Blue Ocean Strategy

"To break out of that red ocean of bloody competition & existing industries to create uncontested market space & make the competition irrelevant." - Renée Mauborgne , author of Blue Ocean Strategy

I was re-listening (for probably the 5th's that good) to the Tony Robbins podcast that interviewed Renée Mauborgne and dove into what exactly is a "Blue Ocean Strategy" and how to use it to set your company up for success amongst all the saturated BS that surrounds us. 

I believe I did that with my magazine. How many fashion magazines are there? Thousands upon thousands of independently published & large fashion magazines. By choosing to be a film only publication that does not allow any retouching I was able to position us so at least we would be different from the competition, now people liking us is an entirely other marketing question to answer. 

A few days ago I had an idea. This time for my own photography. I frankly was getting frustrated at myself for not differentiating my work enough from other photographers, or at least on how I displayed my work on social media was really what it came down to. So I had an idea. 

The most recent two models I tested with I turned our photos into a visual story like I've never done before. I feel as though I always shoot with the mentality of creating a story...I somewhat pick a theme based on the model's mood & the chemistry we share that I can feel right away and then I use that to determine the direction I give for poses and expressions and I did all of this with these two models, but what I decided to do was take it a step further on my end & how I displayed that story. I did this by creating a series of videos using only the final photos we took. 

I am such a newbie to Adobe Premiere and the world of video editing, but this was a lot of fun to create and based on the feedback I've been getting from followers you can expect to see a lot more of these from me!

Much love,


"90s" Talia Graf / Industry Model MGMT

"Knock out in the second round"

"I always did like Brazilian food"

"I'll shoot you if you shoot me" Alana Tapigliani of NEXT Models LA

Video Interview: Model-Artist "Devon Ross"

Follow Devon Ross on Instagram @DevonRoss_

Email to recommend someone in the art, fashion, music industry that you'd like to see interviewed! 

A letter to Anna

"You're alright," Anna wrote me in my journal after our first shoot and second day of meeting her...if you count our first being when I met her outside at a club looking cool as hell in all-black smoking a cig.

I remember approaching her outside of Warwick asking if I could take her photo, she responded: "Why, what's it for?" I'm thinking to myself, b$#&% just let me take your photo dammit. Talked my way into the photo of course or we wouldn't be the best friends we are today.

Hey Anna, could you imagine if I gave up right then and never took your photo? Wrote you off as "too cool for school." Do you think we would have found a way to be brought into each other's lives? Doesn't really matter does it, but I think we would have. Either way, I know we were meant to meet when we had, right when you had just moved to LA only a week before. 

Nick shoots Anna. Anna shoots Nick.

How many shoots have we had together!? I can close my eyes and watch them all like a movie. Can you? Which one is your favorite? I think each new one becomes my favorite. Does that make sense? But if I was able to relive one of those shoots today it would be our Laguna shoot with Kristen, Mason, & Ruairi.

The drive down & back was so beautiful, I love that drive, I remember being in the passenger seat & Mason the designated DJ. Before we even shot we had Zinc cafe...hahaha do you remember how obsessed we were for months with Zinc!? How many damn times did we go! And we would always split whatever we got. Mason got to shoot you first while I shot Ruairi...Luke as I started calling her cause I had the hardest time pronouncing her name right...and then we swapped and I shot you. I love those shots. The location against the stone wall and fence looked like we were on a European beach, maybe in Greece? We ended the day with Gyros. We were so hungry I don't think we cared what we ate. But I just remember really really loving whatever I was shoveling in my mouth. 

If I wrote about every amazing laugh we've had this would be a novel. I'll save some of that for our photo book project. But the one story I have to share is a defining one. It was 4th of July. I know you're thinking right now, oh shit what an intense day. But in all seriousness, all I can really think to do is smile. I came over to pick you up and we go to Venice for the day, but I dropped a bomb on you that I didn't think we could be friends any longer and shouldn't hang out anymore, at least for awhile. You cried...and skipping through all of that I remember saying, "alright you, go grab your bag we're going to bloody Venice to watch some fireworks." And since that day we've been able to be, stay, and grow as amazing friends. 

