Sunday, 2 December 2007

Urban Rugby Calendar : From start to finish!

1 rugby club, 1 photographer, 3 meetings, over 100 emails and 5 months later we have 12 photos and 1 calendar.


In mid-July I had a conversation with a few of the lads from Tunbridge Wells Rugby Club about the possibility of shooting a fundraising calendar for the club. We discussed various options but no decisions were made right then. I went away and thought about it for a while and went back with the idea of combining 'Tunbridge Wells' with 'rugby' to make 'Urban rugby'. The thought behind it was to produce something which would have appeal beyond just Tunbridge Wells and also raise the club's profile. We agreed on it and started planning.

Once we'd decided that we were going to take rugby set pieces and shoot them in the town centre we realised that we'd need permits. The first step was to decide what we'd shoot and where we wanted to shoot it. Once we'd sorted that out we approached Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for the majority of the permits. We also got permission through Ibbet Mosely to shoot in the Pantiles and through South Eastern Railways to shoot at Tunbridge Wells Station.

Pantiles Urban Rugby

By the time we had planned the shoot and organised the permits it was early September. I went out and took some scouting shots on the 9th and we shot the calendar on the 16th. It's fair to say I was concerned about how many players would turn up at 8.30am on a Sunday morning after a hard match on the Saturday afternoon but it worked well. We had 12 players and we shot at 8 locations in just under 4 hours. There'll be another post for the shoot itself. The following week I prepped the shots and Tom Callaway and I picked our final 12. After that it was a matter of putting it all together in Photoshop. I haven't put a calendar together before and I know now that Photoshop isn't ideally suited to it, but the final calendar looks great.

After getting quotes from various companies for print costs we chose a local printer Vision Printers who were absolutely fantastic with the level of support and advice they offered. They also turned around the print order in 4 days when we finally got to that stage. We did realise by now that we would need page sponsors to fund the print costs and Tom Callaway organised those pretty quickly. I then designed most of the ads, dropped them into the calendar and it went off to print.


We collected the calendars on Friday and now we just have to sell them! It's been an interesting process, and it's taught me a lot. I know that if I ever have to put another one of these together it'll be a smoother and much faster process, and I'd certainly start prepping much earlier in the year next time.

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