The calendar work begins months ahead of the photo shoot itself. The photographer begins the concept sketches for each year and discusses them with the Burn Treatment Society. A team of volunteers is pulled together, usually the same faces from previous years, consisting of a photographer and assistants, a makeup artist, a hairdresser, and a graphic artist.
Locations must be scouted for the shots and arrangements made for the use of all the props in each shot. The CFD, the Firefighters Museum Society – Calgary Chapter, and STARS Air Ambulance have all been involved over the years.
The firemen receive makeup, often with charcoal and oil on their bodies to bring out definition and give some mood to the look.
The lighting is tricky because they are not just lighting the firemen, they have to light the glossy trucks behind them. The lighting setup is groomed and tested to bring out the best features of both.
Twenty or so different images are taken of each fireman with smoke and coloured gels added as needed. In some years, we have provided fires to enhance the image. Members of the Burn Treatment Society and the production crew then help select the best image of each fireman to be used in the calendar.
The scanned images are then retouched and sent to the graphic designer who pulls the images together with the background and borders. Once in his hands, the calendar starts to take shape. When the images are finalized off they go to the printers.
Then at long last, the calendars are available to the eager hands of women who have supported this cause for so long!