Influence: Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner

The man, the myth, and the legend. Hugh Hefner has lived a life that many people dream of (men in particular). A magazine, beautiful women, mansion, and of course, money. Mr. Hefner has done it all and seen it all (literally). So, what brings me to Hugh Hefner? Well, you have to go back when I was a teenager. Like all curious teenage boys, I was very curious (and intrigued) about Playboy magazine. In today’s world all you have to do is search anything on Google, but seeing and feeling a Playboy magazine in your hands was something magical. Playboy was always the frontrunner in featuring beautiful women in their magazines, but it wasn’t until I got older that I understood the comment, “I read Playboy for the articles.” Once you gaze over the women in the magazine and start to read the articles, you quickly realize that there’s damn good writing in Playboy.

It never dawned on me to learn more about Hugh Hefner. I thought he was just living the life (which he was and still is), but once I started to hear more about Hugh Hefner over they years, I finally began to learn more about him. Hugh Hefner was a man of many talents and interests. For instance, I never knew that Mr. Hefner was a big fan of jazz music, and featured his favorite musical artists on ‘Playboy After Dark’, and he fought against racism. There was just more to Hugh Hefner than meets the eye, and I was impressed by the way he ran Playboy and the way that he respected women and gave them a platform to succeed in life.

Playboy Magazine

I was most impressed by Mr. Hefner’s ability to start Playboy from the ground up, and turn it into one of the most recognizable magazines in the world. When I first started my blog, I didn’t know exactly what to write. Whatever came to mind, I would quickly put together a post. If you look back on previous posts on my blog, you’ll find that I interviewed a lot of models. I never intended to go down that route, but that all changed when I sent out an email to Abigail Ratchford. Abigail was just starting out as a model when I first interviewed her, but now she’s a sensation. Abigail has been on TMZ countless times, and she’s been dominating on Instagram. She was very impressed with my unique questions and my ability to engage her in good conversation. Since I first interviewed her, we’ve become good friends, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. And ironically, Abigail has done photo shoots for Playboy and even shot some content with them. Like Hugh Hefner, I was starting something that gave me great satisfaction knowing that I just wasn’t doing the same thing such as other publications and websites.

Playboy Magazine

Other people may view Hugh Hefner differently than I, but I see him as a pioneer and an innovator. He was truly passionate about the work he was doing, and he paid exceptional detail to each and every magazine that was put out. Things are a lot different now with Playboy, but I’ll always be inspired by Hugh Hefner whether I’m writing something down on paper or typing.

Ardent: Christina Dronkowski

Christina Dronkowski

 

There are Playboy models, and then there is Christina Dronkowski. Christina is the hardest working Playboy model around, and with her blue-collar work ethic and attitude–nothing gets in the way of this highly motivated woman. Having already been named Playboy’s Miss Social June 2013, Christina Dronkowski has been padding her modeling portfolio ever since, and she’s also a nurse.  You might call Christina the complete package, but that’s an understatement. She’s always pushing the boundaries, and Christina is constantly setting goals for herself. One thing is for sure: whatever Christina sets her mind to–she accomplishes.

 

At what point in your life did you seek an interest in modeling?

Christina Dronkowski: I found Playboy Miss Social and after submitting my profile and all the attention I received, I set up my first photo shoot!

 

When you first started to model, was it like you had envisioned it to be, or was it something totally different?

Christina Dronkowski: Totally different. I never in a million years would’ve thought I’d be where I am today! I have had some amazing opportunities because of Playboy!

 

Christina Dronkowski

 

Did you seek out any guidance when you started to model, or did you just learn along the way? 

Christina Dronkowski: I learned along the way!

 

What valuable lessons have you learned in your life, and how have they helped you in your modeling career?

Christina Dronkowski: To be independent, and to love myself just the way I am! It comes with age and experience after being in one crappy relationship after another hence: “Single for life.”

 

Christina Dronkowski

 

How do you handle doubt, fear, and rejection in your modeling career and personal life?

Christina Dronkowski: Never let anyone tell you, “you can’t!” And to not let people’s negative words get to me! When one door closes, another one opens!

 

What drives and motivates you?

Christina Dronkowski: Haters! People who tell me I can’t–to I won’t; just more motivation for me to prove everyone wrong!

 

When someone is being negative towards you online and off, how do you handle it?

Christina Dronkowski: Ignore it!

