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Monday, November 28, 2011

Interview of Cover Model Charles Paz

I first had the pleasure of getting to know Charles Paz almost two years ago when I featured him as the Wake-Me-Up Wednesday spotlight at my blog, Past The Print. Charles was the first romance cover model that I interviewed and I will never forget how personable he was, or how gracious he'd been to answer all my questions.

Between coaching youth soccer and owing his own photography studio, Charles has taken time out of his busy schedule - again - to answer another round of interrogations and be with his romance fans.

So, please make welcome...the endearing, the talented, and the oh-so-sexy Charles Paz.

Q. How did you first get into modeling?
A. I’ve always been overweight. I love food. What can I say? Lol. I decided I was tired of being the FAT GUY of the group so I decided to do a Body Building show. In 16 weeks I lost over 90lbs. strict diet and lots of cardio. Was it fun? NO WAY!! Hahaha. But I was happy with my looks and wanted more. Decided to get some pictures taken of me and all my hardwork. Next thing you know, one shoot led to another, which led to another, which led to oppurtunities. Guess I wasn’t the only one who liked what they saw.

Q. What do you like most about being a cover model?
A. THE ATTENTION!! Hahaha. No in all honestly, what I love most is the proof that I have achieved something not too many people can do. Being a ‘Cover Model’ is a testament to all my hard work and sacrifice that I have done to get to where I am today. Its always nice to look back and see the accomplishments I have in my life.

Q.What is the most difficult aspect of the modeling world for you?
A. Lol. The Modeling world. The ‘Industry’. When I say ‘Industry’, I also mean the world of Romance with their publishers, authors, etc etc. I honestly don’t focus on any of those things as much anymore. Ive grown to realize that either they want ya or they don’t. It seems like the Industry want to recycle the same looks for their covers over and over and over. Yes, Ive been on a few covers myself, but it gets very old and stale seeing the same face on EVERYTHING. Its even sadder when the cover model doesn’t represent the character for the author AT ALL! I think the hardest thing is the favoritisim. I could pull off many looks from a cowboy to a cave man, but its funny to see these people try to make a one dimensional model try to pull off something out of their league because they are selling ‘a name’. Im pretty sure though that next year, ill be ‘Changing the Game’ a lil bit.

Q. Tell us about The Fifth element and how it came to be.
A. The week before I went to Florida for the MR ROMANCE competition, I was actually flown out to VEGAS as part of a Meet/greet and studio shootout. Guest model of course. Lol. I met A LOT of AMAZING PEOPLE in Vegas. Doin shoots till 4 in the morning. Lol. It was great. Day of the studio shoot, the Man in charge of putting it together, Mike Lee, handed me a camera and said “Here, lets see what you can do.”

Now mind you, I've never held a DSLR before. Ive always been a disposable/ point and shoot kinda guy shooting family events and just friends. Never a model.

So, I pose the model and take a shot, look at it, adjust the light and settings and the model, take another shot and then showed him. He was so impressed that he had to show all the other photographers that was there.

If you look at the shots Ive done as a Model and the shots I have done as a photographer, you will see a similar style within everything. You see hints here and there. BUT, I must go on record and say that if it wasn’t for MIKE LEE, ‘Fifth Element’ would never have happened. And I will always be honored to call him my Friend.

As far as the name ‘Fifth Element’, well heres the story… My ‘Charles David Photography’ is what I use when I doing photography with families, kids, portraits. Ya know, the clean cookie cutter stuff. But I've read that some photographers go by an Alias, much like Authors do, to hide their identity. Plus, I cant really advertise a picture of a 99% naked model on the same page I have Family protraits on right? Lol.

I was thinkin of a name and that movie ‘The Fifth Element’ came on. In one scene, the guy was askin who she was and she points to herself and says ‘Fifth element… Supreme Being’. And that’s when it hit me. 5TH ELEMENT. A model/photographer hybrid, or what I like to call A MOTOG, is the perfect combo. Someone who knows what its like to be infront of the camera is perfect for giving direction behind the camera as well.

