Monday, December 4

Nearly naked fundraising

Jamie Hooper of Junction City, Oregon is a 62-year old man with perhaps the most unusual fundraising niche that I have seen in some time. He photographs nearly naked men as a "beefcake" spoof in order to help groups raise money.

Karen McCowan at the Register-Guard reports that in 2003 Hooper shot a calendar full of nearly naked men for the Long Tom Grange after Danuta Pfeiffer came up with the idea. Since then he has raised more than $650,000 for local schools and charities.

He deliberately uses poses and settings that are polar opposites of body-conscious beefcake shots. In the Men of the Willamette Valley calendar, his groups of nearly nude subjects appear caught in the acts of everyday life - fishing, reading X-rays in a medical office, casting ballots at a voting booth.
Hooper briefly considered using the term "dudedoir" to describe his work as a play on the boudoir portraits that were a popular gift from women to husbands or boyfriends in the late 1980s.
"But that wasn't quite right - those were usually soft-focus, alluring portraits using negligees and things like that," Hooper said. "And I don't think you can call it `beefcake' with men this old. That's usually guys in their early to mid-20s, greased up and looking good. None of these calendars are about the nudity or titillation."
I briefly tried to think what such a calendar would look like if we did it at the charity where I work. If I live another 100 years it may be impossible to erase the image of our programs director posing in his office. Yuck.

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