 

Christina Dronkowski

 

You were Playboy Miss Social June 2013. What was that experience like, and what’s it like to be a part of the Playboy brand?

Christina Dronkowski: It was an amazing experience! I’m very lucky I had the opportunity that not many get! It was such an amazing day! I can’t wait for upcoming projects with Playboy, and of course, more kick-ass Playboy parties! I’m so happy to be a part of such and amazing brand!

 

You’re also a nurse. What made you choose to be one?

Christina Dronkowski: My aunt is a retired nurse. She is a role model to me, and I’m very close to her. When I was in high school, I did and internship at the hospital and just fell in love with nursing, so I knew at the age of 17–that I wanted to be an RN and specialize in Oncology.

 

Christina Dronkowski

 

What would be your advice to anyone that is trying to better themselves in life?

Christina Dronkowski: Stay true to yourself! Take it one day at a time! We are human; we all make mistakes. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

 

Christina Dronkowski

 

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Picture Perfect: Holly Randall

Holly Randall

 

There’s a reason why Holly Randall is the “World’s Best Erotic Glamour Photographer.”Her photos will grab your attention like nothing else you’ve ever experienced in your life. Holly’s work is pure quality, and she’s shot the most beautiful girls in the world, including Playboy South Africa’s “Playmate of the Year 2014” Khloe Terae and adult film superstar Tori Black. Having a top-notch photographer like Holly Randall can greatly benefit a model, and their career. Few people understand that it’s just not the model that makes a photo come alive–it’s also the photographer. You’re about to find out what makes Holly Randall the best at what she does.

 

How did you get interested in photography?

Holly Randall: As most people know, my mother is a photographer so I guess it just runs in the family. She never encouraged me to start per say, but when I was in high school I had a creative arts elective, and I chose photography. The first time I developed a print in the darkroom, I was hooked. I remember the distinct moment when I became hooked on photography.

 

Do you remember your first photo shoot? If so, who was it with and how did it go?

Holly Randall: Well, my first nude photo shoot was with Aimee Sweet, who is now one of my best friends. Indeed, at the time she was one of my mother’s favorite models and we became friends, so when I was ready to start shooting and not just doing admin in my mother’s office, Aimee was naturally the first girl I shot. I was so nervous, I couldn’t give her any direction, but she was a pro so I just clicked the shutter while she went through the poses almost automatically. I had no idea what I was doing.

 

You’re very creative with your photo shoots, and your work is pure quality. Was that something that you had to develop, or did it just come easy to you?

Holly Randall: Well, first of all, thank you. Honestly, I learned so much from my mother, and she was always about attention to detail. Her lighting was precise, her poses, wardrobe, makeup–everything had to be perfect. I think it’s a mix of being taught to make everything perfect on camera, and also inheriting her perfectionist personality.

 

What makes you get out of bed every single day?

Holly Randall: Ha. Sometimes believe me, after shooting five 12 hour days in a row, I don’t want to get out of bed! But I’m driven, I really want to achieve, I want to succeed. And to be honest, my life is pretty awesome. I’m a pretty lucky girl!

 

Have you come across any form of criticism/negativity in your career? If so, how did you overcome it?

Holly Randall: Surprisingly, I rarely get negative comments, everyone is pretty supportive and kind to me. But, yeah, I can’t book mainstream gigs–not that I’ve tried because I’m happy doing what I do, but there have been times when friends of mine who work in fashion or whatnot have tried to pitch me for a job, and when it’s revealed what I actually do for a living, the door gets slammed in my face. But, again, I’m not looking to cross over into mainstream, I’m content shooting adult glamour.

 

What’s been your favorite photo shoot that you’ve done, and why?

Holly Randall: Oh man, that’s a tough question. I’ve had so many. I guess I could say that the shoot I did of Rene Perez in an airplane graveyard in the Mojave desert could be one. I got this really iconic pin-up of her standing by an old broken down WWII plane. It’s such a great shot, definitely one I’m very proud of. I even have it hanging in my house.

 

You’ve done a lot of work for Playboy. What’s it like working with a brand like Playboy?

Holly Randall: It’s fantastic, I love working for Playboy. They’re a great company and I love shooting softcore because it allows me to be more creative and artistic with my work. When I shoot the more explicit adult work, I have to keep in mind that the audience are generally men who want to see a girl masturbate or have sex, they don’t care about the awesome wardrobe or location. With nude glamour softcore, I feel like it’s more about an appreciation of the art of the female nude, rather than just body parts.

