I have a special treat for you today. My guest is male cover model, Jason Aaron Baca, whose image has graced so many covers, he's closing in on Fabio’s record of 460.
Jason Aaron Baca of Los Gatos, CA is a romance novel cover model of over 400 books. Jason was a high school and college baseball player before trying his hand at acting. While on location in Bodega Bay, Ca where he was a double for an actor in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” he was discovered by a photographer and asked to take photos. From there, Jason went on to pose for many different clothing lines including YMLA, Sketchers, and many others.
In 2007 he discovered Romance Novel Cover modeling and put his attention into modeling exclusively for that.
AND NOW, HERE’S THE INTERVIEW:
Welcome to Blood-Red Pencil, Jason. Don’t let our blog name scare you. We’re just a bunch of editors and authors sharing experiences and advice. This February we’re focusing on guys in the romance industry.
Jason – Well, thank you for getting in touch with me. I do believe that an author puts their heart and soul into their writings. So I’d think they’d want someone on their cover who also gives their heart and soul into looking their absolute best for it.
Q: How does it feel to be in such demand as a cover model?
Jason – I love it. I think it’s terrific to see/hear that I’m the go to guy for so many graphic artists and publishers. It took years for it to get this way of course. I had to really go out and make it happen. I mean in this highly competitive business opportunity is not going to just come to you… You are going to have to go and find it.
But as time went on and graphic artists became familiar with me, it became automatic that they’d consider me for the next edit... and THAT… is what I had envisioned when all this began.
Q: How did you get your break as a model?
Jason – I was on location for a movie where I was a double for Freddie Prinze, Jr. (I Know What You Did Last Summer) and one of the photographers had asked me if he could take a few photos of me for his camera… I said sure… and it ended up to be my first really big connection with anything in the modeling world… He gave me a contact… then that next photographer gave me a contact… it just kept feeding into itself.
Q: When did you hone in on romance book covers, and why?
Jason – it was around 2007 or so. I was about finished with clothing modeling or ad modeling… the typical smile or holding a bottle of shampoo just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. I wanted something bigger, better… That’s when I saw it… a romance book… in a book store. I was instantly connected to it. I felt driven to do this. On the inside I felt a volcano erupt and lava was flowing in my veins. My excitement was hard to contain in the bookstore and I remember trying to keep myself from flipping out over the idea I’d instantly created. My birthday happened to be the next day… And when I blew out those candles…. I made a couple of VERY special wishes… And I would make them come true…
Q: How do you keep your looks? Any special diet, exercise, or products?
Jason – I’ve always been an athlete and been into my body and looking great… So when it came to exercise, it was in me to begin with. Doing photoshoots was just an extension of my working out. I was now getting to see the rewards of my hard work in the gym, on a book cover unlike before where I was just lifting weights for myself and health.
I live in a balanced diet, I eat clean foods such as chicken breast, grilled fish, meats, and Greek yogurt. I enjoy digging into pasta one day per week which is my one splurge I like to do to get those extra calories I know my thirsty body needs for those workouts I dig way down for.
Jason – I certainly do. The day of the shoot, I apply an herb, citrus, and avocado masque which I leave on for 20 minutes. This allows my skin to feel fresh in the morning and start my day right. I then shower, removing the masque from my skin gently. I towel off and apply body moisturizer from neck to toe. For the face, I use an anti-aging eye balm and then around the temples I use an “ultra gentle soothing cream.” I let that soak and then apply a final moisturizing protective lotion which I purchase at the Body Shop.
Q: On a shoot, do you have a say about your expression, pose, clothes, setting, or it is all up to your client?
Jason – Yes and no… usually they’ll send me the concepts in writing or an image. But I always use my imagination anyways… and when they start trying to over pose, I get on the floor and start doing pushups or something to shake it off. I end up doing what comes natural a lot of the times and throw those poses in as well… 9 times out of 10 they end up using my idea.
Q: Do you sometimes refuse modeling jobs? If so, why?
Jason – Oh sure, I have. Some jobs just aren’t for me. And they are best for other models. I listen to the opportunity and thank them for offering and that’s as far as it goes. I never want to feel like I’m desperate or that I have to “take any opportunity that comes my way.” No, that’s no good. It’s the quality stuff that makes my world exciting to me, not the quantity.
Q: Any funny or maybe embarrassing experiences you’d like to share?
Jason – You know, it’s not until I get asked this question that I realize what a boring person I can be in a studio! Sure I have little experiences here and there but nothing to go nuts over. I’m in the studio and feel like I know what I’m doing. There is not a kinda confident look… either you’re confident about yourself or not. I take the confident approach.
Q: I read somewhere that at first you didn’t read romances, but curiosity has gotten the better of you, and at times you indulge. Is that right?
Jason – Yes, you are right about that. I have been reading these courtesy copies that they send my way and have been very drawn into some. They are most interesting books and what imaginations romance authors have (without me saying any specific names.)
Q: Tell us something about the two modeling books you’ve written, and how we can order them.
Jason – The books were written when I had other goals in mind. They were written when I was pursuing getting on the cover of Playgirl. Not a thing is mentioned about the romance cover modeling though I do plan to get something going. But if a person wants to read those books from a long time ago they can be ordered on Amazon. The titles are Journey of a Male Model and Overexposed.
Q: If someone would like to hire you as a book cover model, whom should they contact?
Jason - If someone wants to, they can contact my management at HM Models.
If someone wants to purchase an image from my website, they can see the info in the journal of the page.
Thanks so much for sharing your cover model life with us, Jason.
|For more about Jason Aaron Baca, check out the People magazine article, the Guardian article, the Marie Claire article, and lots of book cover photos from photographer, Portia Shao, to drool over on Pinterest.|
Interview by Morgan Mandel. Check Out Morgan's Standalone Romantic Comedy, Girl of My Dreams, the romantic comedy series, Her Handyman, and A Perfect Angel. For Mystery/Suspense, try Killer Career or Two Wrongs. For the small town of Deerview series: Hailey's Chance: Will Baby Make 3? and Christmas Carol.Websites:Morgan Mandel.Com Morgan Does Chick Lit.Com. Twitter:@MorganMandel