Tal Barnston: The Perfect Fit

To maintain one’s body is a struggle. The calorie-coated items of our daily lives plague our healthy mind, or, well, the part of the mind that is trying to be healthy. It’s hard to master a nutritional, healthy lifestyle, and yet, not only has Tal Barnston perfected the task, he’s helping others do it for themselves.

IMG_1553

The 21 year old, Los Angeles native has spent the past few years taking his physique and overhauling it, for the growth of his athletic abilities and for his blossoming modeling career.  And of course, it only makes sense that he studies Physical Therapy at the University of Santa Barbara. To hear the intensive training he undergoes, as well as his trainees, was incredibly interesting, even though I felt exhausted just hearing about it myself. So, take a gulp of water and a deep breath, for it’s time to undergo some training.

Making it in the modeling world requires you to have a near perfect physique, but with Mr. Barnston, he’s already one step ahead of the game. So, while maintaining an incredible body is one large portion of his life, where does modeling fall? “I have never officially signed with a modeling agency. Since the age of 18 I have been asked to model for different shoots. Various photographers have been interested in shooting for mutual portfolio development and I have also done several shoots for up and coming clothing companies. Modeling has not been a lifelong passion. However, keeping in shape, healthy, and looking as best possible all the time has always been consistent throughout my life.”

So the interest in a healthy lifestyle has been a constant through his life, but when did he first express interest in helping others achieve their ideal bodies? “I started personal training at the age of 17. I wasn’t trying to establish myself as a trainer at the time, but simply develop as a basketball player. I played basketball all 4 years of high school and was by far the smallest and skinniest for the first 3 years. Hiring Rene Johnson, basketball and personal fitness trainer, was one of the best decisions I had ever made. He started as my trainer and developed into my best friend until this day. He helped me gain 35 lbs in the first month and half and take my game to a much more advanced level. After having such drastic changes, I must have influenced a few people because others were now asking for my help as well. 1 person turned into 10 people by the time I was 18. 10 people turned into 15 by the time I was 19. At the age of 21 I currently assist and train 20 people. The numbers seem to increase as I spend more and more time in Los Angeles. Studying Athletic Training and working in the Athletic Training room with all Santa Barbara City College athletes has translated over to my ability to develop men, women, and children all over Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.”

 

And with his intensive knowledge of training and the human body, he got a gig with The Santa Barbara Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. “In Fall of 2014, I rushed the University of Santa Barbara Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity simply for the experience I would receive. I felt that the frat had a collection of individuals who I could create some memories with and build relationships that could only benefit my success in the near future. In the process of pledging I became known as that fitness guy that could most likely answer questions and help out with anything fitness related. I always helped out and decided that after initiation, it would be a great opportunity to help and build my personal experience with a fraternity boot camp. I began hosting open workouts 5-6 times a week 1-2 times a day for 3 months. In a frat that reaches numbers over 100 individuals, over 3/4 had came to the workouts.”

Well, with his popularity among the frat, he must have a great workout system. So, what would a workout with Tal Barnston entail? “Training the fraternity consisted of a 30-40 minute high intensity and high pace bodyweight workout from start to finish. The workout would always begin with a group dynamic stretch (stretching that involves active movements related to the exercises about to be executed). It would then move into separating everyone into even groups to work with. If there were 15 people at the workout that day there would be 3 groups, 20 people and there would most likely be 4 groups. In that group I would choose exercises that needed to be accomplished in a collective fashion in an attempt to always keep our brotherhood working together and keeping the family aspect involved. An example would be one person doing 10 clap push ups while everyone else was in a squat hold. Once the person finished the push ups he would get up into squat position and the person to the right of him would begin his clap push ups. This would continue until everyone in the group had completed the pushups. Group exercises like this may start off easy for the first 2 minutes, but it soon turns into a lot of motivating and positive enforcement in order to finish and move on to a collection of different exercises.”