 

What’s the most difficult part about your job?

Holly Randall: The days are pretty long, and I’m not as young as I used to be. 12 hour days several days a week start to wear on me, I’m on my feet all day, I do so much–the styling, data wrangling, paperwork, directing, video camera work, and of course, the photography. And on the days I’m not shooting, I have so much admin and office work to catch up on. I’m tired a lot, and I get irritable. I forget to be grateful to be so busy.

 

Tell me, what’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned during your career?

Holly Randall: Be careful what you put in writing. Even when you feel justified going off in an email, you never want to send one in anger. You’ll almost always regret it. Keep your cool, keep it professional. And if you really need to say something that might come back to haunt you, say it in person. Once it’s on paper, you can’t take it back.

 

You’ve accomplished a lot in your career, but is there anything that you have yet to achieve in your career?

Holly Randall: I’d like to direct an actual erotic movie. And actually, I’m doing my first one next month.

 

Whether someone is striving to be a photographer or they’re just aiming to achieve a specific goal, what would be your advice to them?

Holly Randall: You have to really love what it is you do, and be dedicated to it. Also know your limitations and your weaknesses, and look to address them. I’m pretty self-critical so I’m always looking for flaws in my work and ways to improve on them. I don’t think you can ever stop learning, and honestly, it’s a lot more interesting that way.

Holly Randall

 

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Why You Should Vote for Jessica Ashley for Playboy Playmate of the Year 2015

Playboy Playmate Miss June 2014 Jessica Ashley

 

Playboy’s “Playmate of the Year 2015” voting is underway and while each candidate is worthy of the title, Jessica Ashley stands out and separates herself from the other women vying to become “Playmate of the Year.” No other publication comes close to the level of quality that Playboy exudes with its models. To me, Jessica Ashley is the perfect choice to become the next “Playmate of the Year.” She’s gorgeous, has a great attitude, and above all else, she’s insanely smart (she majored in English at the University of Michigan). I’ve interviewed a lot of models, and I even had the chance to interview Kennedy Summers (Playboy Playmate of the Year 2014), who Jessica reminds me of. But don’t me persuade your vote. Check out the link below, and vote for who you think is worthy of being Playboy’s “Playmate of the Year 2015.”

http://www.playboy.com/articles/pmoy-voting-2015?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=Playboy&utm_campaign=Playboy.com&linkId=12487491

Cleveland Rocks: Katie Karrington

Katie Karchefsky

 

Cleveland is buzzing these days. With the return of Lebron James, the arrival of rookie sensation Johnny Manziel, and of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. But nothing comes close (excitement wise) than model Katie Karchefsky. Katie is driven, and is passionate about anything she sets her mind to. You might get the impression that she’s quiet, but as your eyes gloss over her images–you’ll realize that she’s very outspoken. Katie has her sights set on making it big in the modeling world and posing for Playboy, which she will soon accomplish in the near future.

 

What interested you in wanting to become a model?

Katie Karrington: Well, I was born with the passion for the fine arts/entertainment industry as I liked acting first. Growing up I got really into taking pictures and naturally took a lot of time with putting effort in, and working with them. Shortly after I was randomly scouted by a photographer–who got me started with my first experiences and learning.

 

How did your first photo shoot go?

Katie Karrington: It went surprisingly well considering I was 19, in a bar setting, and wearing lingerie, ha ha! It was my first time learning how to move my body in a lot of different, specific ways which is always good for modeling.

 

Katie Karchefsky

 

Before you started to model, did you set any goals that you wanted to accomplish?

Katie Karrington: Not any major ones that I can think of that stick out. I was fresh out of high school,  just beginning to really grow up, and wasn’t sure exactly where I was going. Once I actually discovered modeling and has someone reach out to me–many goals have been put on my list all the way up to now.

 

What’s the most difficult part about modeling?

Katie Karrington: I guess I would have to say the industry itself. It is very competitive, challenging, and you have to hustle to the max! Although I like that about it, especially since it’s a huge passion of mine. It’s almost like if anyone can have it–I don’t want it type of deal.

 

Katie Karchefsky

 

Being a model is very tough. How do you deal with all the ups and downs in the modeling business?

Katie Karrington: I can honestly say that I get my moments of complete discouragement that come over me. You just can’t let it keep you down to where you aren’t going to hustle enough to meet your aspirations! If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. It’s all in the mindset!

