To the Art Director
As the forum is also intended for comments and feedback on the WR products, I have a few thoughts I would like to share with you. As my friends and relatives know ‘subtlety’ is not my middle name and writing to you in a foreign language does not make it any easier, as English is not my native tongue. Please believe me as I say that no offence is meant. I just want to be clear and honest to you. I have not seen any footage of the WR19 calendar yet, so my thoughts reflect the 2018 and before period.
I have seen only one shy smile in the entire 2018 calendar. Considering most of the rowers are in their early twenties, expecting some of the photos with youthful happy faces is not totally unjustified. Doing their (serious) business, while joking and having a laugh on the side is what comes naturally for men at that age. WR video clips show this type of behaviour, but the 2018 calendar does not. The February 2015 photo is an excellent example of what I am pointing at.
Maybe it was a deliberate choice to give the 2018 edition more of an artistic feel, but I liked the atmosphere of previous editions better. Rowers in their natural habitat, near the river, with their boats and oars appeal more to me than when they pose as Olympic gods with laurels and grapes. Can I offer you the locker room theme as an artistic challenge for one of your photos in the future? I am highly aware that this is a matter of personal taste and preferences, but I promised to tell you honestly what I think and how I feel.
Furthermore I prefer group photos over photos of individual cuties and men engaged in some sort of activity over men posing as pretty boys. Let me explain. Especially when the rowers interact with one another without inhibitions while being in the nude and have fun with their team mates, it sends a very powerful message against homophobia. An arm on the shoulder, a handprint in purple paint on the bum etcetera shows that these guys are not afraid to touch one another. After all they are first and foremost team mates before models and making the calendar is a team effort. Showing that team spirit also sends a very potent message to the viewer of inclusion of all members into the team. It is up to the art director to choose a theme (or not of course), but a bit more smiling and showing the close bond that these guys have, would be perfectly in line with the WR causes and (but that again is a personal opinion) creates very enjoyable photos. Decide as you think suits the WR project in the best possible way, but please give it a thought to include a bit of fun and camaraderie into the calendar (and/or other products). This is just my point of view of course, but by writing here hopefully I invoke many other suggestions and creative ideas, that inspire you to create an interesting artistic mix of these. Whatever you decide, I will respect your choices and keep supporting the Warwick Rowers.