HOW I GOT INVOLVED. So this is my first official Charity Project. One day I was contacted by a friend asking me to create a charity calendar, I gladly agreed. Money raised from this project would benefit the BC Cancer Foundation. A Ride to Conquer Cancer is an annual two-day bike ride from Vancouver to Seattle to raise funds for cancer research. The team Riders for Ryders was formed by Jimi Brockett in 2009 and today it has grown to 240 people. A group of girls from the team volunteered to model for the calendar to raise the funds. We had one month to plan, one month to shoot and one month to fundraise.
WHY. I had close ties to little Ryder and his family. The thought of doing something in his memory made it powerful and inspiring. At the beginning of the project I wanted to understand everyone’s personal goal and message for doing the ride and what it meant to them so I could keep in mind as I’m shooting each segment. I was honoured and excited at the opportunity to support such a great cause and deep in my heart I was doing it for Ryder.
THE MODELS. Most of the girls featured on the calendar are team members of the Riders for Ryders Team. I was truly amazed at their bravery and elegance as we went through less than favourable photo conditions. Their courage, beauty and strength had a powerful and inspiring effect on me. Each girl was so unique, graceful and absolutely fearless, driven by their own stories, loved ones and heroes.
HOW. We had no budget. Just raw nature, real women and lots of early mornings. It was absolutely incredible how willing and courageous these girls were: between full-time jobs, family, school, and practicing for the ride – we got up when we had to and pulled it together in the shortest possible time. Thank you, friends, for connecting us with Country Bumpkins, a non-profit horse rehabilitation center which kindly let us photograph a glorious white horse named Cowboy. Special thanks to Sorensen Parker Creative for graphic design of the calendar! Of course, it was a pleasure to work with Katy Varaleu, a rising star of non-propfit, who brought everyone together and kept the communication and the process flowing so smoothly!
THE RESULT. Working on this project definitely expanded my creative horizons! I have met some amazing people along the way and learned from them. I’d like to thank all those friends and strangers who helped and supported us whether it was finding a white horse for a session, driving us up into the mountains or holding umbrellas under the rain. I invite you to purchase our 2014 Fearless and Feminine Calendar and support the BC Cancer Foundation. Limited edition can be purchased here.