Thursday, May 17, 2012

With just 5 months of fitness training, Kelley Tyan won the recent Ms. Bikini New England Classic Class. But the married mother of two boys biggest challenge was beating breast cancer. Kelley says, "I believe that hard work pays off in everything you do in life. My ambition is to be a mentor for women in the fitness industry, to guide them and lead down down a long, healthy lifestyle." Kelley will be among more than 400 natural competitors at Fitness Universe Weekend in Miami next month. But, she will be a true testament to the virtues of a healthy fitness lifestyle.
Model South Africa Champions Peter Gaiser & Michelle Van Rooyen rocked the house last weekend in Cape Town. They will be members of Team South Africa competing at Model Universe next month in Miami.
As one of the fitness industry's most prolific and legendary photographers, Alex Ardenti is a regular contributor to over 30 magazines worldwide Oxygen. His credits include magazine covers, major editorial features, commercial advertisements and more. Alex will be at Fitness Universe Weekend next month in Miami and offering his professional services to all competitors. Contact him directly for rates and availability -

Also, this week, Alex begins a regular series about how to prepare for magazine and commercial photo shoots. If you've ever wanted to know the do's and don'ts about how to get real media publicity, you don't want to miss his guidelines and tips. And, if you want to know how to fully and properly prepare for photo shoots, then Alex's series will be indispensable for you.


"Even after 35 years in the game it still baffles me that certain models, bodybuilders and fitness competitors don't realize the perpetuity of their images. One thing I remember understanding right from the beginning of my career as a competitive bodybuilder and later as a photographer was that a photograph of yourself is a testimony on the level of conditioning you have attained at that certain point in time. So why not make that image as impressive as possible? Something that you will be able to show to everyone years after it was taken? Yet time after time I see models show up at a photo shoot unprepared and in less than stellar conditioning.

One crucial piece of advice I can give to anyone who has scheduled a photo session with a professional photographer is to take the event seriously. Whether you are paying the photographer to capture your best looks or if the photographer has hired you for a paid job or even if it's a simple "test shoot" the level of professionalism on the part of the photographer and crew will always be the same. You will need to treat the project with the same level of professionalism as everyone else working with you.

I'll go as far as saying that preparing for a photo shoot should be as meticulous and demanding as preparing for a contest. The best fitness models and competitors I work with always go through a mini preparation for their photo shoot. Some just need 10 days to "dial it in" while others train and diet diligently for 30 days or so to make sure their are immortalized at their best. A great image of yourself, especially in our digital age, will last practically forever from this point in time on. Make the photos count by giving it your best and by showing up at your best. No one is asking for perfection because your physique is always a work in progress but having done your homework will show both physically and in your attitude. You will have the confidence of knowing you did the best you can do and will be ready to show it off.

There are several things though that can detract form an overall perfect package. They can literally make or break a shoot. In the next installment I will have a list of the most essential things you should have under control for your big day under the lights!"

Alex Ardenti will be available for personal portfolio shoots in Miami from June 13 - 18. Contact him directly for rates and availability -

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On and off stage, Megan Fish is a stunning woman. And at the recent Model New England Championships at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, the 5'7", 130 lbs. took 2nd Place among a tight field of amazingly talented ladies.

But beyond her body and looks, Megan has an extreme athletic background. As Captain of her high school track and field team, she holds 4 school and 1 state records. And, at Roger Williams University, Megan was honored All-Academic on the Women's Varsity Cross Country Team and was Top Ten in the Conference 3 years in a row. She explains, "Running has always been the foundation for my love of fitness and health."

Megan's interest are diverse including being an AFAA certified personal trainer since 2006. Currently, she teaches Pilates classes at a local gym. Megan says, "It's a little known fact that I tried for years to cover up to my jock high school friends that I played the alto saxophone in the jazz band and I also taught myself how to play the organ!"

Megan's fitness performances are also a family affair. "My mom is my official bikini seamstress!", she admits. "I am so appreciative of her talents and undeniable support."

Professionally, the 25 year old college graduate says, "My eyes are set on NYC and it is my dream to sign a fitness modeling contract with a top agency." And competitively, Megan explains, "It would be honored to win the Model Universe Championships because of the qualities that this federation possesses. Wholesome class, respect and pure credibility in such an ever-changing industry. Class never goes out of style. It is so important to me as a bikini athlete to have a family like Fitness Universe around me so that I understand how to represent myself as more than just a competitor. Winning the competition would solidify my ambition to be that role model so that I can help others feel good about themselves through prioritizing their health, making time for fitness, and building self-confidence."

As a first time competitor, Nora Shams was a Top 3 Finalist at the recent Ms. Bikini New England and Model New England at Foxwoods Resort Casino, an amazing show will over 200 talented competitors. The 5'7", 130 lbs., Magna Cum Laude college graduate is used to conquering life's challenges. Nora is also an Army airborne and Iraqi combat veteran which she says helped to forge a whole new perspective to her character.

She explains, "I am airborne qualified and a Operation Iraqi Freedom combat veteran (425th Infantry BDE stationed in Alaska). During my deployment I was the only female on my squad and I faced many challenges because of that.

Once I was off active duty, it was difficult for me to deal with my experiences overseas. I felt humiliated, destroyed and lost all my confidence. Thirty five pounds later (from gaining weight) I realized that I was unhappy with living an sedentary life style and most importantly I needed to rebuild what was knocked down from my deployment.

Working out has been my self-medication and through working out I feel empowered. I gained my confidence back and inspired people at the gym (that witnessed my weight loss). I gave them hope and the reality that hard work does pay off. I want to continue to give people inner strength through fitness and be a role model for other women that have shared similar experiences. For that reason, I recently joined the Army reserves."

No doubt, Nora will continue to be a fresh, exciting and unique presence on stage again soon.

'11 Figure America Champion Jessica Rinaldi is preparing for the upcoming Figure Universe Championships in Miami. Jessica says she is keeping an athletic approach to this competition & going back to her roots as she revs up her metabolism with higher intensity workouts like her college soccer training days. She is keeping her workouts fun and intense and even her 7 year old daughter, Mia, is doing it right along with her.
The couple that competes together, stays together! Kim Murgatroyd first stepped on the Fitness America stage in 2004, but it wasn't until husband ROB got inspired by watching the Mens Model Championships that there fitness-lifestyle really took off. Here's Kim telling it all in her own words:

"At first, when we told people we were going to start competing together, they were worried we'd end up killing each other from the stresses of training, dieting and competing together. But with our fourth national event coming up, we're stronger than ever! Doing this together has formed a bond that is unbreakable. We support each other, can empathize with each other and really have grown because of our experiences competing together. We have one rule that we live by. When one of us is anxious and freaking out, the other must be calm and in control. This way, we're always able to calm each other down. The most exciting part of this journey is doing it together as a family. Now our 14 year old daughter is catching the bug and getting ready to compete herself for the first time in Junior Fitness. With both of us having placed in the Top 15 of our categories in the past, now with Fitness Universe 2012 coming up, we're both aiming for a Top 5 slot!"