I’m literally winded from just imagining that. I can’t even begin to imagine what he does on his own. “In order to maintain my physique, I workout and stay active 6 days out of the week. I surf in the early mornings before work 3 times a week,  have a high intensity 40 minute weight lifting/bodyweight workout in the late afternoon, and usually find time to do a different form of cardio 3 times a week at different times of the day or night as well. This includes sprinting, cone work, soccer, basketball, swimming, hiking, jogging, jump rope, and anything else that is available to get my heart rate going for 15-40 minutes of my day.

With such a large focus on physical training, where do his aspirations for his future lie? Do they include modeling? “My aspirations are based mainly around on helping others. I find enjoyment out of training people because I feel amazing as a person develops before my eyes and becomes the person physically and mentally that they have always wanted. Helping others reach their goals has a return that is priceless. However, helping others and training others only benefits the people that I personally work with. For this reason, I aspire to create a system that can help people reach their fitness and health goals on a much larger scale. With this I plan to also be an established Physical Therapist. But besides the training side, I do really enjoy modeling. It keeps me focused on maintaining a clean cut look and body. It is rewarding to see a great picture as I know that it was worked for. If the opportunity to model more than part time rises, I would be more than happy to take it. I would love to travel the world for modeling purposes. I feel that traveling and modeling would be an amazing experience.”

Well, while on the subject of body images, many in the fashion industry hold negative connotations regarding their bodies, as is the case when looking at extremely thin models. What would a trainer say to this? “People that struggle with weight issues go through a very hard time feeling comfortable in there own skin. I speak from experience in being one of the skinniest kids in high school. My younger brother and many of my clients can speak from experience in being remarkably overweight. I advise all people that have such issues to not walk to get what they want but to sprint. It will take a lot longer to walk to the grocery store than to run there. If people want a change it is completely up to them on how long it will take to be successful. The answers and opportunities are out waiting for us.”

And if people are searching for a change, a change to live a healthier lifestyle, they should contact Mr.Barnston, an incredible trainer and, possibly, future model. So, if you’re a model, looking to obtain the perfect physique, or just an average joe, looking for a healthy path, you know who to call.

Advertisements

Sabrina Franza: The Royal Look

She’s beauty and she’s grace, she’s…well, Miss. Long Island Teen 2014, but we’ll just pretend that rhymes.

Sabrina 7

Yes, this gorgeous royalty, Sabrina Franza, is reigning over Oceanside, New York as this year’s teen queen, but soon she shall be moving her throne to a much larger kingdom, New York City. What does this land have in store for her? Well, Ms. Franza has been offered a spot at New York University’s Steinhardt School for Media, Culture, and Communications. Beauty and brains, Ms. Franza seems to dawn it all, while working as a devoted humanitarian in her free time. To be let into this wonderful queen’s life was a privilege, an interesting one at that.

One would think with all the time she spends on the road to the crown, that she would have no time to pursue any other passions. Wrongo. It seems as though, Ms. Franza, has quite the knack for modeling. But with a face like that, can you really be that surprised? So, how did it all come about? “I always was a theatre kid. Ever since I was seven years old, I’ve been taking private acting and singing lessons, while performing. As I got older, I realized that the best way to get myself out there was to make myself as marketable as possible! So, I hit the gym, took some pictures to finish my portfolio, and started submitting myself to whatever job/agency I would qualify. In a way, this outlook really helped me explore my talent and be open to new experiences.”