There are so many other things worth sharing, from meeting our two lesbian aunts at Go Get Em Tiger, to me cooking the most romantic dinner for you and crashing and burning so hard (ok we'll leave that one out) hahaha

I'm looking forward to our promise of doing at least one photo shoot every year no matter where we both end up. Rosa you're family, I love you so much. 

- Nickolito

Beauty is in the eye...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. All of you may find Emelie to be beautiful (because she is), but how about how does she see herself? 


When I was modeling I was in the best shape of my life, my abs had abs, I was constantly being complimented on my "good looks" and yet it was the most insecure time of my life. 

I recall this one evening in Seoul where earlier that day I had been told by a client at a casting that I was too fat. I ate an entire tub of ice cream that night & then tried throwing it up...I couldn't though, I was always shit at making myself throw up even when I was sick would try in order to make yourself feel better. 

We work in an industry where the "product" is a person. The message I want to make to us all is let us not forget that this is the case, that the "thing" making everyone money and keeping this business flowing is a person and not a manufactured robot.

All that client needed to do was rephrase what they said to me and not only would I have not been offended by it, but they could have motivated me to be healthier and work out harder or simply say I wasn't right for the job! How powerful and yet so easy is that? Wording, tone, authenticity all have the ability to say something truly negative or truly positive depending on how it is used or abused rather.

A model doesn't need to lose weight to be beautiful. A model may lose weight to be a better model, fit more samples, come across more healthy & strong to better fit a brands' image, but is no more beautiful than before.

I like this girl (don't tell her) that there's probably more professional photos out there of her than unprofessional ones, but I find her more beautiful FaceTiming me with zit cream on her face than any of her "perfect" modeling photos because it's the real her, and it's the real you on the inside that's the most beautiful. Here is where she would say I am so cliche, but it's been awhile since I had a really good cliche moment. 

Personal Development Call-To-Action

Tell someone they are beautiful :) I'm sure you saw that coming, but don't worry I have one more for you. Write down three things about YOURSELF that you love! 

Set Your Goals, Write Them Down, And...

First hot is Rayne? Jesus. Unretouched digitals we snapped for all her agencies around the world! <3

Have you ever had that friend that you noticed was always "crushing it" at whatever it is they did, that they seemed to always be winning, always be getting promoted, always in a great relationship, always having the best day of their life? And then you ask yourself, why, how, what the fuck?

I'll tell you why; this person is super aware of who they are and what they want. You can't have what you want if you don't know what you want, right? Do you think I'm crazy, you must do because you're rolling your damn eyes at me, but let me ask you a quick question that if you don't have an even quicker answer to then you're the one that's crazy and needs to start listening...what is your goal this week for your job, your passion, your relationship, your friendships, your family, and yourself? Why the long ass pause? I thought you knew all this.

Take a minute today on your lunch break to set your goals. What are they? Write them down...Seriously, write them down. Then write down the actionable steps you need to take to accomplish your goal. Make reminders, put post-it-notes on your laptop, write on your forearm, whatever it takes for you to see the steps you need to take and then take the initiative to TAKE them! 

Why Achievement Is Not The Same As Fulfillment And How Success Depends Upon It

"Congratulations Hannah on signing with LA models!"

You have this goal you've been working hard to reach, maybe even putting years of your time towards it or thousands of your own dollars. One day you meet that goal face-to-face and you accomplish it! It could very well be the greatest achievement of your life. 90% of people don't take the time to truly embrace that success or allow themselves to be proud because they are already setting the next goal. 

The real goal is to attain fulfillment from reaching our goals, for achievement without fulfillment is not true success. Some of the most "successful" people, and by successful I'm referring to rich, have no fulfillment in what they do or have. The real "rich" are the people who no matter their circumstances they take the time to truly love themselves, pat themselves on the back, and be proud of each accomplishment or benchmark they reach. These are the people who have not just one good day a year, but every day is a win.

