If I were to sum up in a sentence, the last twelve years shooting Liza Hughes, it would be a very long sentence. She’s been my close friend since 2004 when she came to Las Vegas the first time to shoot. She walked through the door, smiling warmly, and presented me with a thoughtful gift. Liza was a young mother of two then, and new to fitness and modeling. But she had prepared herself to be the best model she could possibly be when we shot. From the first frame she was producing publishable pictures, and it just got better from there.
When I traveled to work in Florida, I would visit her family and we would shoot. When she came to Las Vegas we would shoot. We became good friends and I started coaching her throughout her amateur and professional competitive fitness career. I covered all of the shows for Oxygen Magazine back then so I got to see almost all of hers. I was there when she earned her pro card, and I was there the night she retired.
Liza is very creative and willing to try almost anything to get an artistic photograph. We’ve shot in sand storms, the blistering hot desert, burned-out and abandoned buildings, and at a Tiki bar once. We did a set in the ocean that was so cold she was hypothermic. She’s modeled glamor, fitness, and fashion, and we’ve shot together so many times I lost count. Because of our hard work and Liza’s skills, she has been published many times.
I earned the honor of becoming a family friend. I ate at their table. I played with their kids and got teased by her awesome and very funny husband, Jim. I even got a butt roasting in the Boricua Blast Furnace because I got into my plate of food before she had a chance to warm it up properly. The verbal thrashing was precise and effective, but it was the hand waving, in perfect sync with her lips, which had me captivated. I learned that where there is a talking Latina, there will be hand-waving. It’s genetic, like wearing red lipstick. The bigger points were made with big fast circles, and the more disheartened points, meant to garner guilt and sympathy, were much slower, more deflated, and smaller. I gathered from the experience that she would prefer to warm up my food before I ate it, which suited me fine. I felt strangely appreciated. Jim and the kids just grinned.
That same fiery passion is what made our pictures great. Liza loves to feel her emotions, and expresses them, and she does it very well.
It’s been twelve years since that first shoot. Liza and Jim are still happily married and deeply in love, and their children are grown and driving now. She is a successful lifestyle coach, and keeps herself in top condition year round. We still enjoy creating images together.
This is some of our work, we’ve shot thousands more. I hope you enjoy them.