Seven years ago, I was contacted to be the stylist for the Gunrunner Calendar. Scott Weber is the owner of the store The Gunrunner in Burton, Ohio. A free calendar goes out with all firearm orders filled and to U.S. Military. He does sell them for $10.00 as well. The calendar shows beautiful women sporting firearms. I refer to this job as “Girls and Guns.” No nudity is involved; just sexy clothes. The best description of this photo shoot is a Fredrick’s of Hollywood catalog gone “packing.” Scott works hard getting his best artillery ready to showcase with the hope that the men actually notice the firearms and want to purchase them.
The first year I didn’t know what to expect but now, after my third calendar, I have it down. Models are hired, wardrobe is planned out, the set is arranged, and then hair and makeup are all done before photos are taken. This year the calendar will be cutting edge. Body paint is replacing the wardrobe and the set will be super imposed. I did not perform the body painting. Instead artist Jo Anna Carrozzino of JZino Body Art Services of N.J. painted four women for the 15 month calendar.
As I got one of the models ready, I heard buzz about a “Bubble Bee.” Over and over I heard this. Finally I asked. “OK what the heck is a Bumble Bee?” The model said, “Oh you haven’t seen Transformers?” I said, “NO.” Then, I started feeling pretty blonde. She continued, “It is a character in the movie.” Now all the talk made sense to me. It took four HOURS of body paint in order to transform the model into Bumble Bee. My part was doing sexy makeup and hair. I also had an assistant, Sue Possen, to help create the magic of the two day shoot.
Twelve years in the running, Scott has done this promotion. It started off by using friends and family as talent and now has progressed into hiring models from talent agencies. In his store front windows are blown up images displaying the Girls of Gunrunner. One year he made national news because the townspeople felt the window display was too racy. They petitioned the local government officials to force Scott to take them down. Ultimately, Scott did not remove the photos because they did not violate any city ordinances. Needless to say, when you head through Burton, you can’t miss his store.
I had a fun day overall. The models and crew were a joy to work with on this shoot. Calendars will be available in November right before Thanksgiving. So if you are a firearm enthusiast or just curious, I suggest you check it out.