Not very long ago, a couple of my friends pitched an idea to me: an NZ-Beer-themed charity calendar. At the time I said it was a great idea. I even said I’d be in it. At the back of my head though, that mean little voice, that little worm of doubtful realism was wriggling around. And with good reason: Beer photography is a pretty dire field really.
When I say this, I’m not talking about the works of skilled photography enthusiasts like Jed Soane. No, I’m talking about general everyday beer photos (particularly with people involved) found all over sites like Stuff.
You see there really isn’t you can do with beer as a photographic theme. It kind of always boils down to a few repeated poses, such as:
Pour me a beer.
Maybe it’s on tap.
Maybe it’s from a bottle.
Maybe it’s at the brewery.
The trouble with this shot is that after you’ve poured six pints, you’re getting fairly annoyed with the photographer and wasting a fair amount of beer. That’s when you move on to…
Hold a Beer Up to the Camera.
It’ll seem like you’re cheersing the viewer. Sort of.
Or, try both, like this double header!
Alright, this isn’t working. Um, lets try…
Holding a beer up to the light.
Like you’re checking the clarity!
Ok, this just isn’t working. Can you just…
Hold the packaging and try and look vaguely sensible?
Of course sometimes, a photographer aims a little higher. That’s when you get things like…
People sitting on brewery equipment.
If you’re very lucky, you might get a.
Handsome brewery worker, hefting an (empty) keg.
Finally, the most creative sub-genre: shots of…
People fingering the ingredients of beer.
So to go back to where I started; when I heard that someone was going to do a calendar of beer people, what flashed through my brain was an endless procession of
gormless derps my colleagues and contemporaries gathered around their bars and breweries awkwardly holding pint glasses and not quite knowing in which direction to look.
I’ve never been happier to be proved so wrong in my life.
From the photos that have been leaked from the calendar, it seems as if more creativity, enginuity and passion has been injected into this project than I’d ever thought possible. It seems that each contributor has picked up the spirit of the calendar is making it into their own. Here’s a selection of leaked photographs.
And of course…
Golding’s Free Dive
Wonderful stuff. I can honestly say, I’m massively looking forward to the calendar’s imminent release.
The Craft Beer Calendar is the project of Jess Ducey and Megan Whelan. Proceeds go to the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. It’s a very good cause, and I encourage you to get onboard. Pledges can be made here.