Q. What do you prefer… being behind the camera or in the cameras sights?
A. I honestly have not been a model for quite sometime. Ive been workin behind the camera for quite some time now. Ive shot the models but now focusing more on Body Builders and even couples. You can see the connection these couples have. Im very good at capturing the realness and simpleness of these shots. I don’t over photoshop, nor make people fake. I keep them real. Which is why I think people like my photography a lot. I don’t make fake people like most photographers do. I love being behind the camera and makin HAWTNESS, But don’t be surprised if you see a return of Mr.Romance in the future.

Q. With all the directions you’ve taken in your career, is there one job you’ve thought about trying but havent attempted?
A. Father. Ya, Ya ,Ya… I know. Corny, but it is somethin that has been on my mind as of late. Havin my mom pressure me to have grandbabies for her is pursuading as well. Lol.

I'm a Great uncle. I love ‘MY KIDS, and by that I mean all my Nieces and nephews, but everyone says I would make a Great Dad. Im not getting younger, and although I can probably be 67 and still be able to have a kid, id rather do it now and soon. God has a plan, so my future is in his hands.

Q. You’re a former “Mr.Romance 2009”. Tell us about your competition. What was the atmosphere among all the contestants?
A. Lol.Wow. You makin me think WAY back now. Wasn’t I just sayin Im getting old? Hahaha. None of us guys knew what we were getting ourselves into. We were all nervous. The guys were cool. Didn’t take us long to figure out what we had to do. Walk around. Look pretty. Mingle. It was pretty Awesome.

I was comin off a very hard time in my life so I just looked at it as a vacation while having fun with all these wonderfull people. I was being MYSELF. No sugar coating. No butt kissing. It was just me enjoying Life and living it to the fullest. And apparently, the readers and publishers saw something in me because I won not only the CoverModel Award but also the Peoples Choice. I can honestly say it was one of the best weeks I have ever had, and also something I needed in my life.

Q. You have a wonderfull and long resume of your fabulous career. What will be added to your next list of accomplishments?
A. I won the Novice Heavywieght class at the 2010 NPC SACRAMENTO BODYBUILDING Competition.That is one thing I am very proud of. I don’t think the ‘Industry’ knew about that, but just throwin it out there.

Something else they don’t know about, and that I have accomplished, is that I Coach Youth Soccer. U-8 girls to be exact. Our Fall team, CHARLIES ANGELS, just went UNDEFEATED! Im very proud of my Angels. I love having the chance to make a difference in the lives of our youth. I have been focusing on A LOT more than myself as of late. I didn’t do any shows or even any modeling in 2010. I focused all my time towards other projects and doing things that will make people better. Donating my time and volunteering as a coach is just an example of that. I also want to get back into modeling and possibly on some more book covers. My next show will be in March and Im hoping that I will be able to go to the next RT which is in Chicago. Show off my work as well as myself to publishers and get back into the industry.

And since it’s a romance blog, we have some more personal questions we’d like to ask you on the subject of romance... 

Q.When it comes to finding that special someone, What is the one thing you look for in a woman?
A. Lol. Good question. And to be honest, I don’t have the slightest idea at all. God is Great, Beer is good, and WOMEN ARE CRAZY. Hahaha. I think the best way to put it is that I would rather feel WANTED than NEEDED. They need to be secure with the fact that I want them and in return, need to reassure me that I am the one for them. Make time for me, because when I am with someone, my world revolves around them. I do believe though that they way a woman represents herself or displays herself is what makes them ugly. There’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness. Also, just being loud, rude and disrespectful in general shows how much a woman respects herself. I’ve been seeing it A LOT lately on facebook. Makes me shake my head sometimes. The quickest way to turn me or any guy off is to come off like that.

