Sunday, December 28, 2014

#The[Model]Life: Interview with Model, Tyler Gattuso

Photographer, Eric McKinney of 6:12 Photography had the opportunity to chat with Silver Model Management's fitness model, Tyler Gattuso. He's the star of his own reality series Life of Ty and a guy who is living to the fullest. 6:12 was interested in finding out the story of this Tyler's journey and a glimpse of what he's learned along the way.

6:12 Photography :  So, tell me where it started all started.

Tyler Gattuso : It started really early on in life when I was playing sports. I was shopping for athletic gear in Finish Line, and I saw all these athletes on the advertisements and posters for sporting gear. I remember seeing the UnderArmour ads, and I wanted to be an UnderArmour model so bad. 


6:12 : So you wanted to be the guy in those ads?

TG : It’s the dream. Those guys make thousands of dollars modeling sports gear. Once I got into wanting to get fit, I was thinking about modeling underwear and becoming the guy with the six pack. 

6:12 : You mentioned the process of wanting to get fit, so I take it that means you haven't always been the muscular guy that you are now?

TG : Growing up, I was tiny, and I was bullied my entire childhood. In middle school and freshman year, I was just 5’3, 120 lbs. By sophomore year, 5’5 140. Then junior year came and I shot up to 6’2, 170 junior year. I had gained 30 pounds and I was thrilled. By senior year, all of a sudden I'm not the kid that's getting bullied; I was homecoming king, playing football and enjoying school stuff. 

6:12 : It's hard to picture you being the kid that was bullied. What kind of impact did that have on your journey to where you are now?

TG : I can look back now and say it was humbling, knowing what it’s like to be on the other side. My parents were always saying it would take time. God gifted me with enormous size, and I shot up to 216 lbs by college.

6:12 : Sounds like athletic runs in your family. Who are the other athletes in your family?

TG : Well, I'm the baby of the family so I have a lot to live up to. Both of my sisters played college basketball, and my oldest sister went on to play European basketball. My dad played in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

6:12 : Wow, that's definitely some big shoes to fill. 
6:12 : So, tell me about your experience in the gym, weightlifting. A lot of people talk about how intimidating a gym can be when you're first starting out, not knowing what to do or feeling inexperienced compared to the guys working out around you. What was that experience like for you?

TG : In high school, I’d go to the gym with varsity football players and there was some extreme locker room intimidation, but my sister’s boyfriend and friends took me under their wing. They brought me to the gym, encouraged me, taught me not to be afraid of anyone at the gym. Everyone’s on their own journey, so you can’t be intimidated. You don’t know where they come from, or how long they’ve been in this process. It’s just intimidating at first because it’s new. 

6:12 : That's a great mindset to prevent intimidation at the gym, Tyler. So moving forward, after you started hitting the gym, when did you start modeling?

TG : Well, when I was a senior in high school, I got tagged in a Facebook photo for a CrossFit gym that I was going to. A female model that was famous in Atlanta tagged my photo with her agency and said "check out this guy" and I got noticed by Benz Agency in Florida.


6:12 : And I know that you're currently signed with Silver Model Management out of New York City, because that's how the opportunity came about for us to shoot together. Tell me a little about how you got signed with Silver. 

TG: I was living in Nashville, and someone shared Michael Lyons' Facebook status with me, of him saying that Silver Models were looking for male models for cosmetic modeling gig. I hadn’t modeled in three years because I was just playing sports, but I responded and Michael contacted me, saying call me immediately. He booked me 6 days of jobs with MAC Cosmetics for $800 a day. It was really just a case of right place at the right time, and he booked me right off Facebook. A year later, I met Michael Lyons face to face and decided to move to New York City and stayed there for 5 months to work with Silver Models and a ton of photographers.

6:12 : And now you're part of a reality tv show that's all about your life as a fitness model. What an amazing opportunity. Did you come up with that on your own?

TG : The title Life of Ty came from me, but the idea in itself and the financial backing for it came from Michael Downs, a photographer that I've worked with a lot in St. Petersburg. We were just chatting one day, and Michael mentioned the concept of a reality tv show with male models, showing what they eat, how they work out, and their personality on a daily basis. The next time we shot together, Michael said, "Let's name it after you and you can be the star of the show."

6:12 : And how's Life of Ty going so far?

