Calendar Project: Investigating the Local Studios

A little time on Google has turned up several local photographic studios which I think would be worth taking a look at. From what I can tell from their websites, they vary significantly in respect of size, equipment available and (perhaps most important of all!) the hourly rate.

Although I already have all the lighting, background and so on that I need, I can’t help feeling that I should take these pictures in a proper commercial setting. After all, I’m going to be booking one or more models to pose for me wearing little or no clothes and requesting they do this in my living room while my wife is out with the kids; it seems a bit unprofessional. Well, downright dodgy, to be honest!

The contenders so far:

Next step is to contact the studios and see if I can pay them a quick visit. In the meantime, if anyone has any working knowledge of any of the studios, or any suggestions or advice, I’d love to hear it.

Calendar Project: Inspirational and Influential Photographers

Without a doubt, the single most inspirational photographer for me has to be the late and truly great Bob Carlos Clarke. I’d like to say “the most influential” but that seems (to me, at least) to infer something about my photography which I could not justify. If there was anyone whose body of work I would like to be able to claim as my own, it would be him.

There are three other photographers who have produced calendars, which have the right kind of feel (again, for me at least) and which I have actually seen:

There are some common elements to the calendars I have seen for all three and, to some extent, also to some of Bob Carlos Clarke’s work:

  • They are all shot in, or produced in, monochrome
  • They are all glamorous, sexy, female form based
  • The photographic area of the calendar is around A4 size, making it very practical and achievable in terms of quality.

Hervé Lewis and Mick Payton (and BCC, obviously!) appeal to me because they are often quite challenging. Tanya Chalkin’s “Sirens” calendar is much less challenging but still very sexy, largely because of the three very real looking models featured throughout the calendar in various combinations. It’s a refreshing approach.

Although the actual subject of the calendar has not been decided definitely, at this point it seems likely to be of a glamorous nature. I think it is time to research studios and models.

Calendar Project: How it Came About

I took up photography as a hobby 31 years ago this month when my chemistry teacher started up a photography club and taught us how to process black and white film. At 25 I bought my first house and pretty swiftly began converting the spare bedroom into a darkroom.

After a couple of years of photographing “things” I was asked to shoot a portrait of my friend’s two-year-old and discovered that photographing people was what I liked best. Then a graphic design studio I worked with (I ran a small litho printing company) offered me the chance to shoot the photos for a promotional calendar. They were looking to show off their Photoshop skills (in the pioneering days!), so I took some fairly straightforward shots and they manipulated them to show a before and after effect.

Ever since then I have wanted to produce my own calendar and have made many, many excuses for failing to do so. I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions; if something in your life needs changing, it shouldn’t need an excuse! The truth is that I have always been good at saying that, but I can’t really say I have ever been good at demonstrating it.

Anyway, while hanging up this year’s calendar in the office on the first day back, I realized that I have started every year for as long as I can remember (which doesn’t seem to be all that long these days!) with the same feeble “I’m going to do more photography” announcement which inevitably comes to nothing. I don’t know whether it is a result of spending two weeks of last summer intensely studying NLP (for business, if you are interested) but I know that 2009 and is the year of doing things instead of just talking and dreaming.

There is a long way to go and I have know way of knowing what the outcome will be, but I can only see great things coming from this project, whatever the result. I’m so excited about the journey that the destination hardly seems to matter right now!