And soon enough, I’m sure, agencies were knocking down her door. What was her first coveted gig? “At first, I would try to shoot with photographers who were also just starting out. It was great experience for me, but also allowed us both to grow and learn more about our respective fields. I was able to get out of my comfort zone, because I could experiment different techniques without any actual consequences! I even tried modeling on a tractor once.. Needless to say it wasn’t my best idea, especially since I was standing super high, facing beach winds!”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a tractor shoot as much as the next guy, but maybe Ms. Franza should work her way up, maybe starting out on a nice bicycle of sorts? But,  this is a perfection representation of the personality that she possesses. Fun loving, outgoing, and a pretty face. That could take her anywhere. “There’s this goofy side of me that would love to dress up like a kid again. This is why when I was asked to model for Party City, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be paid for being a banana? Along those lines, I was once asked to do a commercial and print campaign for Splish Splash, a water park on Long Island. By the end of the shoot, I knew every single employees name and probably rode the same ride a million times, but the experience was super fun. The commercial is actually still on air, I’m the girl with the blue bathing suit in the front! The very next day, we filmed a promotion for Johnny Rockets. I had a fake boyfriend for the shoot with a little ‘one milkshake, two straws’ action. It was cool having to meet the challenge of meeting someone that day and then having to act like you’ve known them for months. Until then, I couldn’t truthfully say I’ve ever had a complete stranger feed me french fries on camera. Recently, I was asked to model Triangle Swimwear for an upcoming online magazine. I was proud to have been picked because it proved to me that all the hours at the gym were paying off; It takes a lot of courage to take pictures in a swimsuit! It just shows you can conquer anything you set your mind too.”

Well, Ms. Franza should know a lot about courage and conquering, seeing as she is no stranger to being photographed in a swimsuit. Miss. Long Island Teen made sure of that. So, what made her want to go under that type of scrutiny? “My journey to the Miss Long Island crown started with a need to make a difference in my community. Combine that desire with a goal to become the best version of myself physically and mentally, and you end up in a pageant! I saw the work that previous winners had done, and submitted my picture on a whim. With a lot of hard work, I was able to win the Miss Long Island Teen crown on my first try. I competed in the three phases recognized by MUO (the Miss Universe Org): interview, swimwear, and evening gown. Each phase took hours of time in preparation, but I learned that with hard work, anything is possible!”

Ms. Franza is definitely the ideal image of the idea of hard work, and yet, some view these pageants as nothing more as a beauty contest among women, valuing what their outer image over what they truly have to offer. How does she feel about this predetermined judgement? “I am a firm believer that it takes a real woman with real courage to stand up in front of a crowd to be judged. Not many people can say they feel comfortable enough in their own skin to stand in a swimsuit, welcoming a score. A person who demeans pageantry also has no clue what happens after the girl gets the shiny tiara. She may look all glamourous when she wins, but she will spend an entire year getting her hands dirty helping others. Now when athletes compete, do they spend a year helping others after they win the superbowl? Didn’t think so.”

It is true that after the pageant ends, the tiara comes off, and the makeup washed away, the winners enter a world devoted to helping others. One organization that Ms. Franza has offered her time to is TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms), an organization that covers many topics, one being eating disorders. In the world of fashion, we see time and time again, many falling victim to the stress body images bring on. What does this organization, as well as herself, have to say on this issue? “TWLOHA is a non-profit movement that I am proud to be an advocate for. They help others embrace the beauty in themselves, learn that “hope is real” and realize that “every story is important.” I have witnessed within my own friends the truth in the statistic that one in five teens suffer from depression. As Miss Long Island Teen, it was extremely important to me to continue my involvement with TWLOHA’s Street Team, helping spread awareness through social media. My goal is to help people understand that each person can strive to be the best version of themselves in a healthy way. Pageantry has taught me the importance of physical fitness and self confidence, and I try my best to filter those lessons to anyone in need of help or just someone to talk too. The ‘model type body’ is a much different than the stereotype. Personally, I’m 5’3” and work hard to keep my body physically fit. Starving yourself is never the answer. In actuality, people who workout wanting to lose weight actually have to eat more (which rocks). There are so many better alternatives to become your best ‘you,’ physically and mentally, that starving yourself seems extremely unappealing. You matter! Don’t let anyone, any picture, or any stereotype tell you otherwise.”

