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Dec 31, 2001

New Belikin calendar is a labour of love

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When it first appeared a year ago, the 2001 Belikin calendar became an instant collector’s item. This year’s edition is hot off the press and according to early reviews, Belize has never looked so good.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

They may not be professional models, but the group of women who posed for the Belikin 2002 Calendar will provide twelve months of the best in Belizean beauty.

Jeremy Spooner, Photographer

“I was very impressed with most of the girls that I shot, for not having any experience, I call them raw talent. It took me awhile, I had to waste a few rolls to get them into the mood, find out what angle was their best angle, because every girl has a different body and not every girl can pose the same way, she looks better at a certain angle and I noticed that through the camera.”

The entire production is more than just about the click of a camera and good looks. The work starts at the crack of dawn and involves each girl posing for hundreds of photographs sometimes in harsh conditions. It was the first time that Jeremy Spooner of Spooner’s Photo Lab did such a shoot, but he says he went in with a lot of confidence.

Jeremy Spooner

“We would get out there for 5:00, 5:30, Adele would work on the girls, putting on makeup and so on, and then we would have a about two hours of early daylight where the sun is just coming up and it hides a lot of defects, it’s a softer lighting and it helps the squint. If you shoot in the midday or bright sun, they tend to squint, and that’s also very harsh lighting, it throws shadows under the eyes and it shows a lot of defects, stretch marks, freckles, little things like that that you wouldn’t normally notice. Then we would shooting later on in the afternoon at 4:00. We would spend most of the day out on the location, then we would wait till 4:00 and I would start to shoot again.”

The pictures were taken at some of the country’s most beautiful locations. Once the shoot was finished, the photographs were displayed before a selection committee that carefully examined each photo before picking the models. The eleven women chosen are Joyelee Ramos, Tiffany Bood, Maria Jeffery, Stacy Armstrong, Sarah Waals Estephan, Carrie Mae Flowers, Margaret Cadle, Danielee K. Lee, Brigitte K. Pull, Sherryl Lyn Chavarria and Lula Bennette. The models we spoke with are mostly college students, who said although it was the first time they had posed for a calendar, it was a lot of fun doing it.

Sarah Waals Estephan, May

“I think because it was something that non of my friends would have expected. It’s not in my character to do that, so I just tried something different.”

Danielee K. Lee, August

“It was a great experience for me to become a model on the 2002 calendar, not because of the publicity of exposing my body, but to be recognised to become a model hopefully in the future.”

Joyelee Ramos, January

“I look at this way, I don’t think that I’ll have this body forever, and I enjoy being in front of the camera and that’s just me, so it was no problem when they asked me to do it.”

Spooner says among the recommendations received from the public are to include male models as well as select women of more ample proportions. Reporting for News 5, Jacqueline Woods.

Getting your hands on a calendar may not be easy, but an online version should be available on our website shortly.

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