My favorite quote is "Today is a great day to get a little bit better." So simple, yet so very powerful and if we honor taking a moment to reflect on the good we have accomplished every day, even if just a little bit of progress, we will love the journey we are on. As cheesy as it sounds, it's not all about the final destination, it's about everything along the way.

4 New Faces & 4 Key Ingredients to Success

Wealth comes from (1) defining your Competitive Advantage, (2) generating a Lead, (3) seizing the Opportunity, and (4) Leveraging that success to create abundance. Enjoy the images of Nora, Olivia, Kendra, & Saoirse of Industry Model MGMT.


So many people want "success" & crave wealth, but they don't even know what their talent is that they need to use to create that success. You can be as hard a worker as anyone, but working hard at the wrong thing isn't going to get you where you want to go. Ask your peers, your family. You already know what it is you're great at, but something might be holding you back from realizing that it is something you could be using to pay your bills and live the lifestyle you desire. 


You figured it out, you took shrooms one day, went on a long run, whatever it is you finally CLEARLY defined your competitive advantage, that thing you rock at that's going to make you shit tons of money. Next step is to figure out who in this world needs your skill set more than anyone else, someone who is willing to pay for it, then seek them out! Put yourself on the receiving end, define who this person or business is, where they are located, who they already do business with, and figure out (first for yourself and then to tell them) exactly why you are a match made in heaven.


You knocked on the door, you got an email reply, they liked your pitch and hired you. Now don't drop the F'ing ball! Screw putting your best foot forward put your whole being into it and impress your client. How do you do that? You need to be (1) really good at what you do, (2) really fast at delivering whatever it is you are offering, and (3) likable ;)


Nice, you had a home run, but guess what the game isn't over yet and you're far from winning, it's only the first inning baby. The best way to attract a new client that doesn't know you from Adam is by showing them proof of concept. Not only did you go above and beyond so you could wow that first client, retain them as a long term relationship, but also so that you could impress the next door you have to knock on and this time you're not empty handed.

The most important message of all of this is truly to seize the opportunity, because often they are random, but the universe doesn't care too much that you're still at step one or haven't even started. Sometimes you're handed a sword and you either smite the dragon with it or drop it on your foot. Don't drop it on your foot.

Shooting A Professional Skateboarder

Louie Lopez - Professional Skateboarder

On my job for Volcom Men my subject was professional skateboarder Louie Lopez...and at times also his slobbering bulldog. Louie Lopez could not have been any further from a fashion model and I don't mean to say he was not good looking because he is a handsome kid, but he is a skater and posing for a camera is not something he is used to or wants to do. He wasn't a jerk by any means, on the contrary, he was nicer and more genuine than most in the fashion industry, but again all that was on his mind was skating. I knew I had to catch him in real moments, not "set up" too many shots, and just let the kid skate and hang out with his dog. 

Take The Time To Get To Know Your Subject

No matter your subject...and again take this to whatever industry or job role you may have, be it in fashion when your subject is a model, or you're a COO of a moving company and your subject is your own staff or a client across states...either way we are all dealing with people on a daily basis and each of them is different and require a variable approach to ensure the best possible outcome. If we approached handling relationships with every person, in the same way, we would miss the mark on so many and lose those as leads, clients, employees, even friends. Take a minute to LISTEN to your subject, to observe them, to really understand them and then let your intuition take over. It is when we jump right to the "deal" or whatever it may be and we skip actually getting to know the personality of who is in front of us that everything that follows becomes fake, forced, and likely a disaster.  