TG : We've already had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places, and we have a lot more planned in the months ahead. I can't say too much, but we've had some interest from MTV and VH1. We've decided to spice things up a bit in order to catch their attention, so you can expect some drama in the coming episodes.

If you haven't had the chance to watch Tyler in Life of Ty, you can check out links to each episode posted below in the blog. 


6:12 : Sounds promising, man. I have a few more questions and the idea is to take readers into the behind-the-scenes of what it's like to be a model. Tell me about what it was like for you to be in front of the camera for the first time. What was that experience like?

TG: One of the first photo shoots I ever did was on the train tracks in the middle of a park. I didn't know what to do, so I just stood there. I didn't know how to flex correctly or which way to turn, so out of a thousand photos, we got one or two good shots. This was back when I was around 170 lbs. I was more of a fashion model, not really into fitness stuff yet. 

6:12 : Since that first shoot, how have you grown and what have you learned as a model?

TG Basically, I know my options now; back when I first started, I had no idea about options. Now I feel like I can change my eyes, manipulate different muscles from frame to frame. I know how to move around a lot more, so I can try things out and if it doesn’t look right, then I know how to change. 

6:12 : Tell me about the transformation from fashion model to fitness model.

TG : Well, starting out, I had small shoulders and my chest was flat, so I could fit into the clothes.
But now that I'm 200 lbs, suits don’t fit anymore and dress shirts are tight in the shoulder and loose at the waist. I made the decision to focus on fitness modeling because I was trying to gain weight for football. Since I was putting in so much effort to bulk up, I decided screw fashion, fitness is going to be my only option. Since then, I've learned that it's possible for me to shoot both fitness and fashion, depending on my workout stages.


Since beginning his career in modeling, Tyler has had the opportunity to work with some incredible companies: Skins (an Australian compression-wear company), MAC Cosmetics, UnderArmour, High 5 Games (casino slot-machine company), Limu (energy food and drink company). He's also worked on commercials for Circle K (gas station chain in Florida), Adventure Island, Tampa Busch Gardens and Disney’s Aquatica as a lifeguard.

6:12 : Last thing, let's talk about what kind of diet and lifestyle you have to keep in order to be a fitness model. What's your work out routine like? 

TG : I work out five times a week, and I take off Sunday and one random day.  I do muscle group workouts, so I connect chest/triceps, back/biceps, entire day to legs, and entire day to shoulders. Throughout those days, I’ll kill abs or do some cardio for about 40 minutes. I also live a pretty active life: biking at the park, basketball, soccer, football on the beach. 

6:12 : What's your diet like? Are you strict about what you eat?

TG : I try to eat healthy, but honestly, my diet is crap. I eat whatever I want all the time. In fact, I still eat like a college football player, pounding the calories or protein, eating whatever I can get my hands on. I take pre and post workout shakes, and I take BCAA’s for muscle recovery. Never done steroids before, but I’ve been tempted. It’ll be a part of Life of Ty soon, exposing who takes sterioids and who's lying about it. 

6:12 : I'm sure there's a lot of people who are going to be shocked by that answer, and probably jealous.

TG : Yeah, I tried the diet thing, but I saw zero difference. So I went back to the regular diet of eating whatever I want, and I stayed exactly the same. I do eat lots of chicken and vegetables, but I also eat my share of fast food and sweet stuff. What can I say? My metabolism is a freak of nature. 

6:12 : Lucky you! Thanks for the opportunity to get a look at what it's like to be a model and a little insight on your back story and your journey. Best of luck, and looking forward to another shoot with you next year. 

   For more 6:12 photos, visit facebook.com/photographybyericmckinney. If you enjoy my work, take a moment to click "like" on my page.
   Interested in booking a photo session with 6:12 Photography? Contact Eric McKinney at emckinney612@gmail.com to schedule a shoot.
   To see more of Tyler Gattuso, check him out on Instagram (@mr.gattuso) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/Tyler-Gattuso/312500848851152).
   To watch Tyler Gattuso in Life of Ty, check out these episode links:
Episode 1: http://lifeofty.tv/premier-episode-life-ty/
Episode 2: http://lifeofty.tv/second-episode-life-ty-great-southwest/
Episode 3: http://lifeofty.tv/third-episode-life-ty-vegas-cali-experience/

1 comment:

  1. He is one Hot! dude.I muse over his love life. I wonder who is the lucky one?

    ReplyDelete

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