Q. What part of the female body grabs most of your attention?
A. The face of course. Eyes and lips to be exact. If the eyes are looking and the lips are smiling, then that says everything. Lol. I don’t discriminate body types either. Big, small, short, tall. All women are beautiful in their own way physically.

Q. What would you say to a woman if you wanted to let her know you were interested?
A. More Than Words….. If I have a connection with someone, ill know it between the conversation we have and how it is going. Im not blunt, but I will flirt a lil and if I’m feeling an attraction, than I don’t hold back. It may be bad, But I’m not afraid to lay all my cards out on the table and show my hand. I don’t play games, and If I want someone, I go for it. If a Female can’t get the hint at that point and keep up with the convo, then there would be nothing there. Just a physical attraction and Im beyond that by now. lol

Q. And since some of us just celebrated Thanksgiving, what holiday food Item do you enjoy the most?
A. LEFTOVERS!!! Hahaha. Who doesn’t like that right? Everything is good. You just can’t single out one item. Anything my Mom makes is my fave. The Macaroni salad. The Green Bean casserole. Biscuits. Do I just have to keep it with holiday foods? Lol.

As far as one item, I’d have to say Pumpkin Pie. Think about it. All the food you eat on Thanksgiving or even during the Holidays is food you can eat all the time. BUT, When Thanksgiving comes, Pumpkin Pie fills the shelves and they are delicious. I can eat a whole Costco sized pie by myself. I love food and I love life. What can I say?

Places to find Charles Paz:


Renee Vincent said...

Charles, I just want to say that it was an honor to feature you again. You are such a great man, inside and out, and an inspiration for all!

Kayelle Allen said...

A very cool interview. Charles, you have a terrific idea with being in front of and behind the camera. Being diverse is the way to go. Congratulations on your outstanding career.

Katalina said...

Charles, this was a really refreshing interview. It's so cool that you ended up behind the lens as well as in front of it.

Maria D. said...

Interesting interview! Good luck with your new business venture and both in front of and behind the camera.

Debbie said...

Excellent interview, you sound like a very down to earth person. Your take great pictures both behind and in front of the camera!

Becke Davis said...

*waves madly* Hi Charles! Great to see you here - I wondered what you've been up to lately.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Wishing you much happiness and success!

Marianne Stephens said...

Wonderful interview! Love how you choose 5th Element name...I've seen that movie dozens of times.
Good luck with your careers (modeling and photography) and nice to see that you connect with family!

Unknown said...

This was a great interview Renee and Charles. Hope Charles finds that someone special who loves him just for being 'Charles'. After almost 30 years of marriage, you have to like your partner, or there is no fun at all. :)

Keri Stevens said...

Hi again, Charles! Don't know if you're going to RT this year or not, but if so I must hunt you down so I can get another photo with my favorite cover model!

KeriFord said...

Hi Charles. I loved this interview! great fun and a wonderful story behind it.

Patti P said...

I would just like to say thank you for sharing your story. It is nice to see that hard work is rewarded and nice guys get what they deserve. Best of luck to you in business and in love.

Sandy said...

Good for you Charles; you're not just a pretty face. Photography and modeling would seem to be a good mix in helping both careers.

Adele Dubois said...

Charles, I enjoyed reading your interview. You seem like a down to earth guy. With a handsome face and fit physique, you seem to have it all.

Best of luck for your continued success!


Unknown said...

Great interview Charles and Renee. I love being behind the camera myself and am thinking of taking some classes to improve my skills.

Good luck to you, Charles and thank you sharing with us both your business and personal side.

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

What a refreshing and wonderful interview. I so enjoy your thinking and how your so honest in your view of people and what moves your heart...*S* You just plain make me smile...*S* Wishing you all the best and continued success, and I look forward to perhaps seeing on some more book covers....*S*
thank you for the great interview !


Marilyn ~ wiggiemd said...

I enjoyed reading your interview with Renee. I find it refreshing to read an interview with such a down to earth guy.

