Wild Yana to hang from the wall
If you can't take hot and wild Yana Gupta home with you and pin her against the wall, you can do the next best thing. Beg, borrow or steal a copy of the Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar 2005.
"This is my third year with the Kingfisher swimsuit calendar and for 2005, we shot extensively amidst stunning wildlife in South Africa. It was such fun posing with lion cubs! They were so sweet and playful throughout the shoot," says Yana.
Launched in 2003 by United Breweries, the Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar has become known for its rare combination of photography, fashion, sun, surf and sand. Besides Yana, this year's edition also features models Pia Trivedi and Sheetal Menon. Giving them company are two new international faces of Indian origin - Asha Leo from London and Cindy Burbridge from Thailand. The calendar is not available for sale and is presented every year to a select group of people only.
Ace fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar says he enjoyed the African Safari. According to him: "Sure, you are surrounded by all kinds of animals in the jungle. But, that doesn't mean you can hop out of the jeep and start shooting. The creatures of the wild are just as liable to eat you up as they are to pose for you! We had a safer option in the Mabula Country Club; they have lion cubs that are looked after by humans. Nevertheless, it was quite an experience."The close brush with untamed nature has certainly left its marks on Yana. The few cuts and bruises however have done nothing to quell her spirit. "Since the Kingfisher calendar has always been the most prestigious campaign to start the year with, I wanted to give it my best shot. To be honest, I was somewhat rattled by the idea of being surrounded with animals, but the task became easier once we got down to shooting. The three lion cubs I worked with were big for their age and although just 3-years-old, they had awesome strength. They kept pawing at me from various angles.
"One of them particularly fancied my hair while another kept rubbing against me from the side. The three cubs were constantly biting and scratching. By the time the shoot finished, I had picked up a few nicks and cuts, but I don't mind them at all. The animals were the sweetest things to work with," she insists.