Well, through it all, Ms. Franza has remained strong and a beacon of hope and inspiration to girls everywhere. And with the body image in order, fashion is the next thing many girls tend to worry about. So, what does fashion mean to her? “I’ve always looked up to Audrey Hepburn as a style icon. I love how she embraces the the simplicity of small details and makes every outfit glamourous. However, my style is tweaked to meet my tastes. I mean, come on; a pageant girl has got to have her bling and stilettos! Whatever your interests are, embrace them. Dress the the way you feel most confident and comfortable and everything else will follow. A girl’s best accessory is her smile.”

Truly, an inspiration and idol to many girls, Sabrina Franza is one of a kind. If not in modeling, I am sure that we will see more of her, in some form of fashion. She is kind hearted, a good soul, and truly someone that can capture the heart of millions.

 

Conrad Bischoff: Renaissance Man

As we shift the focus back on the fashion industry, it is my pleasure to introduce a rising face that is taking the modeling world by storm.

Darroch Putnam 2

Who is this talented man, you may ask? Well Conrad Bischoff, of course, a mature, 18 year old who will be jet setting off soon to study at the NYU campus in London, England. It comes as no surprise that this fellow has had quite the luck in his claim to fame, taking on the names of Prada and Marc Jacobs in his first year of his modeling journey. In less than 10 months, he’s conquered more than some have done in years. To hear his story was quite the honor and I’m incredibly pleased to share it with all of you.

So, how did this all come about? I’m sure Mr. Bischoff didn’t call Prada up and just simply ask to model. No, there was a beginning before that. “I signed with my agency, Red Models NYC, in August of last year, so I was 17. My freshman year of high school, I started to get into fashion more through Tumblr and eventually Instagram, and I sort of discovered the world of high fashion and it became less alien to me. During the end of my sophomore year, I started sending a few photos around to different agencies, but it wasn’t until I was living in NYC that summer, that my agent, George Brown, scouted me. I signed about a week later.”

It seems as though the process has only begun, and yet, everything is moving so quickly. I’m sure it was only a moment’s notice until he got his first job, right? “My first ever shoot was for an online blog, Visual Tales, shot by John Tan. It was an interview series he was doing for new faces. Going into it, I was pretty nervous just because I didn’t know how he’d react if I messed something up or didn’t know how to move for the camera. But he ended up being really chill and we actually shot again a few weeks later. Our first shoot was at different locations around Manhattan and I had to change looks in alleyways, so it was definitely a sort of crazy first experience, but I loved it.”

And soon enough, he took from changing in alleys to working for Prada and Marc Jacbos, two very incredibly experiences, I’m sure. “After about 3 months of doing test shoots and building my book, my agent told me that a few big designer brands were interested in having me walk for their Fall/Winter shows in January. The brands I knew of were Gucci, Prada, and Burberry. Throughout most of December, I’d have to go to my agency and take unedited digitals to send to the brands, since they couldn’t actually meet with me as they were all based in Europe. Sometime at the end of December, my agent called me and just said “Hey Conrad, what do your parents want..?” Confused, I asked what he was talking about and he said, “When you go to Milan, I mean, what do they want?” After that I freaked out and couldn’t believe that someone had actually booked me so soon. He explained that Prada had booked me as a Worldwide Exclusive, meaning they wanted me to walk for their show and only their show that season, and in exchange they’d pay extra and cover my airfare/hotel costs. The actual show was amazing to be a part of, things like meeting Miuccia Prada and meeting up with other models from around the world was so incredible. About a month after Prada, Marc by Marc Jacobs booked me for their lookbook shoot, which was inside of this really sick, sort of tarnished warehouse in downtown Manhattan. They had installed this half pipe in the space and had us shooting on it, which was really cool. A few weeks after that, I did a job for Marc Jacobs that’s been one of my favorites to date; I basically just played dress up with the team as they tried different pieces on and off me in order to decide what the new collection would be like. It was everything from last season’s pieces to vintage stuff and the looks were all amazing, plus the people are so nice to work with.”

