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Monday, July 11, 2011


Time Attack Models heat up the track!

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With the end of June comes that familiar pleasantness of the peaking summer season.  It’s only fitting that America’s biggest celebration happens at the beginning of the following month.  The Fourth of July is the date in which America celebrates its Independence Day, a time in which people came together to stand for a common cause that gave birth to a nation.  Today, it is celebrated and remembered in a similar spirit of togetherness, as families reunite and connect to celebrate as one unit, interconnected through love and friendship.  Looking back, I can’t help but remember the girls of Redline and how they represented the spirit of this most American of holidays.  When I found out about their next event was about an hour out from my pad, I was psyched to get my butt into gear and say hi to some awesome gals.

The forth round of the 2011 Redline Track Event series was held at the Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, California from July 2nd to July 3rd.  It was struggle up the I-5 with travelers from all around the Southland on the move, but I found momentary relief in an uncongested ride down Route 14.  Of course, the radio announcer shoots out the warning to head for the coast as temperatures were expected to hit past the 100 degree mark that day.  With the oddly chill weather in the earlier part of the season, it didn’t really register until I hit the grounds of the event in the middle of desert land.  I was hearing “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” tune whistle as I stepped out into the scorching pre-noon sunlight, and that fireball up there was shooting ultraviolet rounds at me like none other.  My I-phone actually overheated!  Realizing I was losing the battle, I sought shelter at a quaint little restaurant near the pits and garages.  Air conditioning!  It was a friggin’ oasis!  And what do you know?  There was a bar.  Splendid!  It was the top of the morning to me, as I downed a few cold brews for lunch…yeah, that’s how real men do lunch…

Then, as if on cue to the clock’s strike of noon, the Redline gang came into the establishment led by Miss Redline herself, Michelle Yee, and her associate Miss MotoIQ Rachel Hoglen.  For backup, they had Miss Redline Competition Finalists, Karen Ladouceur and Tiffany Joey at the rear.  Miss Pro Time Attack Cailin Mendes was already waiting for them at a table prepared to discuss the business of the day.  Only time would tell what would happen when these forces came face to face with each other.  I kept to my drink and kept my hand off my trigger.  A single shot could spell mayhem.  Yeah, I make it sound like a spaghetti western, but really all these girls are guilty of is how criminally gorgeous they all looked.  Plus, I’m not sure if you, the audience, wanted me to shoot off some pictures of girls biting into juicy cheeseburgers…oh, wait…maybe you do, Carl’s Jr. fans…noted…

Afterwards, the girls were on the move though rounding up contestants for the Miss Redline Contest set for later in the day.  Time in the sun for them was minimal as they escaped to the safety of an air conditioned broadcast tower, where they and a few contestants were featured for a series of interviews.  My chance came upon the conclusion when the girls had a break from their many responsibilities.

Miss Redline gets a lot of attention.  Being the reigning title holder, Michelle Yee has to take every precaution to keep those annoying guys taking pictures of her at bay.  That doesn’t include me, of course.  I’m special.  Anyway, with that beaming elegance she conveys that seems to compliment every scene and atmosphere in thematic versatility, it’s hard not to take a snapshot.  You’ll most likely get a good one.  Therefore, it’s easy to deduce why she brought along her bodyguards, Kobe and Bryant, to make sure they all kept in line.  Yes, I said their names were Kobe and Bryant.  No, it’s not some type of weird dynamic of two seven foot wrestlers brought together by a celestial pull to reference greatness.  Nope, they’re Michelle’s puppies.  I admit.  I did fall into the trap a bit.  After all, I’m a sucker for some cute puppies.  I always wondered what it took to raise these guys.  Michelle told me her secret, and I totally slapped my forehead.  Of course, it’s cuddling!  It’s genius because cuddling creates a sensation that stimulates neurons to produce a state of euphoria thus creating happy pets.  But I’ve been trying that with my cat, and all he tries to do is bite me…I don’t know if things are different between cats and dogs, or if it’s just Michelle.  I mean, I wouldn’t mind being in the doghouse if I get cuddled by Miss Redline everyday.  Would you?

