Grey Days of Summer

This summer I had the opportunity to shoot with Jackie Duncan of Jackie Duncan Photography on a particularly grey day on the banks the Bow River.

Jackie is a fabulous photographer who works in a broad array of fields and, my personal favourite side note, used to be a varsity hockey player in the U.S.

We get together, talk sport and take pictures every now and then and thanks to her amazing talent the results look something like this:

Danika2aDanika3Danika5adanika8

If you’re interested in working with her, you should definitely reach out.
Jackie does all of the model testing for agencies like Sophia Models International and is a pro in guiding and developing models and non-models alike.

Xo

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No shower? No time? No Problem.

We’ve all been there.
That last minute decision to work out, crunched for time, sometimes in a facility without showers, with zero time for dilly dallying from your workout to your next appointment and we’ve had to make the call… Is it really worth fitting this into my schedule?

If the answer is no… then don’t worry about it! Take that time for something that makes you a happier, more efficient person. If the workout isn’t worth your time… it isn’t worth your time.

But-
But, if it is worth it but, you feel like a giant smelly/oily jerk as you carry on with your day and THAT’S what’s making you wary of your “unshowerable workouts,” (I just made that term up) I’m about to help you out a whole bunch.

If you’re down to do that lunch hour work out, that pre-work session or that between appointment piece, make it happen. There is gear out there to support you.

For the sweat: Pick up some body wipes. Find a brand that suites your skin and ethical needs (you can find organic, biodegradable wipes- awesome, right?). Try Sephora, the Bay, or even your local drug mart. While you’re getting changed, grab one of those bad boys and quickly wipe everything down. Your body, and your co-workers, will thank you.

*If you’re prone to dry skin, you can purchase body wipes with built in moisturizer, that way, you can get your washing and moisturizing done in one fell swoop*

For the oil: if you haven’t met dry shampoo yet, I’m super sorry. Dry shampoo is the bee’s knees. I’m personally a fan of: Pret-A-Powder to deal with all the oil and sweat and Surf Spray to hide the fact that I haven’t had time to brush my hair. I just spritz it in, muss and go.

If you’re a regular make-up user or have sensitive skin, I would suggest buying special wipes for your face, according to what you need. Again, it is possible to find ones with moisturizer built in.
-I’m a bit of a snob here, but, since I live in a super dry city, I just carry facial moisturizer around with me… We’ve all got a thing. –

Super basic, super fast fixes that eradicate your ability to skip that lunch hour class, you’re welcome.

What do you do to deal with “unshowerable workouts?”

My Body Couture and Model Intentions

Guys, it’s Facebook official, Model Intentions and My Body Couture are tying the knot.

Janis and I are each others’ fitness yin and yang, and after years of banter and working together, we’ve decided to “get serious” and move in together.

Model Intentions will continue to be my brand, blog, newsletter, and calendar for all rowing, modeling, and group fitness events. So, please, continue to follow along!

For you, this move in means two things:
-an increase in super cool offerings and access to more practicioners
– expedited results (in one location with only one set of paper work! Yaaaaas)

So, follow along at:
https://www.facebook.com/mybodycouture/
https://twitter.com/MyBodyCouture
and Insta, we promise, will be up and running soon.

Xo
Danika

Putting In The Work

For the past two weeks I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with a close friend, and team mate, on a project that she had always considered as out of her reach.

When I first broached my friend about modelling she scoffed and said, “I’m not really photogenic,” and upon reviewing her Facebook images, I kind of had to agree. So, I dropped the topic for about a year.

Eventually I decided that her inner athlete and her ability to be coached should supersede her photo-hesitation and so I broached the topic again.

Three progressively challenging sessions later she produced a series of stunning images that I couldn’t be more excited about. I’m confident that her hard work will make her test shoot with Sophia Models Int a breeze.

If modelling is something that you think you can do, I encourage you to reach out to friends in the industry and put in the work to make your dreams a reality. Heck, you can even reach out to me, your internet friend.

Why Representation is Useful

The past week an awesome opportunity to compete in an international model search came up and, on the counsel of a friend, I approached my local coordinator looking for information.

For those of you who aspire to model, I wanted to share some of the red flags I encountered this past week and why, through experience and representation, I ultimately decided not to pursue this opportunity.

The first thing that I found really interesting was that my appeal for more information was completely ignored by my local coordinator. It wasn’t until I cc’d the CEO of the company that I was given a very short, useless piece of information by my local representative: It’s a bikini contest.

My original email requested details pertaining to image rights, the fact that I have a mother agency, and pay. All of these super important details were completely ignored and I was simply informed, as though I had some how lost my marbles, that it was ultimately a bikini contest.