I found your story about how you came up with the 5th element for your company name very interesting.

Best of luck with both your in front and behind the camera careers.

Renee, very interesting interview, thanks for sharing your friend, Charles with us.


Marianne Strnad said...

Great interview guys! Charles, I met you at RT in LA last year-and you were everything AND a bag of chips! You have one of the most beautiful hearts I have ever come across; In addition to being such a nice family-oriented guy, I love how you understand the cover model industry-I am so with you on many things you mentioned. So happy to know you will be in my hometown of Chicago next year-really looking forward to seeing you again. Wishing you many blessings in the year to come! XO

A.W. McQueen said...

Wonderful interview! Charles first I want to say, congrats on your body building win. That's a huge kudos.

I admire your easy going laid back style. Your serious but you don't take yourself seriously. Makes for a very genuine person.

I also love the name of your photography site - Fifth Element. Happens to be one of my fav movies.

With your successful outlook on life and your down to earth personality, I think you will be making your mom a grandma real soon. ;-) Best of luck to you!

Chelsea Rafferty said...

*waves* Really awesome interview Charles, thanks for sharing it on FB so I had a chance to find it and get to know more about you. I think its cool that you do different things whether its modeling, bodybuilding, or taking photographs. Also fun that you teach girls soccer :) love the name and the wings on the girls! ;)

I have to admit, having my son is the BEST thing that's ever happened to me.. I'll admit at times my patience has been tested more than I thought possible but over the years my patience has also grown LEAPS and bounds compared to what it started at. If I had to put it in a way for non parents I would say when you have a kid, it changes everything and they literally become your "heart" and your "soul". The reasons for living before seem like nothing when it comes to your kid. I'm sure you'll make an excellent father when the time comes. I'm kind of surprised your single actually ;)

Anonymous said...

I have worked with Charles Paz many times, and some of my best shots either it be comical, or with a female partner, or even after all you can eat sushi and making him jump on a street lighting structure and only using a parking light as my lighting source... he pulls the shot I want within 20 frames or less.

awesome articles, loved it, and I love me some Charles Paz.

"standing by" for the next article.

some guy in 702

Charles Paz said...

"Hi Everyone. Its Charles =-) I hope you all enjoyed the interview. I speak from the heart and dont hold back. Lol.

I always love opportunities like this which allows me to get in touch with readers/fans and let them know more about me. Im more than just nice eyes and a cute butt. Hahaha.

Please add me. The FIFTH ELEMENT link is at the end of the interview. You can see alot more of my work there as well.

Renee, Thank you so much once again. Maybe we do another in a few months after my next competition in March and when I come out of 'Model Retirement'. Hahaha.

And for the rest of you, Thank you Always. And remember Rule #37 ;-)"

Renee Vincent said...

Of course we can interview you again in March! I mark you on my calendar, Charles!

Thanks again for visiting with us. This is an interview spotlight we shall not forget!

Unknown said...

Aiyeeeeee! I missed it...Damn writing cave. What an amazing body--ah...guy! Seriously Charles this was insightful and fabulous. I'm a Real Madrid girl myself, with Man City coming in a close second. keep up all your great work!

Genella deGrey said...

Fun interview, Charles! I really related when you said, "Its even sadder when the cover model doesn’t represent the character for the author AT ALL!"

Word ~


Tami Dee said...

I enjoyed the interview, Charles, it sounds like you have a lot of worthwhile things going on in your life. Tell your mom not to worry about the wife and grandbabies too much, those things usually happen when we least expect them to and are wonderful surprises.
After two years of being friends, one year of courting, my husband and I will have been married 18 years this coming March. :-) Didn't see it coming, but glad it did! lol

Vanessa Goff said...

Great interview Charles and Renee. I love being behind the camera myself and am thinking of taking some classes to improve my skills. Good luck to you, Charles and thank you sharing with us both your business and personal side.

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