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A cause for increased exposure
The Lisa and Friends breast cancer benefit calendar hits stores.
Ask Lisa Lund what she thinks about seeing six months worth of legwork on a cancer benefit project finally come to fruition, and shell tell you she thinks its amazing.
With a caveat.
Its still weird to see myself nude on the counter at Island Fitness, she said.
Lund is far from alone in her exposure. The Lisa and Friends 2008 calendar, a collaborative effort among herself, 11 other active local women and island photographer Pete Saloutos to benefit cancer research, is now on display at Island Fitness and other area venues.
Six years ago, a close friend of Saloutos, Cathy Doubleday, died of breast cancer. When in early 2007 his friend Lund told him she, too, had been diagnosed with the disease, he said he fell into kind of a haze and a daze...thinking, oh, here we go again.
By early March, the veteran photographer made a plan of action. He and Lund, who had by then begun treatment, started organizing the calendar effort spreading the word, gathering models and setting up the non-profit Lisa Lund Fund as a conduit for funds distribution to breast cancer charities.
Lund said it took a little finessing to get the models, many of whom she and Saloutos knew through the islands fitness community, on board. But having a few initial photographs, including the cover shot of herself cycling, reassured prospective participants that the pictures would be artful and tasteful.
Its definitely outside most of our comfort zones, Lund said. We dont take off our clothes for everyone every day. Which is probably a good thing. But youve got to keep in mind the cause.
Shoots took place over roughly three months in locales region-wide including the Hoh River Valley, the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Shuksan in the North Cascades. The December shot of Louise playing piano is the only one that doesnt depict an athlete. Its Saloutos homage to his original inspiration for the project, the 2003 film Calendar Girls.
Saloutos found that whereas under typical circumstances he might encounter bureaucracy when staging certain shoots, doors opened for Lisa and Friends.
One example was the November picture of Diane, swimming with the sharks at the Seattle Aquarium. This proved the most technically challenging shot, and the one with the most built-in administrative hurdles.
Theres no way theyre going to let me photograph a naked babe with sharks, Saloutos thought.
But nearly without exception, each of the aquarium honchos got fully behind the project.
One of the things I found here is that theres only one degree of separation in America between people with breast cancer, Saloutos said. Everybody knows somebody.
The calendar was released early this week, just about the same day Lund finished her cancer treatments. Given the late release date, Saloutos said the print run is small and local, and that he opted for quality over quantity.
But hes already starting to get emails, calls and rumblings about doing a wider-spread re-release for 2009.
Its going to be interesting to see how much leg this has, he said. I do believe that because it ties into breast cancer, and its edgy, itll really be interesting to see how far it can go.
Find Lisa and Friends on sale for $20 at Island Fitness, Eagle Harbor Book Co. and Roby King Galleries. The tax-deductible purchase goes to the non-profit Lisa Lund Fund to support breast cancer charities. A launch celebration will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at Island Fitness. See www.petesaloutos.com for more information.