Before I begin to tell you about myself and working with John Mitchell, I just want to thank God and my parents for giving me the strength and support to pursue this career in fitness modeling. My name is Danny Reilly and I'm from Denville, NJ; I currently work as a Branch Corporate Account Manager for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, but I believe there is something better out there for myself. From the age of 5, sports have always been a big part of my life. Whether it is baseball, football, or snowboarding, I have always followed things in my life that involve fierce competition. With that being said, possessing a competitive drive is an important trait which I use that to push myself in every aspect of my life. Growing up, size and agility were not always on my side, but I kept telling myself that I could be better than the next guy if I just pushed myself harder than the guy next to me. This brings me to my high school career.
Upon entering high school, I was a multi-sport athlete that managed a rigorous training and scholastic schedule that was constantly challenging me both mentally and physically. I played football and baseball all four years of high school, but was never the standout until my senior year. That year I was named “First Team All-County Safety “and as well as “All Area”. It seemed that the hard work that I put into the classroom, in the gym and on the field had paid off and in turn, got me recruited to play at the collegiate level. This in itself is a feat which few can say they have under their belt, but I was not taking it lightly, for it was a chance to prove myself on much grander and bigger stage.
It seemed as though my hard work and dedication would pay dividends and the fruits of my labor began to show. I decided to play for Pace University (NY State) which is a Division 2 program with a scholarship to add to my accolades. As a freshman, I came in at 170 pounds, but by applying my previous techniques, left at a whopping and rippling 230 pounds. On top of that I started 3 years, something that some of my fellow teammates were very envious of. Playing strong safety my senior year, our team posted the "#1 Pass Defense" in the nation in 2007 which I am proud to say I was a leader of.
After I graduated from Pace, I was still weighing in at about roughly 225 pounds. But like most post collegiate athletes’ experience, the motivation for hard training wasn’t there, especially after playing for four years of brutally intense football. I soon lost significant muscle mass, but compared to the average Joe I looked good. Although I was not in the shape I was in during football, it made me realize that getting back into the gym was imperative and not an option.
With that being said, I moved back to New Jersey, where I began pursuing my career with Enterprise and going to the gym here and there. I started to tweak my physique over the next year, making a goal to become more lean and defined. I really began to get into the whole idea of fitness training and the nutritional requirements that come along with it and how it can reshape your body. Here is a quick idea of what I do:
1. Eat 5 meals a day
2. Gym 6 days a week
3. Cardio as much as possible
After about a year, I lost 20 pounds and started to get a lot of compliments from my peers in the gym and out. It made me realize that I undoubtedly, had a passion for not only lifting and weight training, but seeing my results and expressing them in an artistic way to the public. Therefore I began to take images of myself posing and flexing. Taking cues from various fitness celebrities and professionals, I began posting them on various sites like facebook, myspace, etc. What really increased my exposure was Youtube.com; I posted many videos, some private flex sessions and a few workouts with trainers. I started to get a lot of attention from random viewers, friends, and model agencies; this is where John Mitchell from BBpics came in.
Now by this time I had done a few photo shoots but didn’t find them to be helpful in my search for the next level. John contacted me via Youtube.com. He said I had potential and wanted to work with me. Let me just tell you, I was very surprised when I realized how professional John was and how he really seemed to care about my success. Based on this alone, it made me extremely comfortable and exuded a positive vibe in which I had not experienced yet. We swapped contact info, email, cell numbers, and facebook profiles. Unlike other photographers who were brief in conversation before an upcoming shoot; John called me introducing himself and really wanted to find out who I was in all aspects of what made me, me. We immediately made a connection and felt as if I were talking to a friend or mentor, and not a business partner. John provided me a lot of valuable information about what to look for in modeling opportunities, molding my body and what kind of work he does. I had about a month to prepare and we spoke either on the phone or through email at least twice a week.
The motivation and inspiration that I received from John was truly amazing and inspirational. This really helped me to prepare for the upcoming shoot with him. The day of the shoot I felt so comfortable with John and learned so much more than I ever thought I could from a photographer. Usually about halfway through a shoot, I start to lose focus whether it is because I am totally depleted of “carbs” or because I lose mental focus. John kept me totally involved with his awe inspiring words and the ability to capture amazing poses with the scenery he picked out. To anyone who’s reading this: please understand that you will rarely find this in a photographer. Without John, I would probably still be stuck in a rut trying to get my name out there. Now I have an even better portfolio, connections with great agents, magazines, etc. Also there is no doubt in my mind that only great things can come from this experience. I want to thank John again for his hard work and drive to make guys like me a potential booming model. And when he says “ITS ON SEASON ALL SEASON” he literally means that; in the gym all the time, pushing yourself to the limit and being relentless will get you everywhere and anywhere in life!! Thanks John, God bless.