Talent Feature : Michael Gasperson

How did you get started in the sports modeling industry? What intrigued you about SLU that made you want to join the agency?

I got my start in the sports modeling industry after a successful career in the NFL. While I was playing football for the Philadelphia Eagles, my wife, who is originally from Portland, Oregon, submitted a few photos of me to SLU. Upon receiving my photos, both SLU and myself thought it would be a great relationship to pursue. I started modeling for SLU about a year ago. The most intriguing thing about SLU is the fact that they are able to reach across so many different markets and really generate the most exposure for their talent in the entire industry.

What are some of your favorite sports and why?

I grew up playing many sports, but the ones that have stayed with me along the way have been football, and volleyball. I also enjoy doing many outdoor recreational sports such as wakeboarding, boating, hunting, and fishing.

Describe some of your favorite project/shoot experiences.

My first and definitely my most memorable shoot has to be when I went to Boston, MA to shoot the Spring 2010 Catalogue for Abercrombie & Fitch. Not only did I meet a lot of interesting people, I got the opportunity to shoot with one of the most well-known and talented photographers of our time in Bruce Weber. I also enjoy going to the Nike campus to shoot whenever the opportunity arises.

What kind of physical regimen do you follow to keep yourself fit for sports modeling?

I do a lot of weight training and resistance training as well as a multitude of other cardiovascular activities. I recently started swimming again and competed in a team triathlon at The Wild Canyon Games in Antelope, Oregon in the beginning of June. I enjoy active living and believe that exercise doesn’t always have to take place in a structured fitness environment. Some of the best workouts I’ve had, have been spur of the moment outdoor workouts that don’t take much thought at all.

Nutritional regimen?

I enjoy challenging myself to eat as healthy as possible. I have a pretty large sweet tooth so sometimes it can be a real battle. I can say that I’m the first to reward myself with a delicious dessert though.

Can you tell us the mentality you bring to a shoot, in light of the demands and expectations of the project?

I always take the mentality that I’m going to have the most fun and make this enjoyable for everyone type of attitude. The best shoots I’ve been on are the ones where everybody is feeding off the positive energy of each other. Another important asset to have is the ability to focus and to “get in the zone.” This relates directly to my career in professional sports.

How about some information about yourself, i.e. personality, future goals, and aspirations.

First and foremost I am a husband and a father. I have an amazing wife that exceeds every dream I ever had of what a wife should be. We have a beautiful two-year-old son who has a personality larger than life. He brings so much joy to our life.

Currently, I am a volunteer firefighter aspiring to take it to the career level. Fire Fighting is such a rewarding career and I feel blessed to have such a large group of positive individuals around me to call my brothers and sisters.

What do you enjoy most about sports modeling?

I love how many different people you meet. I love the challenge of stepping outside my comfort zone on occasions. I love the fact that I can make the most out of any job I book. I love the flexibility. I love the way I feel after I get done with a shoot and someone says, “thanks for being so much fun!” Those are the things you remember long after your modeling career is over.

What words of wisdom would you give to those who want to get into the business?

Be persistent, be tough, and don’t change your personality because you think it’s how someone would want you to be. Always be you. Be honest and true to your morals. And most importantly, have FUN doing it!