Friday, April 01, 2011

Exercising = Feeling Good, Looking Better

A few months ago, I began a daily exercising routine. The plan originally stemmed from the desire to expand my modeling portfolio into fitness, but it’s also just a great thing to stick to for a healthier lifestyle. And let me tell you, it feels great. I hope you’ll give it a try!

I can say that I impressed myself with my persistence in “getting fit.” And it has paid off. I feel really good and I’m more toned, so it’s definitely helping with my overall model figure. Really, the only thing to it is persistence and knowing how your body works. I hope you give this a try and impress yourself! Exercise and eating right are the only things that will bring you great physical health.

This may not be how fitness instructors would put it, but I have talked with one about my routine. And how I put it is if you’re running and feel the burn in the areas you’re toning, you must be doing something right. If it weren't as simple as that, I probably wouldn't be doing any exercising.

What I’ve been doing is fairly easy, as long as you stay persistent. I bet you’ll start seeing results in a month or so if you stick to your own routine. I have done quite a bit of research on what kind of exercises to be doing. My conclusion from the results is that my current routine is appropriate for toning and staying healthy. If you are someone looking to bulk up with the muscles, then you might have to do some additional research.

The routine: What I have been doing is alternating between aerobic and strength exercises every other day. One day, I’ll run on the treadmill with music for 30 minutes (without an incline, because I don’t want to bulk up my leg muscles) and the next day I will do push-ups, sit ups, and a leg exercise laying down. I’m not sure what the leg exercise is called, but I lay down with my feet flat on the floor, knees facing the ceiling, lift one leg straight out and lift my hips off the ground about 10 times and alternate. I don’t even need a gym membership for any of this!

While I mostly stick to this exercise routine, I stray sometimes and do my own thing, or do whatever I have time for. Often, I find myself not get around to exercising on days that I work or when I’m out in Seattle all day, but I try hard to stay on top of my routine as much as possible. Either way, I hope this helps you on your own way to feeling better about your health.

Now, if only I could stay away from those darn cookies!

Thanks for reading,

Briauna Mariah (:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Designer Betsey Johnson

Fashion MAP's first contest is over. Dave Ward and I carefully reviewed every entry, discussed them at length, and decided we had two winners for our contest. Congratulations to Kristena Schildt and Olivia Ding! Their entries will both appear here in the Fashion MAP blog, and both will get to shoot with model Briauna Mariah, with Dave Ward Photography behind the camera.

Here is the winning entry written by Kristena Schildt.

When the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week hit youtube, I had to watch it. Sadly, there was a flash plug in problem that didn’t allow me to actually watch the live presentation, so I had to wait until the next week to watch it. Going through many of the designers, many seemed to have a repetitive, dull look to me, even though the designs were relatively new. A few did stand out from the rest, but one designer brought the fiercest style: Betsey Johnson.

I must say, she is my ideal designer.

Betsey Johnson started off with the Spring/Summer collection, which was crazy and inventive. There were so many different time periods that popped up - the more modern 90’s, the amazing 80’s, those military pin-up 40’s, and some baby doll Victorian designs. It was as if we were put in a time machine and brought back to the good old times, but the designs were still up to date and one of a kind. The colors were crazy vibrant with the whole rainbow dancing down the runway. The introduction of the couples walking down, with a masculine and feminine outfit, was brilliant. Having two styles for one outfit gave options for which outfit would be better on a simple or elaborate day. This collection covered a full range of different outfits that just popped with life.

Now, the fall collection had two parts. It was a wonderful show using tall runway models as well as more ordinary people. In the beginning, there was the ‘He loves me not’ designs that were shown off by the runway models. The colors were rich, either complimenting or contrasting the other colors they were put with, but also very dark. All the designs were edgy with a classic look twisted to adapt to the modern day. Many regal looking outfits were mixed with some modern punk styled designs that would satisfy any dark, romantic day. Valentines Day was turned to the worst but still kept the romance of a punk. Next was the ‘He loves me.’ Ordinary people popped onto the runway with flashy clothing that would get any person’s attention. The radiant colors, elaborate prints, and dancing models made the clothing feel more real.

Betsey’s collections revive the classics with a fresh and new look while remaining true. The colors are crazy, and the looks are edgy, fierce, and fun. She is a designer everyone should look into as a favorite!

~Kristena Schildt

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Essentials of Posing

Fashion MAP's first contest is over. Briauna Mariah and I carefully reviewed every entry, discussed them at length, and decided we had two winners for our contest. Congratulations to Kristena Schildt and Olivia Ding! Their entries will both appear here in the Fashion MAP blog, and both will get to shoot with model Briauna Mariah, with Dave Ward Photography behind the camera.

