he is brutally honest and tells me if I need to work on things and when I can do better and believe it or not I appreciate that more than having someone say good job and patting me on the back no matter what like most people do. I also think it’s because we are so open and honest with each other in this business communication is key. When it comes to my progress he never holds me back and is my number one fan. I left all my family and friends in NYC to be an "army wife" (whatever that means) and it was a struggle to find my happy place because it was so different and i think that he knows i followed him to be his support system so now he's doing the same and that means so much to me because i know others may have a more complicated relationship when it comes to their significant other.
  • State your availability: would you travel? Work full-time, part time? 
Any hours at the moment I am pretty open. I have no problem traveling and working long hours. If its going to help further my career, why not? 
  • How was your experience working with GCPhotographers? Would you work with him again?
My experience was phenomenal. I was very impressed with how professional he was and how comfortable he made everything for me. All of the shoots went so smoothly. he was very easy to work with and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that he prepared everything in advance and was very clear from the beginning what the concepts for me where going to be and the final product was amazing I couldn't believe it was me in the photos he has got a great eye and it shows in his photos. I would definitely work with him again it would be an honor and a pleasure.
  • What projects did you work on with GCPhotographers?
I worked on some fashion shoots. We also worked on his Fitness Project and Black Tape Project! I can’t wait to work on the next projects!
 
- Written by Mr. GC
The Ins and Outs Part1. I recently took my 8 month old son to a test photo shoot. The wait was outrageous for an infant. We had an appointment for 2pm, we arrived at 1:40pm. We didn't leave until 5:35pm. Although my son lost his energy after falling asleep, he did great. Overall, the experience was a good one. The staff at the studio were accommodating and helpful. The photographer was a bit slow, and seemed to take ages to get to us. But he also rushed us along as well. None the less, the photos came out great. He got some great shots and the agency was pleased. With the other children and a few adults that were present, it seemed chaotic. Some were unprepared and some were snobby. Children were screaming and seemed unhappy. With the exception of my children and another little boy who seemed to enjoy being in front of the camera. Which was where my skepticism came in to begin with,
I didn't want to thrust my son in that world and he didn't enjoy it. Watching her little brother smile and laugh for the camera, my daughter asked if she could also take part.

Upon arriving home, we received an email from the studio. They thanked us for our patience and offered us a "deal" on the copyrights to my sons photos. I understand that models need a portfolio and that it is basically their "passport" into modeling gigs. But it seemed a bit pricey. Granted it isn't required for me to purchase the package in order for my son to continue with the agency. The package they offered to us is £549, with a deposit of £200 and the rest in installments. Not being familiar with the industry and what it entails, I decided to decline the offer. I decided I'd like to research a bit more and possibly explore new options. Although I went into the shoot skeptical and unsure, I left feeling excited about the possibilities and pleased with the results.
- written by Tee
Where to Next?, GCPhotographers is a nationally and internationally known company. We have a few places on our radar for the rest on the year all the way to 2016. For 2014, we will continue to work across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Later in the fall, we are looking to visit either Texas or California. For 2015, we are looking to revisit Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, South Carolina, Kentucky, and England. For 2016, we are looking at Africa so far.
Visit Enerjiee to order your hand embellished eye wear today and get it just in time for summer!

The Future (September 2014), GCPhotographers has been involved in community service since 2004. Of the many movements I have been in involved, The September Concert Foundation is one of my favorites due to its excellent organization and the merging of beautiful music for a worthy cause. I especially enjoy the showcases hosted by E.J. Decker entitled The Heart of Jazz held at Ashford and Simpson Restaurant on the West Side of Manhattan. Follow the movement here on Facebook. Besides this, GCPhotographers will team up again with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and the first time The National Autism Association. Look out for our project promoting Autism Awareness.
- written by Mr. GC
Artist of the Quarter: Joy Monroe
samples of our work below.
Modeling Advice of the Week
  • Agents are the ones who "sell" a model. They want to be sure your look is marketable and appealing to clients [also meaning physical fitness and physical conditioning]. So when they offer you advice, take it. This will greatly increase your chances of having a great career.
  • Don't spend a lot of money on test photos for experience, even though hundreds of rip-off artists out there will tell you that you have to...You shouldn't spend more than the cost of photo development- [$100-$150].
- from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being a Model, 2nd Ed. by Roshumba Williams & Anne Marie O'Connor
GCPhotographers 101.1, It is hard to tell you what is the basic for photography when everyone has a personalized view of how it makes them feel. GC101.1: If you want people to see what you see, focus on it. Train your eyes so others can interpret your capture. A camera is never wrong. You tell it what to do and it will do exactly what you want. Go in-depth with learning about your camera. For GC101.2 (June 28th), we will talk about exposure.
For the month of June only, receive 35% of any service GCPhotographers offer. Simply follow us on instagram and like 10 or more images. This offer is only valid for the month of June.

My purchases for next month

by 54Kingdoms. More to add to my collection.

Score For Unity (#SFU). What's your color choice? make it at 54kingdoms.com

Promoting Africa's Solidarity at the 2014 World Soccer Championships

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Vol. 1, Issue 2