With all this success in such a minute amount of time, it must be a completely different environment for the family setting. How does his family take to all of this? “They are supportive to the extent that modeling is a good way to make money. They don’t really understand the more artistic viewpoint of you helping someone’s vision come to life or how you’re becoming a different character each time you’re in front of the camera. They’d really like to see me go into business or science, but I’m so into art, music, and fashion now, I know I’ll be working with something a bit more cultural.”

Alas, some are just not artistically inclined to appreciate the finer points in life, yet he could find the situation much worse. So, what does Mr. Bischoff plan on studying at college then? “I didn’t know exactly what part of fashion I wanted to work in going into the college application process, so I thought a broad education like Liberal Studies would be best until I work it out. I hope the more work with modeling I do, the better I’ll know the industry and what exactly I want to do later on. I’d love to be a creative director for a label or magazine. I plan on modeling as long as I can; I really do love the work and the people I get to meet/places I get to travel. It sounds so cliche, but its 100% true.”

And it seems 100% genuine. Fashion has inspired millions of people, taking them from beyond who they thought they could be. With the infinite meanings of fashion, what does fashion mean to him? “Fashion’s really become my best way to get a first impression from someone. How much someone cares about their appearance really tells you a lot about who they are. And knowing fashion as I do now, you’re able to identify certain looks or pieces with past influences and see what the person was trying to identify with when they chose that to wear. Fashion’s all about choice and the individual’s image.”

So then what exactly is Conrad Bischoff’s image? “I don’t think I really have a look.  I really think I identify best with Marc Jacob’s “Slight bohemian, a little off-color” brand description. I’ll usually take a lot of inspiration from 40’s and 50’s musicians/actors, but put more of a modern spin on it. I love the patterned/color blocked button ups from the periods, but instead of slacks I’ll wear skinny jeans and a leather biker jacket with them. Mixing pieces is a big part of my style, but doing it in way that’s effortless. If some stuff isn’t meshing well, I’ll just feel uncomfortable wearing it. A big part of modeling is being comfortable with your look, so you can be confident to meet with a client.”

Well, confidence is key in a world that judges your image, but certainly, Mr. Bischoff has no problem with that. It’s safe to say that, soon enough, we will be seeing the Conrad Bischoff as the face of, maybe, Prada, perhaps, Gucci, or so be it, Vogue. Whatever the case may be, I am certain that he will be going on to conquer the world in the most fashionable of ways.

Aija Mayrock: A Red Carpet Beauty

Here at Catwalk, I believe in representation of all the art forms, as they connect through the web of passion and expression. So, to add diversity to this ever-progressive site, it is time to feature the moving model, the actress.

I found this occasion to be rare, as Catwalk is a site to feature the growth and talent in fashion. Yet, fashion can be found in all artforms, especially on the actress. We all flashback to the iconic white dress that Ms. Monroe dawned for us, or Audrey Hepburn’s classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s look, and even Ms. Elizabeth Taylor, showing us just how fashionable Cleopatra could really be. In all reality, fashion is what makes movies classics, it is what drives the character of any actor or actress. To be inspired from what one wears, what one feels as they drape through the room in an evening gown to die for. It’s inspiration. Fashion is what inspires the movie industry, it makes the imagery in a director’s head, the fire in the actor’s heart, it’s the base of fantasy. And so, when I first took this feature on, I wondered, how would I relate this to fashion…until I realized, you can’t act without it. So, without further ado, I present the inspiration for this diverse piece, Ms. Aija Mayrock.

381404_2375898207381_684990095_n

Yes, Ms. Mayrock is certainly one of a kind, a true talent. This New York native has proved to be quite the busy girl, taking on projects as an actress, a writer, and so much more that it leaves heads spinning. She uprooted her family from their New York dwelling to spend the past five years in Southern California, chasing her passions. However, as glamorous and beneficial California has been, Ms. Mayrock will be returning to the big city, after being offered a position in the Tisch School of Arts at New York University and for more business. And thankfully, she took time from her chaotic schedule to invite me into her life and her passion before it all goes taking off.

