People of all shapes and sizes can enjoy the great outdoors and a new North East calendar strips away any thoughts otherwise.
The Best Bits of Bright shows staff from Bright Brewery enjoying many of the region’s activities.
Shot over three days before Christmas, the calendar aims to make a statement about body image, maintaining good mental health and the benefits of an active life.
Now available for sale, the calendar’s profits will be donated to mental health organisation Beyond Blue.
Bright Brewery’s Erica Gibbs, one of the models, said the idea arose out of staff conversations about their various outdoor interests, like cycling, hiking or jogging.
“It’s all different body types that can do those things,” she said.
“We’re not all built like athletes, but we’re still really active and we make time for that kind of thing as part of a work-life balance as well.”
The staff members, aged from their 20s to their 60s and all volunteers, were photographed in early morning sessions at different locations.
Some of the photos are connected to the brewery while others reflect Bright events like mountain bike championships and the Iconic Rod Run.
Miss Gibbs, who organised the shoots, said the models were self-conscious at first.
“Cover up, quick, quick, everyone’s eyes look away,” she said.
“But by the end, everyone was down to business, my body is my body.”
The group picture at the brewery (see above) was the final shot taken for the calendar
“You can see people in there having a laugh,” Miss Gibbs said.
“It was actually a lot of fun.
“I can only speak for myself but I feel way more confident and happy with my body, after struggling with body image issues and then seeing what you can look like in a beautiful place.”
She praised the professionalism and support of photographer Jean-Pierre Ronco, who donated his services.
Marketing manager James Davidson said the project complemented the brewery’s increasing awareness of maintaining good mental health in the workplace.
“It’s been a focus to not only equip ourselves with physical first aid skills, but to also equip ourselves with mental first aid skills,” he said.
“The staff thought (the calendar) would be a really fun and positive thing to do and a great way to help the conversation around what is good body image, how that connects to their mental wellness.”
- The Best Bits of Bright can be ordered from the brewery bar and online