INSPIRATION AND PERSPIRATION!
Ever thought of putting together a pinup calendar featuring hot guys enrolled at your college or university?
Most people who think of creating a “Men of (Your) University” calendar assume that all they need to do is locate only 12 hunky college males and have them photographed. These tasks must be accomplished. But there’s much more to publishing a calendar and many more than 12 college guys must be recruited.
Besides recruiting, selecting, and training your student male models, there is production of the actual calendar, which includes photography, arranging graphic design and commercial printing. After the calendars are delivered, news media publicity must be arranged. Promotional events must be held. And, of course, your pinup calendar must be marketed!
But, first, the best-looking campus guys at your university or college must be recruited. After a decade of publishing, recruiting of college men, the Campus Men Calendar operation has learned a great deal and refined its approach. So, here are the facts:
GUYS WANT TO DO IT!
There is a high demand to appear in pinup calendars of college men. Publishers should be able to choose from many college guys. Therefore, do not cater to, or try to convince any one college student to appear. Either they want to appear in your calendar or they do not! Students who need special handling often drag their feet and cause delays. Delays cost in potential sales. Therefore, students who expect you to cater to them, cost you sales.
BEWARE OF GIRLFRIENDS!
Beware of any college guy who involves his girlfriend into your operation. Why? Because girlfriends do not truly want their boyfriends to “model.” Yes, they want their boyfriend to be “good looking” and for his looks to be “model quality,” but they really do not want them going on photo shoots, meeting female models and certainly do not want the competition that is generated from having their boyfriend’s body being advertised to other females by appearing in a calendar.
When it comes time to choose the best calendar photograph, girlfriends can spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E. A revealing photograph may be threatening to a girlfriend. When it comes to their bodies, guys want to “show it off.” Girlfriends want their men under wraps.
If you hold a promotional event after the calendar is released, any controlling girlfriend will either want to attend the event or will encourage your model not to attend. Remember, you cannot replace a model once the calendar is printed. You will only be able to select from the batch of 12 who appear in the calendar. That means if five guys are unreliable, you only have seven to choose from. How many of those seven will be working at their job during your event? If you convince a bar owner to hold an event, but only have one model show up, you might be in big trouble and possibly owe the bar owner for their advertising costs. If no models show up at a retail store that carries your calendar, you just might loose that store as an outlet!
In summary, chose independent-minded males.
SEX STILL SELLS?
The theme of the calendar drives which students should be recruited and selected. At Campus Men, we chose a theme that was developed after years of trial and error. Our theme was to present young, all-American college guys in sensual poses.
Your photos should answer the question of: I wonder what that incredible-looking guy I saw on campus would look like in bed? If a publisher wants to sell calendars, it is foolish to feature college men wearing sweaters. Publish photographs of guys wearing suits, fully clothed or face shots only – and you will not be returning to the market with a calendar the second year. If you want to sell calendars, appeal to the sexual motivations of the viewer, whether through a cute smile, great face or body or skimpy clothing. Attempt to give the viewer a fantasy of what it is like to be intimate with the college student.
You do not have to depict models fully nude with penis showing. Snug-fitting boxer briefs (or less) are just as exciting. Many guys will readily show their bare buttocks. By choosing students who are exhibitionists versus guys who are conservative, you give yourself valuable creative freedom when it comes time to photograph these college male models. Choose a male student who obsesses about which poses he will not pose for, versus choosing a young guy who is grateful for the opportunity you are offering, and you will undoubtedly find the production process more difficult.
Remember, there are thousands of students enrolled at your university. Why choose the ones who do not care about your profitability? You will find that buyers will remark on the one or two provocative photos that appear in your finished calendar. “Skin” photos draw more e-mails and sell more copies.
Campus Men learned this by accident. Gus Dakis posed for what our male model photographer calls a “miracle photograph” because the photo shoot was hastily put together due to bad weather. Gus and our photographer sped off to the photo shoot location and set up equipment as the rain still dripped from gutters around the pool house.