So, to uproot her entire life to move to California must mean that she has been passionate about this career for quite sometime now. “I loved to act and make up stories since I was a baby. But, I didn’t start discovering my craft and working until I moved to California at 14. I had a burning passion and desire to act. So, I started training every weekend with an acting teacher and then fell into my first opportunity.”

The American Dream, a convertible full of luggage, driving down the West Coast with nothing but some talent and a dream…anyways, so what was this coveted first opportunity? “My first acting job was actually when my screenplay was accepted into the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It was made into a short film and I was collaborating with the director. She asked if I had anyone in mind to play the leading role and I said “How about me?” So that was my first job.”

Santa Barbara International Film Festival, pssh, no biggie. She just happened to win it twice. A talented actress and a writer, oh do tell. “When I was 14, I saw a poster at my school for a screenwriting competition that the SBIFF was having. The deadline was that night. I went home and wrote my first screenplay. I was really lucky to have it accepted. That film wound up winning and being made into a short film. The film was about bullying and it was called “A Heart’s Journey”. The following year I was a finalist for a screenplay I wrote that was a coming of age story titled “Diego”. I also was a finalist for directing (someone else’s script whom I was paired with) and that film was called “Dying with Laughter”.”

Honestly, the talent shines through when Ms. Mayrock can write a winning screenplay in just hours. Purely talented, which must be why she has more ties with the SBIFF and other writing awards. “Other than my 2 screenwriting projects for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, I was actually also the face of the festival in a sizzle reel film that the SBIFF produced. This was filmed this year. So I acted, directed, and wrote this film. It was a life changing experience. Additionally, I have won Gold and Silver Keys from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. I have also done some writing for local magazines and blogs.”

And as for more talent, she has a soon-to-be book. What juicy, insider knowledge can I be let in on? “I can tell you that it is about a particular issue teens deal with. I’ve worked very hard on it and I can’t wait to be able to share it with people. I’ve really been focusing on my book and how I can make the biggest impact with it. But I do have a few other possible projects going on too (there was a smile included after that phrase, just to let you know she’s being a bit coy with us).”

So, with all this success in California, why move back to New York? “I really want to work on continuing to cultivate my craft. NYU Tisch is an incredible school with such wonderful professors. I can’t wait to continue to learn and grow there.”

Well, she will definitely continue to grow as her talent is recognized by the many to see. And, what does she hope to do when she’s known to the world? “I want to give a voice to the voiceless through art. I want to make the biggest impact I can. That is my aspiration.”

Ambitious, talented, and so much more that mere words are not enough to capture the light that Aija Mayrock emanates. A true talent and true sweet talker (she called me awesome, which will really mean something in 5 years when she has a collection of Oscars sitting along her mantel). I’m sure in the very near future you will hear of the name Aija Mayrock and remember that she was destined to be a star. But don’t forget to remember what dress she chooses for the Red Carpet, because I’ll be sure to cover it here.

 

Christopher DeLorenzo: The Man Behind the Flash

It’s time to take a step back from the beautiful faces we see in front of the camera and take a look at the talent that spends their time behind it.

Self Portrait

Who am I referring to, you may ask? Well, none other than an extremely talented artist himself, Christopher DeLorenzo. Yes, this photographer hails from the Garden State, Basking Ridge, New Jersey to be more exact, but has recently made the haul out to Los Angeles, California to pursue his passion on a much larger scale. When asked how he plans on studying his craft, his answer was simple, “I’m shooting till my hands hurt.” Well, giving his hands a break, I was given the opportunity to question Mr. DeLorenzo on his passion, his life, and his ability to capture the perfect moment with a single click.

So, when did his talent surface? “Hmm…well, I started getting into photography when I was in elementary/middle school. I used to draw a lot before photography, and all I could remember was that I wanted to create. I could create what was in my head a lot better through photography than drawing. I basically stole my moms camera at 10 or 11 years old and got hooked.”

