Bo-Tree Productions published three Ladies Home Companion calendars for the years 1973, 74 & 75. Bo-Tree also printed photos of male models on a deck of playing cards, address and day book. Carol (Fulton) Turner and Judy Horst– who came up the fantastic idea of a male pin-up calendar– shot the photos of the models.
Both Holst and Fulton used Pentax cameras and placed the male models in scenes that evoked the aura of the Victorian era. The calendar could be ordered in “bordello red.” It was a magnificent project carried off at the right time.
Here is my email interview with photographer Carol (Fulton) Turner, who, in 1973, casually dressed, drove to the shoots in her Porsche 914. Half Moon Bay Memories: How did you find and choose the models for the Ladies Home Companion (LHC)?
Carol (Fulton) Turner: I know many cute guys (including Mark Frasier)
HMBM: You are a photographer….What other projects did you work on before LHC?
Carol: I was actually a designer. I took a few night classes at a Junior College. Judy saw some fun nude shots I took of women I knew. They were done in the same sepia technique. I sold them in an auction which was a fundraiser. This look sparked the graphic concept for the calendars.
But I did not design the LHC calendar. I art directed the project but a good friend of mine, Paul Sinn, actually designed the calendar along with the playing cards. I think the design was a big part of the success of the calendar. It really was beautiful.
HMBM: How did you prepare your subjects for the shoot?
Carol: The taking the clothes off was not the issue at all. Most of the guys were happy to be a part of the project. Finding the right background/environment was more difficult.
HMBM How many models did you take photos of?
(Photo: January 1974 Pin-Up)
HMBM: Did you take any photos at the Potter Plantation in Half Moon Bay?
Carol: yes, just of Mark (Fraser).There was a friend of Mark’s I shot on the beach. It was a nude beach, during the week there wasn’t anyone there except for the guy taking your money for the use of the beach. I was helped down the cliff by Mark’s friend. Lots of camera equipment to carry. After a few minutes I spotted the grounds keeper trying to spy on us. When he realized the roles were reversed, I was shooting a guy instead of the other way around, he lost interest and left.
A couple of observations after taking on this project:
1. Women felt cheated they didn’t have nudes of men to look at. They wanted revenge for all the years of Playboy etc. Men, on the other hand, felt cheated that they weren’t the object of women’s lust. The calender changed all that.
2. After a several years of seeing men nude in various magazines, women lost interest. I was vary courious as to why. I asked many women how they felt about the photos of nude men. The conclusion I came away with was that women were just as sexual as men but preferred their imagination to excite them. Reading books was more of a turn on than viewing pictures.As for what I’m doing now, I still use the camera but I’m a fine art painter.—————————-
Last Words: After the LHC calendars were published, and the media discovered them, Playboy came calling with an idea for shooting women in a 1970s “role reversal” feature. Women in men’s jobs. Professional photographer Carol Fulton and, among others, female jockey Mary Bacon appeared in the article– There was a photo of Carol on a shoot with male model Mark Fraser in Half Moon Bay. Carol was also interviewed on a woman’s talk show carried by the CBC, Canadian Broadcast from Toronto.