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Johannes Swagers

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.

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zerofear

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.



I have to agree with this completely.  The rowers are a team!  There is nothing that says camaraderie and acceptance than when the guys are naked together close, and in some cases touching.  This highlights the care free bonding the guys have when together.  For example, when the guys had photos in previous catalogs when they had their naked mates sitting on their shoulders holding rowing paddles. The guys have to be comfortable with each other when they had their mates privates resting on the back of their necks/shoulders.   In other shots the guys were hiding each others privates with each others hands.  Most the guys I know around here wouldn't put their hands that close to another guy.  Those kinds of photos I miss.  Like I said, all the photos are great, but I like those kind better.  They have a different vibe.  The team naked together being a bunch of guys.

Don't get me wrong, all the photos are great (lots of good looking guys and nice bodies), they are "colder" than previous years.

Hope that makes sense.
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bejjinks
I also wholeheartedly agree. We don't necessarily need athletic shots but a large part of the appeal is that this is a team and there is no I in team. Laurence went on to modeling outside of Warwick but I'm not following Laurence. I'm following and supporting the Warwick Rowers. It would be nice to have Laurence come back to the team for a visit but it's still the team I come back to.
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PVogt
I 'm the fourth to agree. While I understand the serious look fits with an Olympic god theme with grapes and laurels etc and that it is after all , a choice of artistic expression, I personally enjoy the comraderie of the guys together having fun, and exactly as the others have said,.... touching each others butt or covering their genitals with each others  hands shows a definite acceptance of each other.  Since a high percentage of the guys are straight, I'm guessing,  - it is even more important to show that .."it is okay" for males to touch.... that that doesnt make any difference for sexual preferences 

 

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justMe
I disagree. I prefer the more aesthetic approach. Given, grapes and laurels are a bit over the top but black and white photographs and a natural setting appeal to my eye.
October 2018 is a perfect example. A single rower, arranged on a sharp ridge and rugged rock, resembling a greek statue made of marble - just perfect.

Full colour pictures are fine, too, as long as they are 'tasteful'. I had the centerfolds for several year over my bed.

But especially the paint splashing theme with hand-prints on the lower back and chest, paint splashed all over the bodies were close to being distasteful. I really considered to not buy the next year's edition.

Regarding the mindfully placed ores, this oftentimes looked artificial and exerted - not natural.  I prefer a setting in which the grass is high enough to cover what needs to be covered, a knee is just by happenstance hiding the view. One could say it's a setting in which I as an admirer just had bad luck to get the full picture.
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Jarod
We all have types of photos that we prefer, and there is always a wide variety to choose from. There's an old saying that you can't please all of the people all of the time. I think Angus and the guys are doing a damned good job, though. Being a gay man and a nudist, I have to say that the images that appeal most to me are those where the guys are clearly enjoying themselves in a group and the fact that they are naked is portrayed as being perfectly normal and in no way sexual. The water fights, with bottles, buckets or big plastic guns. Laurie and Ryan clowning around with a wheel barrow. Playing croquet. Paddy, Tristan, Lucas and Alex play wrestling in an English country garden. Mucking about on the river in inner tubes. I disagree about the silver and purple paint. I don't see anything distasteful and the guys involved appeared to be enjoying themselves. It is seeing that level of comfort between naked straight men that has made me such a fan of the Warwick Rowers. I doubt that the use of the oars was meant to look natural. They were props used to cover the guys' genitals, which could not be shown in the calendar. As they were photos of a naked rowing team what could be more appropriate? You said that you liked the October 2018 calendar image and I quote "A single rower, arranged on a sharp ridge and rugged rock, resembling a greek statue made of marble". A beautiful artistic image but natural? No less natural than a naked rower using an oar to cover himself.
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John RW
I agree we all have photos we prefer. It is very difficult to get good "natural" photos like the ones with the fire hose that were fabulous. I prefer the unstaged photos with happy groups, but they are difficult and not always possible, and some of the staged photos of individuals and small groups are artistically great. I think the calendar and book strike a good balance. In the films I like the interaction between the rowers. The use of paint on bodies and swirling material is a feature of a lot of naked and semi-naked photography, and I like the use of it in the films, calendar and book. They certainly introduce a lot of colour.
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warwickrowers

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.



Thank you for your feedback 🙂
We love to receive this kind of feedback, thank you for being open and airing your thoughts on our forum! Your feedback is much appreciated and going forward it is something that we will look into.

The calendars give an overview of the art that we like to achieve here at Warwick Rowers. If you are interested in seeing the rowers have fun and interact with each other more then may I suggest looking in to downloading the Image subscription or investing in the books that we offer? These items show you more interaction with the Rowers as a group and the downloads give you behind the scenes edits so you can see the each of the rowers interactions after shoots! 

I hope this message helps with your thoughts on our work. However, we will take on board your feedback regarding the calendars going forward 

Thank you for your support of Warwick Rowers over the years 
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