First two images from OyOy
'Living in the United Stated is a blessing, this country is full of opportunities. This is my new home and it is here where I want to live for the rest of my life. Moving to Miami was the best decision of my life. Cuba is a country where dreams coming through seems next to impossible.'
While living in Cuba, 24 year old model Antonio Dieguez never thought being a model was even a possibility. Dreaming didn't seem to serve any purpose. Antonio knew that in order to pursue the opportunities he wanted, it needed to be outside of the country he was living. After a recent move to Miami however, things began to change and opportunities, both educational, and professionally, began to come his way. The first person to approach Antonio about modeling was Miami based photographer Joel Endemano. 'At first the proposal sounded kind of ridiculous for me. I was sceptical about the idea because I never thought that I had the qualities and requirements to become a professional model.'
Next three images from Arteo Photo Kevin Moore
'Working with Kevin Moore was a really nice experience. We had so much fun during the shoot. Kevin is a very funny guy, but also a very professional photographer. He is an excellent human being and we have become very good friends now. He was in Miami last year and I invited him to get to know the city. I am Looking forward to meeting with him again soon, probably in Italy or here in Miami if he returns.'
I first took notice of Antonio after seeing his Model Mayhem avatar pop up on the page of a photographer I was profiling. The image from Joel Endemano (last image at bottom) stopped me in my tracks, stunningly beautiful and confident. Although still new to modeling, I was impressed with the variety of work images shot, and especially Antonio's ability to move from fitness to fashion so seamlessly. With his incredible face, great bone structure, lips and beautifully intense and expressive brown eyes, Antonio moves elegantly between the sensual images shot by Kevin Moore and the fitness, body and fashion shots from Joel.
Remaining Images from Joel Endemano
Antonio's first professional shoots once moving to Miami was his work with Joel. They shot several times in Miami and also shot together while on a trip to New York. The New York trip was one of Antonio's favorite experiences in front of the camera so far. Joel did an exceptional job capturing so many different looks and themes. I especially love the fashion shots on the NY streets, my favorites being the two images just below. Antonio love working with Joel, and considers their work together his best so far.
Although Antonio has enjoyed his time in front of the camera, and the artists he has worked with, the business side of the industry is something he hasn't totally gotten his head around. At one agency meeting in Miami, he felt he didn't meet their requirements and the meeting ended up being all about what he needed to change. 'They wanted me to have a more spectacular body, a muscle body. They wanted me to get a tan and a few others recommendation. It was my first time going to a modeling agency and I felt like they were pretty hard on me and I am nervous to try another other agency again...'
Although not an expert on what agencies want, Antonio has an incredible look, and seems suited perfectly for fashion and runway work. He is also a bit mysterious in front of the camera, causing others to want to learn, and see, more. Others clearly agree as since joining Model Mayhem, Antonio has had many offers to shoot including photographers as far away as Australia and Japan. In the future, Antonio would also love to step in front of the lens of Rick Day or David Vance.
In the end however, modeling is about more than just making money for Antonio, it is also about the experience and about growth. Antonio confesses he is naturally a very shy person, but one day just decided he needed to challenge himself and try something different. It was scary at first, especially shooting implied nudes. For Antonio, the exposure wasn't just about his body, and what others would see. It was also about taking a personal risk and doing something scary for himself. It wasn't until after seeing the images and the results of his risk that he realized how beautiful the shots ended up. It was then, he shared them on Model Mayhem for others to see.