During a two-day photo shoot in Fort Lauderdale, photographer Antony Kozz snapped about 2,000 pictures of Steve Grand – and the best of the best landed in Grand’s 2023 Calendar, now available from stevegrand.com.
There are 16 new, full-color photos in this spiral-bound monthly calendar that kicks off with December 2022.
Kozz has shot Grand’s last four calendars and the ’23 calendar is Grand’s seventh.
“Every year, we try and do the photo shoot in a different location to give each calendar a different look. We shot a lot of this calendar at a tree nursery, so there is a lot of lush greenery as the backdrop of every photo, which we haven’t done before. It almost looks a bit like a jungle, especially in the shots where there is lots of bamboo,” Grand said. “I can’t say enough how much I love working with (Kozz), who really brings out the light in me, even on days I’m not feeling it. We have become good friends, and by the end of our shoots, I feel more energized and alive than when we started. It’s wonderful being able to work with someone when there is so much love and mutual respect.
“We shot at more locations (this year), too, and as a result, I think we have the most variety we’ve ever had in this calendar. We started the shoot at a tree nursery, which provided a very lush, green backdrop, very different from any setting I’ve been photographed in before. I love the ones with the bamboo background, like on the cover, because it almost looks like I’m in a jungle. We also shot at Fort Lauderdale Beach and at Antony’s new backyard pool.”
Grand said his favorite photo from the ’23 calendar is on the back cover, showing the Chicago singing sensation in a lavender GRAND-AXS Posing Suit, cooling himself off with a garden hose and looking back at the camera. “I like this photo because it’s always difficult to get a shot where my backside, chest, and face are all visible at once. And when we do, it can sometimes look awkward. But Antony happened to catch me at the perfect moment, where I’m looking at the camera and everything is at the right angle,” Grand said. “I think the photo is so fun, seductive and summery. At first, I thought my expression was a bit goofy, but Antony thought it was great, so I trusted him on that. It’s hard to be objective when it’s your own body and face, so I’m so glad I have Antony, who I really trust as an artist and a friend to help guide those decisions.”
Grand also praised the picture that appears for the month of May, showing him gardening in a GRAND-AXIS Mauve Swim Thong as he looks over his shoulder with a teasing smile. “My friends were giving me grief because they say, ‘This is so fake! You can’t even keep a house plant alive for more than a month! If this was your garden, those plants would all be dead!’ I laughed, but it’s a photo I see a lot of my fans really liking, and I like it too because it shows a different side of me: my expression, the pose, and it’s a shot of my backside that I’m actually happy with.”
Grand said he truly enjoyed the entire process of the 2023 calendar, how easy it was, as opposed to the stress of the past few months.
“GRAND-AXIS is growing, which I am not complaining about, but it’s demanding more and more time and energy, and issues seem to arrive faster than I can resolve them,” he said. “Thankfully, the issues are not affecting the quality of the product and the satisfaction of my customers. It’s more that I need to bring on more help and expertise for the business end of things.”
Also, this past September, Grand became a first-time home-owner – and moving is never an easy adventure.
“I went into this (calendar) shoot very in-my-head about a lot of things. But as soon as we started shooting, I was able to put all that to the side and just be present and enjoy creating some killer images,” Grand said. “I think that joy and surrender to the moment I was feeling really comes through. Antony was able to bring out a nice, playful side of me in a lot of these shots.More Steve GrandRemembering 2022:
“My best friend since high school had a baby. She’s the first person I’m super close to who has had a kid, so it’s been so wonderful and powerful to witness this little baby’s personality emerge. I’m really looking forward to watching her grow and being a part of her life … This year I also had to say goodbye to my car. I bought my mom’s 2006 Prius from her around 2010, when I was 20, and have been driving it ever since. Not exactly an exciting, sexy car; the AC hasn’t worked in years; I had to kick the headlight in the winter to make it turn on; there was no Bluetooth or aux cable. But she’s taken me over 200,000 miles, including the 17-hour drive from Chicago to Provincetown and back multiple times. I wrote countless songs in that car, including ‘We are the Night.’ I think I could have kept driving her another couple years if it weren’t for the accident. I know I probably sound ridiculous right now to a lot of folks reading this, but many of us spend a lot of time in our cars. They take on a personality of their own. There were so many memories and moments that shaped me in that car. I’m just grateful no one was hurt (in the accident)Looking Ahead to 2023:
“I want to be more disciplined with how I plan my days. Even though I end up being quite productive, I think I could be a lot more efficient and less anxious if I kept to a schedule, which I find very hard to do as my own boss. I want to make sure I set aside more time for friends and family. It’s getting more difficult now that my friends are having kids and advancing in their careers; I’m seeing how you have to be very intentional about how and with whom you spend your time …. I also hope to find more help with my business, so I don’t feel so overwhelmed all the time. Maybe even enough so that I can get back to creating music.”Now Boarding:
Grand is going to Hawaii in late February for a wedding, his only trip planned so far.2023 Calendar:
To order Steve Grand’s 2023 calendar, go to: shop.stevegrand.com/product/2023-calendarPhotographer Antony Kozz: kozzphoto.com