As a mother and wife, along with being a devout Christian, I take things like my image quite seriously. I’m not saying that I don’t have a silly or inner yearning to ‘look sexy’ side, I just like to ensure that the image I show others is one to be respected.

My coach Mike Davies once said something that will always ring in my ear.
“Its better to be respected, than liked”
So as I am embarked on this fitness journey surrounded by hot models, who look amazing in everything they do, or don’t put on. Where do I find myself?
For three years I have wanted to book a photo shoot, especially post competition, when my body is in its ultimate fit state. Not to show off or to get a sponsor, but to be able to admire my hard work later in life. Be able to prove to my children that mommy was so in shape she could do 100 push-ups! Or even just to have for my own personal journal, following my life’s journey.
But for three years, images have set in front of me, that are strongly sexual or too exposed for me. I am out going, everyone knows that, but I have a very shy side to me. And it takes a lot for me to be in front of a camera if it’s any situation other than someone saying “Melissa quick take a pic!”
Even as a host on a television show, I find to be easier, because I’m talking, walking and interacting with other people, and simply being myself. As I recently read in an article by a highly respected photographer,
“Models are actors, they are portraying the best possible shot in that moment to catch the viewers’ attention.”
And it should be known, that I respect ALL models that have fabulous bodies, no matter the shape or size and get their ‘sexy on’. This is completely a personal memo. And Im not against a photo looking sexy, but overly sexual is where I struggle.
A few months back an opportunity to shoot came across my plate and I thought about it for a moment, before graciously turning it down. Again my fear came in place and I’d rather not be uncomfortable. Im super cozy in my joggers and sweaters (other than the 30 seconds Im on stage at a competition), and I still did not think I would have it in me.

Then I took some time to look around, and I came across a few very beautiful and inspiring shots. These shots encompassed both beauty and fitness. These women are athletes and the hard work and the beauty of their physique shines in their photos. The ‘simple’ is the sexy here.
So I took it to myself to book that photo shoot, and take the plung.
But not without reaching out to a few of my close friends/athletes and asking for their advice!
– Contact models that have already shot with the photographer, ask themn what their experience was
– Look at the photographers previous work, do you find it tasteful and within YOUR comfort zone
– How did they approach you? If you get a uncomfortable vibe, don't dissmiss it.
– If it's a male and you are unsure, bring a friend
– Find examples of work to draw inspiration from, that you find appropriate and classy
– Know your own personal bundaries and what you are willing/wanting to do and what you arent comfortable with
– Ask to see all the pics before any are published. If you aren't okay with any it is your right to say something!
Julia – Provincially Qualified OPA Athlete
” I would have to say to come prepared to your photo shoot with poses and outfits you want to wear. Be confident when telling the photographers how you would like to be portrayed. Your sense of self should shine through in your photos!”
Make sure when you do decide to shoot you follow some of the tips above!