And what famous artist hasn’t had some petty misdemeanor in their portfolio? He’ll be among the Greats in no time. Well, I’m sure his skills will contribute to that as well. So, when did he first reveal his skills? “I think my first job was at 15, shooting for my brother’s fire company. It was an event and I was so stoked on the fact that I actually saved the first 5 dollars I made from it.”

5 whole dollars? Wow, the beginning of it all. With all that money, it’s no wonder why his site looks so fantastic. How did it come about? “I started messing with sites when I was in eighth grade and then I made a Facebook fanpage in High School. The Facebook page was probably the biggest help for me to be identified as a photographer. I think overall I have had five or six different platforms. It’s really an ever evolving thing, and just like your portfolio, there can always be improvements with sites.”

Well, with that site, it is hard to imagine any improvements that can be made. It highlights the most unbelievable photos, which poses the question: out of all the fantastic shots he produces, what is his favorite image to capture? “That’s tough. I’m really split between shooting surf or fashion/portrait work. Theres so much culture and lifestyle that goes along with the action of surf.  From the shaper who creates a board, to the athlete who rides it, there’s a broad spectrum to be captured. I also love to use slow shutter speeds when shooting surf to blur the motion and create a painterly feel to the images.

I am really intrigued by interesting people as well. Capturing that building emotion on an intriguing face is really inspiring to me. I always say the coolest part about being a photographer is the people you meet. I’ve met models from all over, California, Texas, New York and even this small country called Slovenia. Aside from meeting models, you really get an inside view on so many things being a photographer. You are let into smaller worlds that are closed to most outsiders.”

California must be the perfect spot for his inspiration in surf scenes and exotic people, am I right?  “Being in LA has been amazing for my career and I really have only been here a few months. I think I have taken 21,000 photos here since March, and most of my portfolio now is photos from the past few months.

In terms of actual shoots, I have been to some pretty cool places within the US. I have found some cool places in California that locals haven’t really been to; sand dunes, sea caves, various deserts. I am more intrigued by finding the extraordinary in the “ordinary.” I think growing up in NJ, which doesn’t exactly have mind blowing locations, has helped me appreciate anywhere I go a lot more.”

So he has the vision, he has the scenery, but does he have the brands? “I have done a few jobs here and there for companies, such as the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals), but honestly, I am so focused right now on building my portfolio and refining my style. I will do test shoots to try to imitate a shoot such as a Ralph Lauren or Dolce & Gabanna campaign. If I want to get hired by companies like this, my images and style should relate to their companies.

In terms of models, I have worked with a lot of agency models. Ford, NEXT, Nous, la models and Fusion are some of the agencies I have worked with. It’s really good to build up your portfolio this way, but honestly you don’t need “professional” models to build a great book. One of my favorite girls to work with is Alessa Pomerantz, an unsigned model from NJ. She’s not signed yet probably because of her height, but that really means nothing when you are looking to capture some stunning imagery and emotion.”

Well, we are very familiar with and aware of the talents Ms. Pomerantz possesses. And if he is common with Alessa Pomerantz, then he must know his way around this business. With all he knows about this business, he must be pretty set on his aspirations. “I love shooting surf, but I think it’s really just a means to an end for me. I’m really striving to shoot commercially for clothing companies. I want to build a style of photography that is super recognizable. A unique style is part of branding yourself and I think its a huge component of success. I think like everyone, I have dream clients. Red Bull, Nike, Nixon, Oakley, D&G, Ralph Lauren…It’s a pretty spread out list, but I don’t really want to pigeonhole myself. “

With the talent Christopher DeLorenzo possesses, I’m sure that these aspirations are, not only certainly attainable, but are in the very near future. So, the next time you are in California, pay Mr. DeLorenzo a visit, who plans to make his mark there for a very long time. For me, I know that if Christopher DeLorenzo is behind the camera, my photos will look fantastic, as does his future.