Friday, July 8, 2011

the 4th of july (and my change of plans!)

Greetings readers!  After weeks of anticipation to attend the World Famous 4th of July Celebrations at Huntington Beach, California...the day has come for my post!   But first, let me get to why the following photo's and interviews happen to be in VENICE!

Friend and Mentor Ben Miller asked me to assist him at the Mr. Mrs. Muscle Beach Body Building Competition 2011.  The event was held on July 4th, at Venice Beach's World Famous Muscle Beach... a little conflict with Germy-in-SoCal's Huntington Beach 4th of July extraveganza!  As a developing sponge trying to soak up photographic knowledge of all kinds, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to assist a professional photographer as he develops a growing portfolio.  There will be plenty of weekends for me to head down to Huntington Beach, and you can bet it will be soon.  Watch out Surf City, USA...I am long over-due to slip your sand between my toes!

The Body Building competition was quite a sight to see!  Competitors ranged in age from 18-76...76!!!  After a very innocent bluf from Ben, we were able to snag a few back-stage press passes and be amongst the competitors as they were squeezing lifting sets in and being rubbed down with grease and bronzer before posing on stage. 

These body builders were impressively shaping, shifting and flexing their enormous muscles.  Contourting their limbs in un-heard of positions to make certain every judge on the panel could see every detail of the muscle they were being asked to flex!  I have to say, my first time at a competition like this was a memorable one.  As we photographed these massive men and women in their various poses backstage, I was tasked with the interviews.
 "When did you first get involved in body building?"  "Who insprired you to pursue it?" etc.  Many competitors explained,
-"I began as a child, my dad/mom spent alot of their time at the gym and I picked it up"
-"Tryin to impress the girls!"
One competitor in-particular admitted to living out of his car the first few months he began training.  These guys are some of the beefiest, buffest mo-fo's around, and they take their training seriously!

Venice's Muscle Beach, California holds 3 competitions yearly:  Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.  Spectators can enjoy the show gratis, photo's are not restricted and the competitors are often very approachable and friendly (...often).

Thanks for reading!    

         - j

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