Before the Shoot
How are you feeling? Are you nervous, or excited?
I guess I am more excited than nervous!
Is this your first shoot?
Yes, as it is my first year here at Warwick.
What are your concerns?
I don’t really have any concern… I am a very relaxed kind of guy!
Have you talked to friends/family/other Club members about taking part? What reactions have you had?
I have talked to my parents about it, and although my mother was a bit less enthusiastic about it, both of them thought the cause was worth it and liked the idea of me being involved in such a project.
Have you spent time in the gym toning up for this? How long have you spent roughly preparing? What else have you done to your image? Hair cut? Face shave? Anything else?
In terms of physical training, I didn’t change what I was doing in my training plan for rowing. It’s regatta season so we are supposed to be fitter than ever at this time of the year. And 10/11 sessions a week is enough to look alright during the shoot! Maybe I did extra bicep curls in the gym when I had time but that is all!
We were asked to get a fresh haircut before the shoot so I went to the barber and I obviously shaved my face like I do normally!
What are your main reasons for agreeing to take part in the calendar shoot?
The first reason is the message it spreads and the cause. I know a few LGBT+ people who count a lot in my life and it was an opportunity for me to do something for the whole community and for them. We sometimes forget how it can affect them in sports and showing them our support is very important. Some of the money generated goes to Sport Allies and its goal is to reach out to young people who are challenged by homophobia and bullying in sports. It is also very important for our boat club, apart from some of the benefits of the calendar, we don’t get a lot of funding and it is hard for us to compete against other universities who have budgets twice as big as ours, and often more. And also, I think the shooting the calendar with my friends is going to be a lot of fun so why not take part in it
Day 1 First day of the shoot
What happened at the beginning of the day?
We (the rowers) met the staff we were going to be working with for the shoot (Angus, Damien and Sadaf) at the boathouse. For me it was the first time I had met them, apart from Angus whom I had already met previously in a meeting about the calendar earlier in the year. After meeting everybody, we discussed how the next two days were going to be organized and everything.
Was it easier/harder to get naked than you thought? What helped break the ice?
I think it less awkward than I thought it was going to be. I had already been naked around my mates before after training in the changing rooms and stuff, but I thought the context would make it slightly different. Turned out it was very natural! I guess having a few guys who had already done the calendar last year helped with breaking the ice as they knew what to do!
What was the most surprising thing about the first day?
The most surprising thing about the first day was the amount of gadgets and accessories Angus and Damien had with their cameras, it’s almost like Angus had a different lens for each one of us!
Any funny incidents?
There were too many to remember one in particular!
Day 2 Second Day of Shoot
Was it easier to get started today?
Well, we did the shoot of the first day in a different location (Sherbourne Park) so it took us quite a long time to set everything up again, but at least we knew the routine, so I guess it was easier!
What do you do between shots?
We mostly shared some good banter about the previous shots, played with some of the shoot accessories, ate chocolate biscuits (I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that) and also had some good chats with Angus, Sadaf and Damien! We also had to fit our training in between shots, so some of us went away to row during the day.
Are you having fun? Who is the joker who makes everyone laugh?
The shoot is a lot of fun. I’m really enjoying it! Johnson has been the central character of the calendar and was here to make everybody laugh!
Day 3 Third day of shoot
How do you feel as the shoot is coming to an end?
Although the shoot is really enjoyable, it is pretty tiring. We had to be up early to do our training before the shoot and still be at the shoot in the morning to get the best light for the photos. And, also stay there quite late in evening, as both morning and evening provide the best light for the shoot. So I felt relieved at the end, but at the same time it meant no more naked banter with the guys!
Would you take part in it again?
I am going to Spain in a few weeks to do some more shoot with Angus and some of the boys, so I guess I am already pretty committed to the project! But the journey until our calendar and film are released has only begun and I will wait to see how the overall journey goes to see if I’ll take part in it next year. But so far it has been pretty successful.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to thank the people we have worked with as they made the shoot enjoyable for me. It was the first time I was doing it and it went really well!
You can see much more of Lucas in the England and Spain films as well as in the WR16 calendar. Please pop over to our shop and have a browse!