'Just a guy with dreams and ambition, looking to make the world a better place.'
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of introducing FH readers to model Brenden Besecker. (Confidence Builder) The first images of Brenden that I saw were from Richard from The Third Eye. Richard is an artist I admire for both his talent, as well as the respect and care he shows for the models he shoots, and their stories. My experience has been that photographers are primarily interested in what their subjects look like and how they photograph. For an artist, that is just the starting point. Because their goal is to capture not only the surface, but a layer or two beyond, they are innately curious about the person they're shooting, and what brought and motivated them, to be front of the camera.
After posting Brenden's piece on the site, Richard sent on a few images of one of Brenden's good friends, a model he felt not only photographed really well, but a 19 year old Richard described as extremely thoughtful and caring, with a compelling story to tell. 'He is a poet, mentor to others and a hell of a great guy.' Richard sent on a few recent shots he took, as well as a few older shots from Kyle's high school days. I am all about a great story, and the core theme in most great ones is change. It is something so much of us wish for, but it is also something few people truly ever achieve.
'It was one of the greatest feelings to find an old pair of shorts and do this. I can't believe how far I've come and can't wait to push myself even farther. No matter who you are there will always be obstacles in everything you do but if you're willing to work hard and go beyond those obstacles you can truly do almost anything.'
Brenden and Kyle by The Third Eye
High school wasn't exactly a picnic for Kyle. Made fun of for being over weight, he reached inward in order to commit himself to making changes. Kyle formed his own peer support system and together, they work and support each other to overcome obstacles and motivate others. Kyle, who was introduced to model through Brenden, doesn't see it as an end game, but in many ways more of a beginning. There is no better way to demonstrate change than through visuals and Kyle shares many images from his journey on his Instagram, KD Fitness. Kyle hopes that his images, both those before and after his transformation, act as inspiration to others struggling to commit to changes they both dream of and desire.
Next Four Shots from Studio 5 Columbus
What factors led to your decision to begin making changes?
'In school I was made fun of a bit and I wasn't happy. A few of my friends convinced me to play football. I never actually liked the sport but it introduced me to lifting weights which allowed me to make a change in my life for the better. My first step was being consistent, from the get go I lifted 4-6 days a week and that's the key to success. Consistency is essential.'
'Everyone around me has always been supportive of me. My best friend has been my biggest supporter, he was my first gym partner and helped me stick with it. Having a partner was one of the best ways to start out because having someone else relying on you as well as you relying on them is a great way to stick with it and keep consistent. I've shattered all my initial goals and expectations of me working out. I never imagined I'd be as strong or look as good as I do now. It wasn't even I thought in my mind that if ever have a 6 pack! My ultimate goal is perfection and although I will never reach that goal of mine, it's about smaller victories along the way.'
'Superman is my biggest role model because of what he stands for. He's this symbol for good and kindness that I strive for. He also is my goal one day, I chose Superman because he's not humanly possible, he's almost like a symbol of perfection in which I strive for. I strive for the impossible. I will never achieve perfection but I strive for it to better myself each and every day.'
'Superman also reminds me of my father who has worked very hard all his life so our family can get by without need. I come from a large family, I have 4 biological sisters and 4 step sister's,8 sisters and a total of 9 kids including myself. My dad has always inspired me and introduced me into the comic and superhero world I love so much today. He struggled with a job and he owned his own comic business, hence the love for superheroes.'
Remaining images by The Third Eye
How have your insides changed since changing the outside?
'I am a much a much more positive and confident person. I also am much happier and I found I love building other people up as well and inspiring them. My life has become fitness for the most part, when I'm not at the gym I'm either at work or coming up with new diet and workout plans. It is just recently that my mind has started catching up with my physical transportation, I can see that I'm attractive. I still don't see it as much as others do though, at least from what I understand.'
What is the best thing about life now as opposed to then?
'The best part of my life now is to be able to share my story and inspiring others. Every single part of my life now is something that I'm proud of and I can't think of a single part of my old life that if like back.'
Tell me about your work with Richard and Ray from Studio 5?
'Both of these photographers are amazing people that I'm fortunate to have met and worked with. Especially Richard, he has gone above and beyond for me and if he knows about any events he always lets me know. I'm especially fortunate to consider him my friend.'
'Ultimately I'd like to touch as many lives as I can making positive change to the world, not just through fitness but any way possible. Though fitness is my passion it's not for everyone, but one thing everyone does have in common is a dream. A dream of becoming something more and becoming a better version of themselves. I want to inspire others to follow that dream and commit to it. If its your true passion it will come easy to you, you just have to be willing to put the work and time into it. You're not born being able to do amazing things but everyone is certainly capable of it as long as they set their minds to it!'