BLISS: So you’re a native of Chicago. What was it like growing up there and what do you love most about the city?
DAVID DAVILA: What I love most about this city is that it is home. Since I was born and raised here, I really cannot appreciate any other place more. I know so much about the city and there are still things to discover, that is what sets it apart from other places for me. You can see what Chicago is like, or what growing up here was like just by interacting with the people from the city. I think that is something everyone in the world has to offer about the place they grew up in.
B: You list your ethnicity as Hispanic, which encompasses a wide range of countries. What is your ethnic background?
DD: I am 100% Puerto Rican
B: On your profile you state that you love sports. Which ones did you play?
DD: I played baseball as a child, I played volleyball, I ran Cross Country, and I wrestled from high school through college.
B: It’s obvious from your physique that you are no stranger to the gym. What is a typical workout for you?
DD: My workouts can last anywhere from 2-3 hours. I hit the gym for specific muscle groups and I usually have 8-10 exercises to perform. I lift heavy weight with low repetition. I usually keep to free weight exercises. It is an intense regimen.
B: Based on your looks and build, physique modeling seems like an obvious direction to go in, but how exactly did you get your start?
DD: After developing my physique, I continued to hear my friends and family tell me that I should model underwear or something. It brought me to the conclusion that I could possibly give it a try and see where it would take me. I joined a website, Model Mayhem, and things just seemed to take off from that point. Once I posted some pictures, I started to network, and eventually booked that first shoot.
B: Many new models say that they were nervous during their first shoot. How was your first experience in front of the camera?
DD: I was completely nervous. As a former wrestler, I used to always get the pre-match jitters and that first shoot was no different. I was only hoping that I would not end up looking exactly how I felt. After the camera got going though, I lost all those jitters and just did my thing. Allan Spiers was amazing at keeping me comfortable and Jeff, his assistant, helped give me direction. I felt at ease and like I knew what I was doing, although my biggest fear was that I would not know what to do. The shots were eventually remarkable!
B: What was the most difficult shoot you have done to date, and how did you overcome this obstacle?
DD: The toughest shoot had to be when I photographed in the rain on the roof of a building. It was not raining nearly hard enough to get completely wet so I had to lie in some puddles in order to get the look we were looking to capture. Posing with a relaxed facial expression while I was cold and shivering was definitely the toughest thing I have had to do so far.
B: Models who are serious about advancing their career usually do their research regarding photographers to see who might benefit their portfolios. Can you name 5 photographers whom you would like to work with?
DD: Just 5? That should not be tough at all. In no particular order, Adam Bouska, Maya Guez, Luis Rafael, Carlos Arias, and Michael Stokes, but of course I would always love to work with many more.
B: What about other male models…are there any physique models whose ports you admire?
DD: Kalin Rosales has an awesome portfolio. I really admire some of the concepts he has done and the style he has naturally. He has a great body and poses really well.
B: You have some pretty provocative images in your port, including implied nudity and slight reveals? Did you have reservations about posing nude?
DD: I really did not have many reservations about posing nude. I am very proud of my physique and have always coined the phrase, “if you have it, flaunt it.” I have worked too hard to hide my body under too many clothes.
B: So far, you have still been partially covered. Are you adverse to full frontal nudity? Is this something that we might see in the future?
DD: I am not totally against it, but I do not think it is what I want to do just now. It may or may not be something I pursue in the future. I am still waiting to see where modeling will take me.
B: Is modeling your only interest at the moment or have you thought about other avenues such as acting?
DD: I have thought about and have been approached about acting, but I am not sure if it would be something I am good at just yet. I still have to pursue it a little more aggressively before I know how I really feel about it.
B: You are 5’5”, which might surprise some viewers because you’re so well proportioned. Has your height presented any issues in this industry that seems to place value on height?
DD: I have not noticed anything just yet, but I am sure that it limits me in some of the minds of photographers. There is a high value placed on height when someone utters the word model, but I think that the industry itself is moving toward a more diverse representation when it comes to modeling. My best marketing tool will have to be that I do photograph much taller than I actually am.
B: What about in terms of ethnicity. It’s no secret that ethnic models are often underrepresented in modeling. Has being Hispanic created any obstacles for you that you are aware of?
DD: It has not presented me with any obstacles just yet, but I am sure things will become much more difficult as I mature in the industry.
B: You have worked with a few of my favorite photographers like Mark Edward, Jay Plogman, John Gress and Claus Pelz, and are the reason I discovered the incredible Allan Spiers. What was it like working with each of these talents and how did the experience differ by artist?
DD: Working with photographers is so great because you do have an array of personalities. It becomes much more exciting to meet new photographers just to see what they are like when they are at work. Jay was an energetic guy and liked to do things in a more impromptu fashion. It worked well for us when we had our shoot. Claus had a great outdoor concept that he wanted to shoot with me and was really great at choosing the right location for a background. John and I did work in and out of the studio. He was great to watch because one could see him thinking while he was shooting and he would give direction really well. Allan, as I said before, was really great at keeping me relaxed and he uses a wall in his studio to generate really great images.
B: KJ Heath shot the gorgeous image that graces our cover, and your work with him is a bit more sensual and raw than some of your other images. You are also sporting a shaved head. How do you prepare for this type of session?
DD: I had worked with KJ before and he actually was the second photographer that I worked with. Our first shoot was great, but I felt as though I did not deliver convincing facial expressions. For our second shoot, I really mentally prepared myself to change things up. My manager, Marcus Mccormick, had been working with me on how to change my expressions up for each shot. Everything was to be slight movements. I took that with me to the shoot and was really happy with the results.
B: Have you ever been asked to do a shoot that you felt was beyond what you were willing to do? If so, how do you handle this situation?
DD: I do have to say that I was not very keen about standing on the ledge of a building. When I was asked to do that, I was really opposed to the idea. After taking a look at the ledge and realizing it would not be too bad to be up there, I dove in. I was nervous beforehand but once I was up there everything else faded away.
B: There are many guys out there who might have the same desire as you, in terms of modeling, but are not sure how to get started. What advice would you give to them?
DD: Connect yourself with Model Mayhem and network. You can look at others' portfolios and decide if you are ready to do this type of work.
B: Now that you have been doing this for a little while, what would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learned in regards to the business side of modeling?
DD: I do not think I have learned nearly enough just yet. I think the few months of experience are not enough to establish a good base knowledge about the business side of modeling. I hope to gain a bit of that with the next 6-8 months.
B: Every model has an idea of their dream shoot. What type of image would you like to someday be able to do?
DD: I am a total rocker at heart, but have never been able to completely indulge the style and or essence of rock. I would like to do an image representing rock in true form.
B: Can you list 5 things about yourself that even people who know you might be surprised to learn?
DD: The best thing to point out for everyone is that I am left-handed. It does not matter how long someone knows me, for some reason they are surprised every time I mention it. I have an obsessive nature, it may not surprise people who know me that I do but it will surprise them that I admitted it. I own a chucky doll. I am allergic to Old Spice deodorant. Lastly, my favorite Disney movie is “The Little Mermaid.” Don't laugh, it is a great movie (laughing myself).
B: What’s next for David? Any projects we should be watching out for?
DD: Be on the lookout for my possible shoot with Mark Edward. We did an interview a while back, but I may be connecting with him really soon.
B: You already have quite a few fans, and will undoubtedly have even more after this interview. Any last words for them?
DD: The support I get from my fans is what keeps me going. As long as I hear and see their praise, I will continue to sit in front of the camera and create more images for them to enjoy. Thank you for what you have given me so far and keep the comments coming.
©2011 – Sean Dibble