Thursday, May 17, 2007

Eagles Cheerleaders Calendar Shoot 

Posted by Sasha at 6:02 PM ET

Fox29.com: The Eagles are getting ready for the season and so are the cheerleaders. The squad traveled to Mexico last week to shoot their new calendar. FOX 29's Michelle Williams has an exclusive behind-the-scenes report.Gallery 1 Gallery 2

Sun, sand & Eagles Cheerleaders
May 6, 2007 | 9:28 PM

What an assignment! I can not honestly call this work! Photojournalist Dave Eitzen and I arrived in Mexico this afternoon with the Eagles Cheerleaders. The brand new squad is here in Tulum (about an hour south of Cancun) to shoot their annual calendar. The Eagles organization (especially the cheerleaders) look forward to this all year, their calendar is the 3rd most popular calendar in the NFL.

Last year you may remember the ladies shot on location at the Linc, so this time it´s a little more exotic! We flew in this morning with all 38 cheerleaders, the photographer and his crew, fashion consultants and makeup artists. Even at 5am at the Philadelphia Airport the cheerleaders looked glamorous and when we arrived at the Cancun airport there were lots of heads turning!

It´s predictibly beautiful, hot and sunny here, complete with blue skies, crystal clear water and white sand. However, it won´t be all R&R for the ladies. Their talented and tough-as-nails coreographer Suzy Zucker is here as well and each morning she´ll put them through rigorous rehearsals (remember, football season is right aroud the corner)!

Meanwhile, the calendar´s photographer spent the day scouting locations for this week´s photo shoot. He will take photos of all 38 girls and then the competition begins! Only the best shots make the calendar and of course there can only be one cover girl. Who will it be? Stay tuned....

Another day in paradise with Eagles Cheerleaders
May 7, 2007 | 11:26 PM

The Eagles Cheerleaders are receiving a warm welcome here in Tulum, Mexico. First though, their day started with a 3 hour rehearsal! It was only scheduled for 2 hours but leave it to talented but tough coreogrpaher Suzy Zucker to work them an extra hour! I didn´t any girls complain though! It was actually the first time the squad practiced together since the brand new team was announced.

The 2007 team is made up of 19 veterans and 19 rookies. They all say this trip is a great chance to get to know each other. In the afternoon the ladies hit the pool and took on the hotel guests in a game of pool volleyball. Then, the reason we are all here - eight ladies took turns in front of the camera for their calendar closeups. There are a team of photographers, fashion consultants, makeup artists and hair stylists on location to perfect every image. But even the most thought-out shoots can change at the last minute. At one point a complete costume change was made on location!

All of today´s photos were shot on the hotel grounds. Mexican murals, grass huts and pristine beaches provide the perfect backdrop. There´s an advantage to shooting on the first day - girls who shot today say they´re relieved they don´t have to worry about what they eat for the rest of the week! Tomorrow the plan calls for more beach time. The first makeup session begins at 4:30am!!! The cheerleaders and photographers want to be on the beach by 6am to catch the sunrise! We will be there and promise to bring you all the photo shoot details from Mexico!

Check my blog for updates on the cheerleader´s calendar photo shoot every day this week and watch Fox 29 News at 10pm Sunday May 13th for my first report.

Eagles Cheerleaders heat up Mexico
May 8, 2007 | 10:31 PM

The Eagles Cheerleaders calendar photo shoot is getting hotter each day! Today started at sunrise on the beach. The photo crew got up in the middle of the night and actually had to find their location by flashlight! As soon as the sun started coming up it was a race against time to get the perfect light as a backdrop for veteran cheerleader Jamie. She had to wake up at 2:30am and be in makeup by 4am! She posed standing on rocks in the shallow water with the sun coming up behind her - the shots are stunning! Seven Eagles Cheerleaders followed, posing in grass huts, on massage tables and in between palm trees.

One of the veterans who has posed for the calendar for several years in a row said she still gets nervous and didn't sleep at all the night before! Meanwhile, a rookie, who's never even been out of the country, never mind on a photo shoot in Mexico, said she slept fine! They all have one thing in common, they're all a little relieved they can indulge in some Mexican food now that their photos are behind them.

Tomorrow the calendar cover girls from the last 5 years will unite for a group shot on the beach. I'm told it will become a pull-out poster featured in the calendar to celebrate the Eagles' 75th anniversary. We will be there to tell you all about it!

Cheerleaders Unite
May 11, 2007 | 8:31 PM

Day 3 of the Eagles Cheerleaders calendar photo shoot in Tulum, Mexico was intense! Once again we were all up before sunrise to make sure we captured the beautiful morning light and cooler temperatures. Janipher posed right on the beach using a huge beautiful Mexican vase as her prop as the sun came up behind her. Next up was Tawnya, who didn't mind dipping into the water for her calendar close up. In fact, I haven't heard one complaint from any of the ladies, no matter how hot it was, how early they had to wake up or how long practice lasted (yup, this isn't just a vacation, they practice for 2-3 hours every morning). Later in the day we watched the fashion, hair and makeup team go into overdrive as they prepped five cheerleaders at once! The calendar cover girls from the last five years posed on the beach together for a special centerfold to celebrate the team’s 75th season. The strong afternoon winds coming off the water started to work against them so the crew had to change the shot at the last minute but photographer Steve Vaccariello pulled it off. Lots of onlookers stopped to stare and snap their own photos. Later that night team captain Janet (who's been on the squad 9 years!) posed on the beach with fire twirlers! This was definitely the day for props. The ladies posed with everything from vases to ornate hand-carved benches to bamboo sticks! Jeff Lurie, cheerleading director Barbara Zaun and photographer Steve Vaccariello will narrow down which ladies will claim their own month, then the other cheerleaders will be part of a collage in the calendar. Eagles fans will be able to vote online to determine the cover girl and then the calendar will be unveiled July 11th!

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