“Too many people get caught up comparing there selves to others rather than focusing on who they are”
Kevin, tell us about your career as model. How did you get started? I was discovered playing semi-pro football for the West Central Wildcats in Terre Haute, Indiana. The team was shooting a fitness calendar for a fundraiser to cover some of the team’s expenses when the team photographer, Rick Orlan, told me I should try to get into fitness modeling. I really did not think he was serious but he was. After shooting the calendar I started posting my pictures on social media and model mayhem. I was then discovered by Joem Bayawa; a very talented photographer from Chicago, Illinois. Joem really helped me start building my portfolio. I remember being really nervous at first but Joem was really easy to work with and helped teach me the basics of modeling. After we shot he contacted his inspiration and idol David Vance asking if he had interest in shooting me as well. When David replied that he was interested I was really excited. After shooting with these two amazing photographers I was able to get signed by multiple agencies shortly after. They established most of my portfolio and brought me straight into the modeling world. They taught me so much about modeling and the industry. I still have a lot to learn. I have also shot with the amazing Golden Czermak who has helped tremendously with social media and building a very good fan base with my modeling. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in modeling contacting these 3 photographers. They are all very talented men and well worth what they charge their models. Over the past two years these photographers have not only shot me in their portfolio’s they have become some of my closest friends as well. I am very happy and honored to meet such great people in the industry. I travel quite frequently to various locations for shooting all over the U.S. I have been contacted several times about shooting overseas but am still waiting to do so.
What agencies do you work with? I currently work with 6 different agencies: Chosen Model Management- Atlanta, Georgia; Modelogic Midwest- Chicago, Illinois; My Dreams Models- Chicago, Illinois; The Helen Wells Agency- Indianapolis, Indiana; Heyman Talent- Cincinnati, Ohio; Posche Models & Talent- Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
What are your interests next to modeling? Do you have other ambitions outside of modeling? Modeling has become a passion over the past two years for me. At first I thought it was fun but now I have grown to enjoy it even more. I love to travel and take care of my body and health. Outside of modeling I am a manager, fitness specialist/professional, and group instructor for a privately owned gym. I am working on my masters in kinesiology and coaching at Indiana State University. I have worked as a specialist for almost 10 years now. It is my true passion. As a young child I had bad ADHD and the doctors wanted to give me medicine to cure my problems but my parents could not afford the medication. I was born in a low income family. I was a very troubled child all throughout school receiving detentions, school suspensions, frequent principle visits, and was even expelled in high school. I was even on probation for half a year. Once I joined sports and started focusing on my health/fitness; I was able to overcome my problems (ADHD) and excel as a college/semi-pro athlete as well as fitness professional. I learned several life values from being physically active/sports such as self-discipline, a strong work ethic, morals, teamwork, networking skills, leadership, and life skills. After learning how much fitness has changed and impacted me I realized it could help others as well. That is when I realized I wanted to be a fitness specialist, strength and conditioning/life coach. I love to help people and show them what they can become if they try.
Is there anything you’d like to do in the future? What else do you have planned? In the future I want to open my own fitness facility specializing in customer service. I want to teach people fitness can be fun and there are people out in the world that want to truly make a difference in others. People should want to come to the gym. They shouldn’t have to force there selves go. A lot of people are ashamed of their bodies and health and do not want to be embarrassed. I want to show people no matter the shape and size of their body they are accepted. I want to help them achieve their short-term and long-term fitness goals. I don’t believe people that go to the gym should just be another face. I believe they should be educated on what they need to do to achieve their goals. Each person should be taken care of to feel more comfortable coming to the gym. Friendly and positive atmospheres help with the overall moral of the gym to keep people consistent.
