Workshop calendar 2016: between trash and photo art

For decades, the classic workshop calendar has been an extremely popular advertising medium for more down-to-earth products such as bolts, tires or lubricants. For the photographer, the artistic scope of such projects is usually rather limited. The formula, as simple as it is successful, consists mainly in staging the product together with a lightly or not at all clothed female model. The creative leeway is often small, but the basic conditions are right: The manufacturer not only pays the photographer and the models, but also has customers for the calendars, which are usually distributed free of charge. For photographers such a calendar shooting can be an enrichment not only financially, but also artistically. Even a Helmut Newton started his career with photos of garden grills for a hardware store chain. At that time, Newton also used to stage his grilling models in his typical manner.

STIHL Calendar 2016

Workshop calendar 2016: between trash and photo art


More than just Pirelli

By far the most famous workshop calendar is the annual Pirelli calendar. The project has now come a long way from its original focus as a pin-up calendar with tire ads. In the meantime, the focus is no longer on the product, but on the carefully nurtured myth of the Pirelli calendar itself. The best and most expensive photographers and models are always booked for it. But in its efforts to set entirely new priorities in each case, the project has strayed far from its origins. Annie Leibovitz’s most recent experiments with the 2016 calendar were quite controversial. In addition to the Pirelli calendar, however, there is a whole series of similar and very promising photo projects. Rough companies such as Wurth, STIHL, Liqui Moly, Stahlgruber and Berner produce their own calendars for their customers. Wurth’s own calendar has a tradition of more than three years. The 2015 calendar was published in an edition of 723 copies.000 copies are printed, other manufacturers also invest a considerable amount of money in customer loyalty via calendars. We would have liked to show the Wurth calendar blades in this article, but failed with this request because of their marketing department.

STIHL – Madchen Engine Says

The STIHL calendar is a modern classic, it has been around since 1973. The current calendar was photographed by star photographer Esther Haase in South Africa. Muted colors dominate, with skin tones and the housings of STIHL equipment highlighted. Without the devices, pictures of this kind could easily hang in a photo art exhibition. Whether you like the photos as the manufacturer as "unique combination of man and machine" sees, or the advertisement as necessary ubel of an otherwise successful picture distance regards, lies in the eye of the beholder. Maybe future generations will look at the busty motor girls with the same interest as we look at the ancient statues of Amazons today. Widespread distribution of the calendar is possible with a print run of 900.000 copies and a distribution area of 110 countries.

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