 

Which brings me to my next question: how do you handle criticism and negativity that is directed towards you?

Katie Karrington: I did not handle the criticism and negativity well at all when I first started out. I would let it eat me up and cared about what others thought way too much. That has changed dramatically ever since I’ve become much more serious into my modeling career. Everyone is going to talk/judge etc. You can’t control that. What you can control is how you decide to react to it. If someone has any negativity/criticism towards me, that’s just a reflection of themselves at a person, and I feel bad for them. I laugh it off these days.

 

Besides modeling, what else are you passionate about and interested in?

Katie Karrington: Acting has always been a passion of mine since I was nine-years-old. I really enjoy video production. Of course being in front of the camera such as acting in music videos for example, like cinematography! I have a huge imagination and always come up with creative ideas. Music is something I’m very passionate about too.

 

Katie Karchefsky

 

What would you like to accomplish this year and why?

Katie Karrington: Besides making any kinds of improvements/accomplishments within myself for my modeling career, I would like to get my foot in the door more with acting and do some short films, more music videos, etc. The biggest thing being is that I would love to become a Playmate. Playboy has been and will always be like the “holy grail” for me. I feel that I have exactly what it takes.

 

What’s your definition of success?

Katie Karrington: I would say accomplishing and living your highest aspirations in life for what you have the strongest passions for. Being extremely happy/positive and never stop hustling.

Katie Karchefsky

 

What would be your advice to someone who has a goal in mind, but doesn’t know how to go about achieving it?

Katie Karrington: I would tell them to keep a strong mindset, take it day by day, and figure out little things to start off doing here and there. It takes time and effort of course, but if you believe in yourself enough and don’t give up, you can achieve any goal you want!

 

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Sultry: Samantha Taylor

Samantha Taylor

 

International Playboy model Samantha Taylor is a girl that’s going places. Humble as anyone can be, Samantha is very precise about her goals and what she wants to achieve in her life. Samantha has worked hard to be where she is now, and it’s all because of her “never give up” mentality. Based out of Australia, Samantha wants to stretch her modeling talents over here to the US. It’s only a matter of time before this insanely beautiful woman not only takes over the US, but the world as well.

 

When did you decide to become a model?

Samantha Taylor: I kind of fell into it, and was lucky enough to be offered opportunities; when I was younger, I always admired all the beautiful women in magazines and wanted to be like them, so of course, that played a big part of why I wanted to become a model.

 

What was modeling like when you first started out?

Samantha Taylor: When I started out–it was hard. When you’re unknown and before social media, like Instagram (where now everyone can get seen) you had to send a lot of emails and have good shots to get you in the door. The networking through social media has been amazing, and has definitely contributed to enabling me to get more work that I otherwise might not have been seen or considered for.

 

Samantha Taylor

 

You’re also a Playboy model. What’s it like to be a part of Playboy?

Samantha Taylor: It is probably the best thing that has ever happened. I love that I got to shoot for Playboy and be a part of the Playboy family. I’ve met a lot of amazing Playboy girls, and it’s such a fantastic little family to be a part where everyone supports one another!

 

Do you have any ambitious dreams and goals that you would like to accomplish in your modeling career?

Samantha Taylor: Most definitely. My goal this year is to hopefully make Cybergirl for Playboy and shoot again! I would love to make the pages of the magazine as well! I also really want to gain another magazine cover this year as well!

Samantha Taylor

 

 

Have you encountered any harsh criticism/negativity online or off? If so, how did you handle it?

Samantha Taylor: Mostly I have had amazing feedback, but of course, in this day and age there are some haters that sit behind a computer and criticize when they don’t realize it’s actually a person behind it that might read the comments. You’ve really got to be confident in yourself and at the end of the day–not everyone is going to like you or your look, and that’s okay! I’m happy with myself and I have so much amazing support, and that’s what’s important.

 

Do you think expectations are too high for women to live up to these days?

Samantha Taylor: I think there are definitely a lot more expectations on women, especially on women when you see all these girls in magazines and on the Internet; and it’s not always real, so I think women shouldn’t put too much pressure on themselves because often the girl in the magazine doesn’t look like the girl in the magazine. But I do think it’s important to feel good about yourself, and put in effort so you’re the best version of yourself.

 

Samantha Taylor

 

Besides modeling, what else are you interested in and passionate about?