What surprised you about modeling industry when you first got into it? And, what advice do you have for new models? When I first got into the modeling industry I was surprised by how fast it started off. I’ve always been told it starts off pretty slow but I have done a lot in the past couple of years since I’ve started. Most people start off really slow in the modeling industry but I started receiving decently steady work. The Advice I have for new models is make sure you choose the right photographer to start with when you begin modeling. I notice people are really influenced by their first photographer. If they have a bad experience they are less likely to pursue a modeling career. Make sure to do your research on the photographers you shoot with. Do not let someone stop you from achieving your dreams.
Kevin, what do you consider to be your career highlights, and what are you most proud of? What has been your favorite modeling experience thus far? I have several highlights including two book covers, one magazine cover, 8-9 publications in various magazines, and one book. I am most proud of how far I have come from when I first started modeling. It has been a long journey and that journey has just begun. My favorite modeling experiences so far are working large events with great companies such as The Indy 500 Snakepit Ball and Corona Shark Week. Not to mention all the adventurous group trips I take with my friends and photographers.
What keeps you excited about modeling? Modeling is a non-stop adventure. You never know what you are going to be doing next. From traveling to being published in magazines/books, posted on billboards, signs, etc. What I enjoy most is how much fun it can really be, the traveling, and the adventures modeling brings. What I enjoy least would be dating while being a model. It seems to be one of the toughest things to do. A lot of people are naturally jealous and the traveling/networking is difficult if the partner does not support you 100%. Casting calls can also be stressful. You may travel a distance to do them and it still doesn’t guarantee you get the job.
What are your favorite genres & styles of modeling? I really enjoy most types of modeling including commercial, lifestyle, fitness, implied artistic images, and promotional. They are all fun in their own ways. I enjoy the creativity that goes into each shoot and event. Promotional modeling can be fun because you get to interact with a lot of people and have a great time doing it depending on the job. Runway modeling is a rush getting up in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people.
In your opinion, what do you believe is the key to success for a model? What qualities does one need to succeed? In my opinion the key to be successful in modeling is knowing how to network and having good character. The models that succeed most are those who are enthusiastic, fun- loving, hardworking, but still show a good sense of professionalism.
Best advice you’ve ever received? Some of the best advice I have ever received is that we learn from our experiences. Also, that you be yourself and not try to be someone else. Too many people get caught up comparing there selves to others rather than focusing on who they are. What we have to understand is everyone is made differently and we should accept our own unique characteristics.
What do you find the most challenging part about working in modeling industry? The most challenging part about working in the modeling industry is competitiveness. Modeling is a very competitive industry to be in. The thing to remember is you are never going to get every audition and casting call you go to. Just because one company/client may not want to use you for their project does not mean the next one won’t.
In short, what is your secret routine to stay fit and attractive? Do you eat nutritiously? How often do you exercise or go to the gym? My biggest secret to staying in shape is by making fitness a consistent lifestyle and being self-disciplined to do so. I continue to challenge myself everyday by eating healthy and staying physical active. I stay physically fit and healthy because I believe in the motto, “Practice what you Preach”. As a fitness professional/specialist, group fitness instructor, health/fitness consultant, physical educator, strength and conditioning coach, fitness model, and sponsored athlete; I believe in dedication, discipline, and hard work. I stay fit and healthy by staying consistent with a well-balanced diet, weight lifting, and cardiovascular exercise. I like to switch my training up by working on aesthetics, and sports training. I usually work out 6-7 times a week. I try to do something active every day.
If you could have your next dream job, what would it be? My dream job would be to own an indoor/outdoor luxury gym focusing on athletes, serious cliental, models, and celebrities.
Where can viewers see more of your works and get connected with you?
Tell us one thing about yourself people might find surprising. One thing people might find surprising about me is that I have lived a pretty troublesome life leading up to my overall success and I had no intentions to model before I got started. I started from having nothing to becoming the best I can be. I weighed 135lbs my freshman year of high school by the time I graduated high school I was 190lbs. I was able to gain 55lbs by increasing my caloric intake and lifting weights. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Never stop believing in yourself.
What is your life motto? My life moto: “Excuses are for those who need them”
Thank you, Kevin.