(Michelle Yee photo)

Helping Michelle with her doggies was the stunning Tiffany Joey.  If you remember from the last Redline event article by Model Vanity, she was declared the 3rd Round Finalist for the 2012 Miss Redline Competition.  Talking with her briefly, I found out about how overjoyed she’s been, getting to know the Redline family during the past month.  Tiffany’s ability to relate with the core audience of this sporting event makes her stand out.  You could see her just taking in the track events, discussing with crews and team members the intricacies of the feats the amazing drivers on the tracks were undertaking.  Her fascination with the energy and performance Redline represents translates into her photography, as she too bursts forth emotive strength and confidence from even the most delicate of expressions with empowered grace…

(Tiffany Joey photo)

Hanging out with the ladies was Miss MotoIQ Rachel Hoglen.  Rachel is my buddy at Redline.  I mean, she actually showed my article to her mom.  That’s really flattering.  Well, Rachel’s mom, I hope you like this one too because I’ve got nothing but good things to say about your daughter.  Now, I could go on and on about how Rachel’s genuinity and girl-next-door charm creates a piercing nostalgic response in photography to that time in your life when you bumped into a door at the 5 PM rush and you looked up and heard the Aqualung lead singer singing, “What a feeling…” upon catching a glimpse of her lending a helping hand (I watched too many chick flicks).  I’m not going to do that though, since you guys already know that.  Instead, I decided to dig deeper like the expert investigator that I am and find out what drives this girl.  What makes her happy?  I was pleased to learn of her involvement with the Siskiyou Community Health Center and their 2nd Annual Tee-off for Kids Charity Golf Tournament.  The event was conducted to benefit the center’s “Kid’s Smile” program, which provides preventative dental and medical services for children in Josephine County, Oregon, as well as numerous other outreach programs that aid in supporting and supplying families with important necessities and services.  So, it’s not surprising when you see this girl and get blown away by something brighter than sunshine.  Her outward radiance is a true extension of something deep within, a heart of love, gratitude, and charity.  These are qualities to be admired in a title holder and role model.

(Rachel Hoglen photo)

For more information on how to contribute to the Siskiyou Community Health Center programs, go to (Rachel designed the website too by the way…awesomeness).

Uh, oh…there it is again.  That patented Cailin Mendes smile.  Miss Pro Time Attack to me is the “Smiling Assassin.”  She just murders your cerebrum with unrelenting charisma and positive energy.  Of course, you’re jolted back to life when she gives you some playful wittiness, and then you’re just left there wondering what happened.  That felt good though.  If you don’t get what I mean, here are a few facts about Cailin to support.   Cailin’s currently considering pursuing a career in law though she’s also a student of Biochemistry, which makes her a perfect candidate for entering the medical field.  She admits enjoying dabbling in the culinary arts.  It goes with the medical thing, perhaps.  I mean, she’d know what you should be eating, so you’ll be in perfect health in any of her shindigs.  She said she was going to sleep on it, being as of yet undecided between the fields.  Maybe she’ll just do it all like that dude from the Dos XX commercials.  She’s got the drive.  Oh, did I say sleep?  Good luck on that while living in Vegas, the city that never sleeps.  She even admitted how she was amazed at how everything was still open in the middle of the night in Vegas taking in the energy of this citywide festival of lights and sights.  Maybe Vegas learned a thing or two from this non-stop gal.  Moving to Las Vegas should have been a totally different experience from her early years at the state of Michigan.  Throughout, she’s gained a taste and appreciation for both worlds.  Perhaps she could catch some Z’s on a couple of flights later this year as she travels to Utah and Oregon for a few upcoming Redline events.  She exclaimed her appreciation for new experiences and going to places she’s never been before.  Excited about a possible birthday bash in Oregon, I guess that could be interpreted as a “wink, wink” at Rachel.  Placing all these segments and puzzle pieces together, we get a clear picture of why Cailin is such a valued member of the Redline team and a fan fave.  With an affinity to multiple disciplines, while embracing the experiences and people that make up her journey, she is like a sponge that takes everything in and absorbs that life blood we call adventure.  You hear tidbits of her story in her words and glimpses of that passion in her photographs.  Taken together, it’s a tale of intoxicating joy.