Samantha Taylor: I’m also a makeup artist. I really love helping women look the best they can, and to feel beautiful. I’m also really passionate about animal rights; I volunteer as often as I can, and try to raise as much awareness around animal cruelty and adopting a pet, not breeding. I also really love the outdoors and just getting active outside in nature.

 

Samantha Taylor

 

What sets you apart and makes you stand out from other models?

Samantha Taylor: I’m very humble and down to earth; I have no airs and graces. I’m so grateful that I have worked hard and received these amazing opportunities. I guess unlike some models that think everything will be handed to them, I have sacrificed a lot to get where I am, and will continue to push myself, so I can get where I want to be. I’m the kind of model that you will find helping carry equipment or setup if need be; I’m definitely not a diva.

 

Is there anything specific that you would like to accomplish this year?

Samantha Taylor: Apart from making Cybergirl, which is my big dream/goal for the year–I would also like to do some more traveling; I really want to head over to the US for summer, and I also want to continue raising awareness for animal rights.

 

Samantha Taylor

 

What can people learn from you?

Samantha Taylor: Be humble, but don’t short sell yourself; be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and hard work pays off in the end! So don’t give up on your dreams!

 

Samantha Taylor

 

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Prepossessing: Tina Mari

Tina Mari

 

With her fierce looks, Tina Mari is a rare model to behold. Tina was Playboy’s Miss Social for January 2014, and she was Miss COED for August 2014. With her outlook on life and a superb attitude–anything is possible for Tina and what’s in store for her in the future.

 

Was there anything specifically that got you interested in modeling?

Tina Mari: Nothing in particular. I always wanted to be a model–specifically, a lingerie model. Unfortunately, I was way too short to actually pursue it as a career, so I never did. One day I decided to try it just for fun, and the rest is history!

 

Tina Mari

 

How did you prepare mentally and physically for your first photo shoot?

Tina Mari: I bought some brand new lingerie and went in with an open mind. Luckily, the first shoot I did included hair and makeup, so they made me feel beautiful before we even started.

 

What’s your favorite aspect of modeling?

Tina Mari: The best part of being a model is collaborating with other industry professionals to come up with a vision, and then going through the process to create it. It’s a fantastic creative release, and it’s always special when you finally get to see the finished product.

 

Tina Mari

 

What do you believe that very few others do?

Tina Mari: I tend to believe in things that I can see, touch, or feel. I’m not much for superstition or religion, so there really isn’t much that I believe in that other people wouldn’t.

 

Being a model is hard work. How do you balance modeling and your personal life?

Tina Mari: I’m a freelance model, so I only have to take the assignments that really interest me. If I feel myself getting overwhelmed, I just schedule a sanity break from things until I feel better.

 

Tina Mari

 

What are your daily habits and routines?

Tina Mari: I always  have to eat breakfast. That is the one thing I cannot compromise on. I also like to cook and prefer to have home cooked meals each night. I try to work out at least three times a week. Sometimes I meet that goal, and sometimes I don’t. I also work full-time, so I try to get into bed at a decent hour during the week.

 

Who do you look up to and why?

Tina Mari: My mother! She is an amazing woman, who encouraged me to follow my heart, be open-minded, and to not judge others. Without her support and guidance, I don’t believe I could be the strong, independent woman who I am today.

 

Tina Mari

 

What’s it like being a part of Playboy?

Tina Mari: It was a dream come true to be crowned Playboy’s Miss Social for January 2014! I always wanted to work with Playboy, so having the opportunity to do so–in any capacity–was more than I ever could have hoped for!

 

Do you set goals in your modeling career? If so, can you share some?

Tina Mari: Absolutely! First and foremost, I just want to have fun and make great images. I also set some serious goals too, though. For instance: this year I would love to do some traveling, modeling, and achieve more publications.

 

Tina Mari

 

How do you handle the naysayers and people who are negative towards you?

Tina Mari: That one is easy: I just don’t care! There’s also this great quote: “Lions don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.” I’m a firm believer that every person needs to live for themselves and find their own happiness. We should never let other people bring us down with their negativity or judgmental attitudes.  If ever I find myself starting to get upset about something, I just remember that quote and I instantly feel better.

 

Tina Mari

 

What can people expect to see from you in the future?

Tina Mari: I really want to kick it up a notch this year. People should expect to see more variety in my new work and hopefully, plenty of new publications.

 

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