A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing male fitness talent Marcus Johnson for the September 2013 cover of Max Sports & Fitness Magazine. It was a gritty and intense MMA-inspired photo shoot in a closed door gym with no air conditioning. It was so humid it was as if sweat was floating throughout the air.
A true trooper, Marcus endured and gave me the energy in the shoot that made for one of my most dynamic shoots to date. I had the opportunity to chat with Marcus a bit about his background as well as his future goals in the talent industry.
James Patrick: What made you jump from doing fitness competitions to wanting to be in front of the camera and then eventually looking at it as a career?
Marcus Johnson: I have always had a competitive nature and was no longer competing in sports. I had been deeply involved in fitness for some time and being the first show for physique, I decided to try my hand at it. I have always wanted to be in front of the camera but never knew how exactly to go about it. I saw some opportunities after attending FMI and decided now is the time to make a move – that I had the drive and potential to do this.
JP: Now apart from your fitness endeavors you also work in physical therapy at a hospital and are presently testing to be a part of the fire department. How do you balance all that?
MJ: The balance is actually easier for me than you think. I have worked two jobs or been involved in sports and worked for quite some time now so I am pretty used to it. I tend bar anywhere from 4-to-5 nights a week, and I either attend class or work at the hospital during the day. I do make sure that I leave open time in my schedule so that I can train 6 days a week and have time for studying. On days off I try to be involved with the fire department or do ride-alongs.
JP: How was your experience shooting for the cover of Max Sports & Fitness?
MJ: My experience shooting for the cover was a fun one. Much different from many other shoots I have done. It was all about energy and having fun. The photographers I worked with were amazing talents and really gave me a lot of lead way as far as poses. It was kind of different for all of us so we just let our energy take over and went with the flow.
JP: Now that you are on a publication cover; what are your next goals for your fitness modeling career?
MJ: Being on the cover has been great. It’s a big step for me and a milestone, but hopefully just one of many. I’m hoping that this can really be the launching point to help propel my career even further now having more credibility.
JP: What challenges have you faced thus far in your career and how have you overcome them?
MJ: Challenges are everywhere. Whether it is time constraints, scheduling, etc. And not always are you on the person for the job. There are times you believe you are the man for the job but they believe otherwise. You have to put the rejection aside and use that as fuel to work even harder and the right opportunity will come your way, you just have to make sure you are ready. An old college football coach once told me, “There is no such thing as being lucky. Luck is when hard work meets opportunity.” I will always remember that.
JP: What do you know now in your career that you would have like to tell yourself when you just started?
MJ: What I know now that I didn’t before is most likely just the different paths you can go into. I use to think you had to be a certain size, shape, etc. but you learn in this industry there is so much diversity. Not every part is for you but you have to continue to grind, press on, and get ready for the next one.
Special thanks to Marcus Johnson for being a part of this feature.