(Cailin Mendes photo)

One of the newer faces to the Redline events for me was Karen Ladouceur.  She won the finalist spot for the Round 1 competition earlier in the year at the very same venue.  In a way, this was like a homecoming for her.  I met her as she was getting acquainted with Skype.  It was funny how I didn’t know who she was talking to at certain moments as she expertly juggled statements between me and her caller.  Giggling through her two channels of conversation, I knew immediately that it was going to be fun shooting with her.  As I proceeded, I couldn’t help but think of history.  What I mean by that is history class in 7th grade where I was front row in Ms. Perry’s class (Yeah, I had a crush on teacher).  But it was that familiar youthful glare and vibrancy matched with reserved casual sophistication that makes her photographs intriguing.  You feel like that’s just as good as it gets because the resulting emotional output is that you just want to be a better man after looking at a few of her photos.  You know…like Jack Nicholson in that movie (really got to stop watching chick flicks).  It’s that reinforced positivity she brings about that’s just outright inspiring, and you just put that experience on a psychological pedestal.

(Karen Ladouceur photo)

Well, Model Vanity fans, I guess it’s time to meet the contestants 2012 Miss Redline contestants for this Fourth Round event.  There were four contestants in all and each brought something very different and unique to the competition.  And here we go…

Now for the longest time, I’ve been so eager to write about Nicole-Marie Reckers.  I just haven’t seen her lately since she’s been traveling the country as one of the more recognizable faces and representatives of Hankook Tires.  It was a nice surprise to find her competing at this event and catch up.  Shooting with Nicole is like the waters of a calm fresh water stream.  The work just flows in a gentle balanced progression made possible by an inherent serenity of nature that soothes even in the most scorching of days.  It’s in this peace that you often find some really special shots as grandeur is basked in delicate subtly.  Nicole admits she’s shy though, and this smooth demeanor she has can be confused for that.  I don’t buy it though, as she’s proven in the past to be adept at handling herself in pleasant exchanges with media and fans.  But one thing’s for sure, no matter what the future brings, she plans to keep everything in perspective.  For example, Nicole revealed to me that she had a tattoo done lately.  Learning about it, I was really taken by the symbolism of the artwork.  The tattoo is of a three-budded cherry blossom in linear sequence meant to symbolize her Japanese heritage and the beauty of her life with her son in the fully bloomed past, the blossoming present, and the brightness of the future, where a tiny bud will finally flower.  Again, it is this balance and awareness that Nicole has within herself that makes her a great subject of photography.

(Nicole-Marie Reckers photo)

Michelle Duncan has this “Tool Time Girl” thing going on.  You know what I mean.  That hot girly model in working clothes, rough and tumble.  With Michelle, you find a certain glamorous appeal in her gaze that mesmerizes in feminine allure, but then get rocked when you see everything else.  I guess that’s what you get when you have a beautiful woman taking up Tae Kwon Do and mastering it.  Ever wonder why fighting games always have a hot girl in the roster?  Dude, it’s just because of this!  It’s like hearing an orchestral symphony orchestra with electric guitars.  It just kicks ass as you witness the combination, as it blows your senses.

( Michelle Duncan photo)

Amy Swanson came into the event looking ever so statuesque with a killer physique.  She actually turned the heads of a few girls I know, and were very complimentary of her look and poise.  Can you imagine what she did to the guys?  Check out the bikini portion of the contest and you might get an idea…if you don’t get it already with this…

(Amy Swanson photo)

With all four contestants introduced, I guess we can go to the bikini portion…I mean…only if you guys want to…okay…okay…I’ll stop teasing…here are the Round 4 Miss Redline Competition contestants…in bikinis…

(bikini group photo)

An hour later, the Redline royalty and decided finalists came over to the victory podiums to honor the winner of the 4th Round of competition for this model search contest series.

(Finals Ceremony photo of Redline queens)
The contestants lined up to await the decision…

(competition finals photo in gowns)
As the day ended and the blazing sun was reduced to a distant glow behind mountainous silhouettes, the sparklers came out as people celebrated each other.  After all, it’s this camaraderie that made America great.  It’s what will keep it alive.  This is why America is the greatest nation in the world.  While I had to say farewell again to some really cool friends at these events, I know that as sure as the white sand blows in the Pacific and the blue streams run constant in the valleys, it won’t be long until I walk upon Redline once more, where the excitement awaits again.  Happy Fourth of July…

So, MODELS, if you see Model Vanity in your neck of the woods, don’t be shy.  We’re just celebrating how beautiful each and every one of you are.  Show some pride.  Because in this business, it’s all about the vanity…Model Vanity…

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