Yet, once set up, there was still no sun, which was needed for the photograph. Gus stood in exact position under the showerhead and our photographer stood by with his camera, continuously measuring light readings. Just as they decided to wrap it up and go home without taking any photos, the sun fell below the clouds, engulfing the pool area in a beautiful, brilliant deep gold color. A half roll of film was snapped off before the sun fell beyond the horizon.
Surprisingly, Gus’ photograph, which was created in two and one-half minutes, became the most popular image in Campus Men that year and was responsible for many sales. Why? Because the photo depicted Gus in a pair of wet, white shorts that inadvertently became translucent because of the hectic pace of that day’s photo shot.
GO FOR A CAMPUS FEEL
Design photographs with a collegiate or athletic feel to them, rather than “beach” themed photos. If people want to buy a beach theme calendar, they will buy the “Chippendales” calendar. Even the Chippendales calendar has changed to more “bedroom themes.” Remember, buyers want YOUR calendar because it offers college guys. While college guys are seen on beaches only during Spring Break, one will usually find college guys on the school’s quad, in a fraternity house, or playing sports. So, photograph your college men where buyers expect to see college guys. Plan imagery that brings college life to mind or portrays the college student as a sexy athlete.
Remember, the successful theme of a calendars should be: “Here’s what that athletic guy you passed on the quad looks like in bed.”
Far more than 12 students must be recruited. Chippendales murder Calendar production processes call for locating as many attractive males on your campus as possible. It is not usual to evaluate at least 125 college guys and as many as 500 during the entire process. If you want to organize a calendar, your goal should be to meet hundreds of hot college guys.
A large number must be secured because the most important issue – other than quality of photographs – is timing of delivery. Delivering early in the sales season is very important. Calendars must be produced for delivery on June 1 of each year. This allows a seven-month selling season and allows featured college guys to talk up and sell calendars during the summer (when they have ample time to sell because they are not enrolled in classes; are usually home among family and friends). It also allows sales through national magazines, and allows the producers to reach incoming freshmen college guys visiting the campus during orientation sessions, held during June through August. This means the calendar also will be on store shelves in time for students who arrive back for the beginning of fall quarter and are seeking to decorate dorm or sorority room walls.
Winter term is a poor time to recruit college guys because completing any activity takes more time due to cold weather. We cannot easily see what college guys look like because they cover themselves with clothing when outdoors. College guys generally stay indoors, become sedentary, gain weight, and do not have tans.
If only 12 college guys are recruited, the operation can be delayed if even one student drops out or is dismissed.
Recruit a large number of college guys because appearing in a calendar is not for everyone. We found that we had to screen all guys to select only those who are willing to pose nude or nearly nude. Why? Because college-oriented calendars are not the thing for timid or conservative young men. We have published many pinup calendars with varying degrees of provocativeness. Tame pinup calendars are nice. But, few buyers actually part with $15 to buy a boring male calendar. More risqué calendars have always been more popular in sales.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Here’s what to look for in a college-guy model for a pinup calendar:
o Outgoing, can sell calendars. Guys who like to talk to everyone and anyone
o Muscular or defined body
o Confident guys. Young men with self-esteem problems make problems for you.
o Comfortable posing nude, uninhibited, the kind of guy who would skinny-dip for fun or go streaking at the drop of a hat
Advertising did not bring in the “right” type of college guys. Many young men who are perfect for your calendar would never think of submitting their names to you. They must be invited. That is where student recruiters are valuable.
Advertise for a team of students whose sole duty is to stop college guys on an informal basis. Advertising to locate recruiters can include classified ads, as well as fliers to sororities, career placement offices and dorms. Aim for at least three “hard core” recruiters, a Greek system recruiter and a minority representative. Recruiters need not be female. Guys can recruit and sometimes find it easier to approach other guys in gyms, classes and on the quad. Girls sometimes thinks asking a guy to pose is like asking him for a date.