By Alex Matthews
An amateur photographer is aiming to give Kim Kardashian a run for her money – by breaking the internet with a calendar.
Richard Gaynor, 42, posted a picture of himself posing like pregnant Demi Moore to Facebook to give his friends a laugh.
But after being bombarded with comments he pulled a group together to create a ‘Fat Lads’ calendar for charity.
Taking their lead from iconic images, amateur photographer Richard photographed himself and his pot-bellied pals on wrecking balls, zebra crossings and even with bin liners acting as Kim Kardashian’s boots in the image that ‘broke the internet’.
The group is aiming to raise £10,000 for Prostate Cancer UK by flogging over 1,000 of their racy calendars.
Richard said: “The idea was really spontaneous.
“I’m an amateur photographer and recently I’d been doing lots of shoots with beautiful models.
“I am quite a fat guy and so I’ve developed a bit of a sense of humour, so after photographing all these lovely ladies I thought I’d take the mick out of myself.
“I posed up like Demi Moore on her famous Vanity Fair pregnant cover shoot and then posted it on Facebook, expecting to give my mates a few laughs.
“Instead the thing went bonkers. Loads of people were messaging a load of positive comments. I was really surprised.
“Over the next two weeks I was chatting about it with a few of the lads and we decided we could do a charity calendar with fat lads. It went really quickly from there.
“After posting about it I had over a dozen people saying they’d be happy to join in.”
Richard gathered 11 of his friends at his studio one morning in June to begin shooting the calendar.
Over a series of shoots, they copied as many famous images they could think of, including Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball and, naturally, The Full Monty.
As their ambition grew they began to move their shoots outside, using the cover of early mornings to take pictures in football clubs, steelworks, and even Rotherham town centre to recreate the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover.
The lads titled their version ‘Flabby Road’.
Richard said: “The first morning I got to the studio at 9:30am and thought, ‘there’s not going back now’.
“We were all a bit nervous at first, but once the first couple of photos were done and out the way we were having a right laugh.
“It was pretty ridiculous, being stood in a studio with 11 naked men. But very funny.
“I now have more photos of guys in the nude than I have of women in shoots, so I’ll have to do something about that.
“The early morning outdoor shoots were a lot of fun. We were in the centre of Rotherham right around the corner from a police station at 5:30am trying to do the Abbey Road one.
“We gave it a really good, but I don’t think we’ll be giving too many models a run for their money. There are a few too many five o’clock shadows.”
The final shoot was completed on October 1, and calendars are on sale for £7.50 plus postage and packaging. To reach their target, Richard needs to shift over 1,300 of them.
They have turned to local businesses to help them market their efforts.
Richard’s wife Claire is also pitching in, despite having her reservations about the idea.
He said: “I think Claire was in despair when I first told her about it. She’s getting a bit fed up of seeing me nearly naked every time she logs on to Facebook.
“Whenever she came into the office to find me editing these photos of mostly naked men she’d just back straight out again.
“But she knows it’s a good cause and she’s fully behind the fundraising.”
Richard’s cousin Brian Crabtree was roped in to the project to become “Jim Kardashian” – ripping off the famous photo that ‘broke the internet’ in 2014 with the artful use of bin liner.
The airport transfer driver, 57, said: “It’s one of the funniest things I have ever done in my life.
“It reminded me the first time you have a games lesson at secondary school and have to get changed in front of everyone. It’s a bit nerve-wracking.
“I don’t follow celebs much so when I volunteered to be in the photo I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.
“I think I measure up to her quite well if I’m honest, although I do wish I’d have shaved beforehand. I look a bit of a scruff.
“I didn’t realise how big my bum is either. I think I might have to lose a bit a weight once the calendar is published, even if that means not as many people will recognise me.”
Information on buying the Fat Lads Calendar can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fatladscalendar/