Here is the winning entry written by Olivia Ding. Kristena's entry will appear in a few days.

Hello love,

I'm going to tell you a bit about posing.

When I get in front of the camera, I don't freeze. I do even worse: I try too hard.

Sometimes freezing in front of the camera works out because you could get something good! But I just go into overdrive. I try to take everything anyone has ever told me about what to do, and try to do it all at the same time. Trust me love, this does not work out. When you try to push something into a picture, when you try to exude happiness or intensity, you won't. Instead, you'll just look like you just got punched in the gut by a small person.

You have to feel happy, to feel just everything you want to portray to the camera bubble up inside of you, and you will potentially get something strong, something gorgeous. People tell me to think back to a memory, or of an important person in my life. Anything that will bring you to a place where you feel comfortable and you can do anything. Where you are just you. Because really, when you're in front of a camera, in possibly one of the most unnatural situations you can be in, all anyone wants is for you to act natural.

~Olivia Ding, TCM Models & Talent, Seattle

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby, I was Born This Way

“Don't hide yourself in regret,
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way”

In September 2010, I took a risk. Lady Gaga wasn't exactly my inspiration, but she has a point in her new single, "Born This Way," and I absolutely love and adore her, what she stands for, and her amazing music. She is a lovely phenomenon.

Some of you already know, I’m super nerdy. I love school and I was in running start during high school. I graduated with my Associates and Diploma at the same time in June 2010. I had every intention of continuing with my education to get a 4-year degree. Until something inside me got all switched around and I started veering off in a whole other direction.

A week, yes, a week, before move-in day at the 4 year University I was enrolled in, I chose not to move in with the rest of the freshmen. My heart is in school, yes, but my heart wasn’t in the major I was settling on. I had no plan but to go to college and get a degree; probably merely because that’s what people expect. My degree was going to be marine biology but I had no idea what I would do with $40,000 of debt and a marine biology degree. I decided to model instead. And it’s that simple.

You may be wondering where I am going with this. I’m kind of wondering too. But wanted to say, I have been receiving the most lovely comments and messages from you all regarding my progress as a fashion model. Just the other day, a model who has been all over the world sent me such an endearing message, she inspired me to write this.

Your kind words will all always be close to my heart. You, my fans, are what allow me to go on. You have given me such kindness, and its time to return some of that. You are all each amazing and you encourage me to keep pushing harder until I reach the top.

I have a friend who says I’m lucky that I know what I want to do and that I’m doing it. I’m blessed to have found my passion in time to change things around. I’m glad I had guts to not go to college, even though many expected me to. I’ll let you know now, I have no idea what I’m doing, just like everyone else. As I said earlier, I took a risk. It could have been a terrible decision. But if I had not taken the risk, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Pursing my passion.

I’ll tell you now, it isn’t easy, but it’s something you have to just do, if your heart is in it. Make the decision and stick with it. Don’t worry about what others think. As Lady Gaga puts it, “You were born this way, baby.”

Toss aside all societal expectations, look into your heart, and ask yourself if you’re happy going where you’re headed. If you are, great! Keep going there. If you’re not happy, try some new things and seek what makes you happiest.

Now, in addition to my advice, I have to say Dave and I have a contest going on. If maybe modeling, fashion, photography, or anything along those lines is your passion, you can win a shoot with me if you enter our contest. All you have to do is write a blog about anything fashion and submit it to either me or Dave by Feb 28th and we'll decide which entry wins.

Be BOLD, take a risk!

Thank you all for everything!

Briauna Mariah (:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Win A Shoot With Briauna Mariah

Model: Briauna Mariah
Photo: Dave Ward
Makeup/Hair: Heather Thorson
The Fashion MAP blog is running our first contest. You can win a shoot with a famous fashion model, our own Briauna Mariah!

Love writing and have a passion for fashion? Submit a blog entry about anything fashion to either Briauna Mariah or me, Dave Ward, to be featured in the Fashion MAP blog! The one we feel is best will be added to the blog and you'll be given recognition. Submit by Monday, February 28th!

Deadline extended! Last chance to win!

We've got some entries here, but decided to give you one last chance to enter. It's easy! Just write a short, suitable blog entry for us and send it to either of us by 7PM Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 2nd.

You can email your entry directly to

Thank you to everybody who entered. We have not one, but TWO winners: Olivia Ding and Kristena Schildt.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Selecting Photographers

Study fashion magazines closely to learn what
makes a marketable, useful fashion photo.
Choosing which photographers to work with can be a complex subject. When you first begin modeling, you take what you can get for the most part. But as you grow and gain experience as a model, you eventually have to become more selective as well as ambitious about which photographers you shoot with, and which you do not.

