Welcome to Calendar Girls, a blog by Flash Gordon Photography
Heard of the film Calendar Girls? If not, watch it – it’s a great movie. In a nutshell, its based on a true story around a branch of the Women’s Institute in the UK – they’re a pretty staid bunch, into growing vegetables, flower arranging, knitting, doing good and being supportive of the community – you get the idea. Sadly, one of the ladies’ husband passes away as a result of cancer. The facilities in the hospital ward weren’t great so the ladies of the W.I. decide they would like to raise funds for – at least – a new sofa in the relatives room.
The ‘rebel’ in this particular W.I. branch, (renowned for her ‘crazy’ schemes), hits upon the idea of a calendar with each month featuring one of the ladies going about their ‘Women’s Institute’ business – with a twist. They are nude!! We are talking about ladies ranging from their mid 30’s to as old as you would like to imagine. This was pretty shocking for the time (1990’s in a small Yorkshire village). However, the Calendar is done tastefully and becomes a huge success morphing into films, plays and – yes, even more Calendar Girls. They raised funds for far more than a chair and now each Calendar produced courtesy of ‘Calendar Girls’ also donates funds to a Cancer Charity.
So that’s’ where we come in. Stage Door Theatre Company is putting on the play Calendar Girls, producing a Calendar of our own fair ladies – with most of their ‘kit orf’ all tastefully done, of course. A contribution of the sale proceeds will go to NZ Child Cancer Foundation.
With each ‘month’ that we photograph I’ll be producing a blog. The months will be in the order of either the availability of the shoot location or the model.
Stage Door Theatre Company presents Calendar Girls 01-04 August at The Turner Centre
Shoot # 1: November
My partner in crime (Les Robinson) and I met up in Paihia to head over to Russell for our first Calendar Girls shoot. Les had arranged for the first photo (watering veggies) to be taken early one morning at a beautiful property in Russell. The gardens were fabulous. Les led me down to the ‘greenhouse’. Due to the time of year, there was a bit too much green and not enough veggies as much of it had been collected. After a fortifying coffee to warm us up and get us going, we located a watering can and before our first lady arrived to ‘get ‘er kit orf’, we set about testing the shoot – this involved Les holding the watering can in various positions – which we had to alter every few minutes thanks to the arrival of the sun, which led us to juggling with the huge selection of plants and ties which were casting zebra like stripes across Les’s face. Les found me a step ladder to balance on the slope just outside the greenhouse, and our model arrived.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day for our first shoot, or a better model. The sun had finally come out, the temperature was warming up and our model was starting to relax. In the original photos, a sunflower was used in each photo and to represent our Kiwi calendar, we are featuring a pohutukawa flower, and I look forward to finding interesting ways to include the flowers in each and every shot. This month’s sponsor is Zap Water.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Images copyright Claire Gordon, Flash Gordon Photography at Take Five Agency, Design & Marketing
November is a wrap! Here’s what we started with …. wait for the Calendar to see what we finished with!