The second thing that I thought was really interesting was that when I received an email from the CEO, it informed me that, due to time constraints, they did not have time to deal with my agency. This was kind of fair in my mind, I had been invited to participate on very short notice and, for sure, there was no time to sit down and chat.

However:
A reputable agent and scout should understand, or at least have a standard operating procedure in place for, how they interact with mother agencies. As a scout for an international competition, how could you not have something in place?

Third, I checked out my competition and inquired after the contract details for the winner. My competition was composed of wonderful, pretty girls but, for the most part, they were not models. By this, I don’t mean that they weren’t signed to an agency, I mean that, all though beautiful, most of these girls would not make many of the standards that agencies require their girls to have (I’m not arguing that these standards are for everyone but that they are expected in industry). The prize amount was not announced until the day of the competition and the sum was what I would make in less than a day’s work modelling locally.

When I apologized and wrote to both the local and international representatives from the model search saying that I would not compete, they lamented that my agent was hindering my opportunity for international exposure. My eyeballs just about fell out of my head.

Ultimately, if you want to model, I’d suggest that it’s super important that you don’t do things that make you uneasy. If you disagree with something, talk to someone else in industry about it. For me, talking to my agent was the best thing that I could do. He stated that, if I wanted to, of course I was welcome to take up this opportunity but, he asked me if it was in fact, a company that I wanted to take on as a client.

The answer to that became an overwhelming no. Someone who treated me so poorly and with so little consideration through out the application process, and who heeded my questions, needs and legal obligations so little does not deserve me as a representative for their brand.

It is ultimately up to you to decide who deserves to have you as a model. It might seem exciting to be asked to do a photoshoot or compete for a contract but, if it feels exploitative, I’d suggest walking away.

Pickashoe; I choose you!

Something I find really interesting is that, when ever I go shoe shopping, the salesperson often comments on the shoe that I’ve tried on.

That shoe, and how it stands alone, is not my concern. It looked like a pretty shoe before I put it on my foot. You already knew that it looked like a pretty shoe before I put it on my foot.

My concern is how it makes ME look.
Yes, I’m self centred but, really, if we’re talking about buying new pretty things, that’s really what we’re all going for anyways. No?

When I pick a shoe, my primary concern is what the shoe provides for me.
Do the shoes make my legs look longer? Leaner? Balanced? Top Heavy? Do I look like Big Foot?
Often, especially when people select boots, we are more concerned about the appearance of the shoe than the appearance of ourselves inside of the shoe. I’ve seen shoes take long legged wonder women and cut their legs down to those of a portly, adolescent, male. The shoes were gorgeous, of course.

So, I challenge you. Go take your shoes out of their closet space and get ready for some seriously honest mirror time. Here’s what we’re going to do:

  • Wipe off your shoes. These bad boys live on the ground; occasional touch ups and protective coats have been earned by these poor soles.
  • Try on your shoes with something that you think you’d normally pair them with.
  • Ask yourself, outside of colour, how do these shoes contribute to your appearance?
  • Follow up with: Is that what I want them to do?
  • If what your shoes do is different from what you had intended them to do, try pairing them with something else to see if it makes a difference.
  • If these shoes are still faux-amis, donate them.

Keeping shoes around that don’t help you out will just clutter your living space.
You’re a busy person, you don’t need that.

 

*disclaimer: if your goal is having your legs look like that of a portly, adolescent, male… then you rock those crazy shoes.
**disclaimer: there is clearly nothing innately wrong with portly, adolescent, males.

Be Gorgeous: Avoiding Nonsense

Sometimes I like to feel pretty.
… and sometimes my brain buys in to the western culture of beauty and I start thinking about ways to make myself prettier… in the strangest of ways.

I think about buying makeup, going in to see my hairdresser, getting a mani-pedi, going to the spa, buying new clothes or some other form of perceived self betterment.

And then I always remember this:
If I want glowing skin, I can go sweat, shower, wash, exfoliate, moisturize and eat well.
If I want to look pretty for an event, instead of buying something new and figure flattering, I can go for a run, lift some weights and make my figure flattering all on its own.
If I want beautiful no hassle nails, I cut mine short and toss a coat of clear polish on them and moisturize my hands.

If you want to have a special treat day, or need new clothes or want to have fun with colours, experiences and shapes, go play with beauty products! They are a beautiful medium of art and self expression. However, I do not, and cannot, conflate art and self expression with beauty. 

True physical beauty is not expensive.
A beautiful body (on the outside) is often representative of all of the good and beautiful things occurring inside the body.