Today's Personal Development Call-To-Action: READ

What are you reading right now? And a blog doesn't count. Take 20 minutes for yourself to read a book, be it a sci-fi Harry Potter style book that takes you away from reality and puts you in a fantasy world or a business book such as 10X that get's your ass in high gear and ready for success and being productive, the key is that you are reading, that as you are your mind is free flowing, and you as an individual are growing. I am currently reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

Fashion is a tool... to compete in life outside the home. People like you better, without knowing why, because people always react well to a person they like the looks of.
— Mary Quant

Mom always said, "It's not all about you."

Proud Instructor

I am excited to share two of my most recent photography student's work who have really impressed me. Tyler mostly shoots the beautiful landscapes of Canada where he is from and Christopher is a bad ass car photographer. Both wanted to shoot fashion, I don't blame them, it is what I personally love to shoot most.

It is my opinion that a lot of the photography community outside of our industry struggles with shooting fashion, but to put this in perspective if I wanted to shoot my dream Porsche or the mountains of New Zealand that I would love to visit I can guarantee that Tyler & Christopher would almost certainly be able to do the subjects more justice than me.

Why? Is it because they are better photographers than me? There really is no "better" in photography when we are all professionals who understand the technicals behind taking a photo, there is only perceived value that comes from an image based off of what it makes the viewer feel, which comes from the unique combination of so many factors such as light, depth of field, composition, angle, emotion, but there is no "better." No, it is because that is their passion, it is their wheelhouse, and that shines through in their photography and in the final image...mine just so happens to be fashion and I am really proud of them for jumping face first into the deep end of a new genre of shooting and coming out with a win!

Photography by Tyler model Jorji Zimmatore of Photogenics LA

Get Outside Of Your Comfort Zone...You Don't Have To Be The Best At Everything Right Away!

The point being (and apply this to your own life/craft/industry), that there are so many genres of photography, each having their own attention to detail matters that make them unique and that just by owning a camera this does not make you a master of all of them, and where I am really proud of these two is their ability in one day, to step outside of their normal routine and comfort zone and dive head first into shooting something new to them. And crushing it, in my opinion, given that these are new faces (incredible nonetheless), they only had about 2 hours of shoot time and these images are unretouched film. I give them a lot of credit and I'll be thinking of them next time I am faced with trying something new that intimidates me. 

Photography by Christopher x model Brontë Schleppi of Photogenics LA

Today's Personal Development Call To Action:

Praise someone other than yourself today. Utterly and unselfishly show them love!

Talent With A Smile

Inspirational Artist Newsletter #2

"Sharing Fashion & Pairing it With Motivation & Personal Development"

Talent With A Smile

Brontë is 15yrs old and signed as a model only 6 months ago. Already is she being published in editorials while somehow still attending school...I am so impressed with this young lady. Not only could she move like a well seasoned 25-year-old model, but she also was so pure of heart, smiling the entire time and oh so fun & easy to work with. Little do a lot of models know that it is the latter that gets you repeat booked. Ask me of an LA new face who I believe is going to go far and make it (in whatever it is she pursues) and I'm going to tell you about Brontë Schleppi.

Today's Personal Development Call-To-Action

Take 5 minutes for yourself. Doesn't sound hard, but did you do it today? 

"I think there is beauty in everything.
What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."
- Alexander McQueen

No Matter How High Profile A Job Don't Forget To Smile

Inspirational Artist Newsletter #1

"Sharing Fashion & Pairing it With Motivation & Personal Development"

Penny Lane of IMG Models by Nick Sabatalo

Find Time To Laugh Today!

No matter how high profile a job, always find time to laugh and put a smile on each other's face. On my shoot with Penny we made up a story that she was a time traveler who played her magic fiddle so her lover would be able to find her no matter where or what time she was now. You'd never believe what was in her suitcase...A ferret! We laughed all day, created, and enjoyed the beautiful poppy fields just before their own time was over.

Today's Personal Development Call-To-Action

Write down in the affirmative everything you want to have, be, do...below are a few from my own list today:

  • I am Generous
  • I am Grateful
  • I am Fulfilled
  • I am a Leader
  • I am an Inspiration

"Today's a great day to get a little bit better."