If you visit a site like Model Mayhem and search for local photographers, no matter where you are on Earth you'll find certain types of photographer.

The "Guy With Camera" (or "GWC") is very common, though some industry networking sites like Model Mayhem make efforts to keep them off the website. A GWC is a beginner photographer who has a camera but little skill, no "eye" for composition, and no serious knowledge-of or interest-in the fashion & beauty photography industry. Typically GWCs are interested in photography primarily because they get to take pictures of pretty girls; they are in it for the wrong reasons, and it's usually obvious from the quality of their work, or from the nature of it.

The "art student photographer" is also quite common. These photographers are more skillful than GWCs, but their work has little or no marketability. The work may be artistic and interesting, suitable to hang in a coffee shop or a tiny community-based art gallery, but not suitable for magazines or advertising. You can often spot the art student photographer because they often describe their work as "experimental." Other art student photographers may believe themselves to be shooting "fashion" but their photos are not focused on portraying and selling the product.

When you are a brand new model, it is inevitable that you will work with a few GWCs. After a while you will step up to working with art student photographers. But if you are serious about modeling then there comes a time when you have to become more selective. For a model with low self-esteem, the "art student photographer" has an appeal because they can make you feel good about yourself. But this is what I call "esteem modeling" — modeling because it helps your self-esteem and makes you feel special. It's okay to do a little of that here and there, but if you are serious and not merely dabbling in modeling for fun, then eventually you have to step it up and "turn pro."

When you decide to get serious about modeling, start looking for photographers who understand the market. For example, while many photographers describe themselves as a "fashion photographer," very few actually produce publishable work. One of the big secrets is that a true fashion photographer shows off and sells the product, whether it is shoes or a dress or a purse or makeup. Most photographers who claim to shoot fashion are really just taking beautiful pictures of beautiful girls. Photos of beautiful girls do not sell fashion; photos of beautiful fashion sell fashion. And the best way to learn the difference between a photo of a pretty girl and a photo of beautiful fashion is to study published fashion photography in magazines.

Study the fashion photos in magazines like Vogue, Seventeen, and Lucky and compare them directly to photographers you have worked with. You'll gradually learn from experience how to recognize a photographer who knows how to shoot fashion and understands the market. As you get more serious about modeling, those are the photographers you need to work with. Move away from working with photographers who help your ego by making you feel pretty, and instead work with photographers who understand the market well enough to truly help your career and your portfolio. By studying the work in fashion magazines, you can develop your eye and understand the marketplace for modeling.

Just as an advanced model should avoid "esteem modeling," you should also beware of "charity modeling" or "guilt modeling." Just because your friend bought a new camera doesn't mean you should become his model and start doing shoots with him. Don't feel guilty about rejecting requests from photographers who are not as good at photography as you are at modeling; you can't say "yes" to requests just because the person is a friend, or just because you "feel bad about saying no." If you find it hard to say no, find a way to make it positive, such as suggesting a more appropriate model the new photographer might work with. Charity/guilt modeling is a dangerous trap that can suck you in, eat up a lot of your time, and take all the joy out of modeling. It's better not to do any of it at all; establish a policy about it and don't make any exceptions; only work with photographers who are at your skill level (or above) and who can genuinely help your portfolio.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Commercial vs Editorial modeling

Commercial vs Editorial modeling

This is the difference between commercial and editorial modeling, in my opinion.

Put simply, I see commercial modeling as pretty. I see editorial modeling as ugly (don’t worry, ugly is a good thing here).

In editorial, you have to stretch your abilities and take risks. When you take a risk, you get a unique photo that may not be very pretty, but it’s gorgeous in a unique, edgy way. It’s that one risk that will get a stellar photo. You have to be ugly and spontaneous, because that's what captures the beauty. If you want to jump, let the photographer know and just jump until you feel like you've got an amazing shot. Always be moving and changing expressions.

Being editorial is also being more comfortable in your own skin. You're not afraid. Not afraid of risk or being ugly.

In commercial, there is no risk involved. You don’t have to put yourself out there and be crazy. Commercial is tame, laid back, and pretty. It has more of a natural feel.

I definitely feel like I lean heavily towards editorial. Maybe it’s just because I want interesting photos. And I'm crazy and I like to see crazy, not plain... And I think my face is an advantage for being editorial. So being crazy, being bored, and having a unique face also help :)

~Briauna Mariah

*(I do not claim credit to the above photo, it's purpose is solely for using as an example)