The cover photo of Steve Simonsen’s 2012 calendar.
Looking or the perfect gift to make stateside relatives jealous for not calling Love City home or for some simply amazing images to hang on the wall?
For the sixth year, renowned local photographer Steve Simonsen has released a stunning calendar of St. John nature images. Containing four water images, four land images and four aerial images,
Simonsen’s 2012 St. John Calendar truly captures all of the beauty of the island.
Working with his wife and business partner Janet, Simonsen started distributing the calendar across St. John last week, but has been deciding upon which images to include for months.
“We kind of keep an eye out all year long for images to use in the calendar,” said Simonsen. “When we see an image that I just shot or I just uploaded, either one of us will say, ‘That’s a calendar shot.’
Sometimes we are too close to our own subject matter so we’ll put it away for a week or a month and then go back and look at it again.”
This underwater picture is the month of April in Steve Simonsen’s 2012 calendar.
“Images are kind of like wine, they sometimes get better with age,” said the photographer. “So we’ll look back in the files and look at things that we already shot and sometimes find some images for the calendar there too.”
While still collaborating with graphic design company Studio Equinox, this year the Simonsens took over distributing and storing the calendars for the first time.
“This year is a departure from all the other calendars in one regard,” said Simonsen. “The photography is on par, the design is roughly the same, the difference is that Janet and I took it over. We are doing everything except the graphic design and the printing which was outsourced.”
While piles of calendars, about 2,300 worth, have been putting the Simonsen’s storage room to good use, Janet Simonsen has also enjoyed delivering the new merchandise to excited shop owners across the island.
“It’s so much fun really to see the reaction from people when I deliver the calendar,” she said. “Every time I walked into a store and they saw what I was carrying, they lit up. They ripped open the boxes to take a look and I would leave hearing really happy sounds.”
From the cover image of two palm trees bending toward an alabaster shoreline to a sunset aerial photo of Coral Bay, Simonsen’s lens somehow managed to not only capture different areas of the island, but its different moods as well.
For someone who has been taking pictures of the island for more than 20 years, Simonsen still manages to keep his work fresh for both his fans and himself.
“I crack the whip on kind of reinventing myself,” said the photographer. “Every year I have at least one project, and usually multiple projects, and self-assignments. This year I’m working on something really cool for St. John Magazine; something that is new for me.”
“I really like to push myself and get out of my comfort zone to keep things new and fresh,” said Simonsen. “I’m also always looking for a new angle. It means something to me if I can find a new vantage point.”
The Steve Simonsen 2012 Limited Edition St. John Calendar retails for $16 and is available at stores across the island including Jolly Dog in Coral Bay and Friends of V.I. National Park Store, Bajo el Sol, St. John Spice, Every Ting and Papaya Cafe in Cruz Bay.
The calendar is available for purchase online at http://web.me.com/ssimonsen/Store/Calendars.html. For more details about Simonsen and his work, check out www.stevesimonsen.com.