I’ve known Jamie for quite a few years now. In fact, I was at her first fitness competition in Toronto (It was my first fitness competition as well). Looking back to that show, I can say I knew there was something special about her. Little did I know however, how close we’d become.

We’d end up shooting on various occasions for various clients over the years. She would come to a few of my parties in the Caribbean and even attend and participate in one of my art/fashion shows.

Fast forward to today, and the two of us have grown to become quite well respected in our in our prospective fields.

It was years ago that we first sat and chatted at great lengths about all things under the sun.  We talked of our careers, we talked about religion, and our dreams. Her star had already begun to shine brightly, but little did we know how that would transform into something entirely more significant.  And yet, even with her astronomical success I don’t believe her dreams included everything she has now. She has gone from beautiful cover model, to something much more significant; wife and mother. I am certain if you ask her, the blessings of marriage and son, far outshine those of celebrity.

Now, I don’t claim to know how she managed her to build her career so well, but I do know that her integrity and strength of character certainly played a part. We had gone out for dinner at The Arnold Classic that had just passed and talked about her plans coming back as ‘Mom Jamie’.  Her work with BodyBuilding.com and her recent supplement line with Labrada  was on the forefront of what she wanted to focus on. She told me on how on numerous occasions she had made changes to the final product to make sure it was the best in the industry and how she felt very accountable for that. She also mentioned she’s been working on getting her body back to where it was before baby August.  I told her I would be flattered to shoot her as soon as she felt ready. To be honest, I believe my exact words were, “I’d KILL to have you on the next cover of STRONG!” I know all the fitness magazines would have been lined up to shoot her so I really wasn’t expecting her to agree.  To my delight, she agreed to shoot. I didn’t hold my breath because a lot could change few months down the road, but still, it would be fantastic to be able to get Jamie’s first shoot back!

I was attending and shooting at the Dallas STRONGCAMP in  March when randomly, I got a text for Jamie and we got to chatting. I mentioned off handedly that I was in Dallas.  (She lives hours away so I wasn’t expecting to see her).  Her next words caught me by surprise. She said, “I’m crazy even volunteering this, but I’m going to be in Dallas on the weekend, perhaps we can shoot for STRONG now?” She had originally wanted to wait longer to give herself a bit more time in the gym. Of course I jumped on the opportunity. In fact, I was flattered she even volunteered it. I don’t take her putting that faith in me lightly. She’s a professional and has set extremely high standards on herself.

So needless to say, the shoot day has come and gone and I have in my possession some of what I feel are the most beautiful and real pictures of Jamie.  I approached the shoot quite differently from her others. I didn’t want her looking all pretty and perfect. (It’s hard for her NOT to look that way). That’s how we’ve always seen her.  I was more impressed with her dedication and devotion to health, fitness, family and faith. So I took that fierceness she possesses and did my best to capture it; to capture her STRONG. You can see more candid pics of the shoot here.

Her issue will be available on newsstands on May 1st. See more shots of STRONG and it’s story here.

I had mentioned earlier her integrity and strength of character. She could have easily passed on the shoot, or even agreed to shoot with anyone else. Yet, she kept her promise and went out of her way to keep her word, even when it was out of her comfort zone. If you will, to me, THAT is integrity, THAT is character and that is the behaviour that creates the Jamie we have all come to love.

People should know how awesome she is – Please share

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