by MIKE CHAIKEN
After making it past the gauntlet of auditions, one of the first tasks for a New England Patriots Cheerleader is the annual swimsuit calendar photo shoot.
Last year, Alex Brandy, a Terryville, Conn. woman, achieved rookie status on the NFL team’s cheer squad. And nearly immediately, she was swept off to the Bahamas to shoot the squad’s 2017 calendar.
Fresh off her appearance with the Patriots’ at the Super Bowl, CTFashionMag.com caught up with Alex, a graduate of Dean College, to talk about the calendar shoot. (Auditions for next year squad are March 4 and Brandy said she will be there, ready for a second season with the cheerleaders.)
Question: What did you like about that experience of being photographed for a calendar that thousands would see?
Answer: I was very excited to shoot for the calendar. Our photographer Robert Hare and the whole production team were fantastic to work with throughout the trip. They all have a knack for making you feel incredible during the shoot. Rob actually took my audition photos before I even made the team, so it was very special to come full circle and experience the calendar shoot in the Bahamas with him.
Q: Had you ever been in a photo shoot before? If so, how did the experience of being part of the calendar compare to the other experiences?
A: My photo shoot experience was very scarce before making the team. It really only consisted of head shots and “just for fun dancing on the beach” shoots with my sister and her camera. So to be able to say I experienced a photo shoot in the Bahamas for the Patriots Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar is a huge accomplishment for me.
Q: How did the veteran cheerleaders help you out to get the best pic?
A: Going to the vets’ photo shoots and watching how effortlessly they are able to take amazing pictures really helped. We actually practiced posing in the cheer house before we left for the trip, which helped as well.
Q: What was it like to be photographed in an exotic location?
A: It was an experience of a lifetime. My particular shoot was on the front of a yacht stationed at the resort, it was so much fun and I just felt so lucky and so grateful the entire trip.
Q: Sometimes, people are hypercritical of their photographs and some love everything that’s taken of them. Which one are you? If you’re critical, what is your number one sticking point? If you love everything taken of you, why do you think it’s so?
A: I try not to be super critical of pictures and just to enjoy them as memories of all these great games and events we do. Most of our pictures on the field are action shots of us dancing our hearts out and our photographer Dwight Darian is extremely good at capturing our pure joy on that field.
Q: How does it feel when you go to an appearance, and someone asks you to autograph your page.
A: Signing my autograph will never get old. Becoming a Patriots Cheerleader was such a huge goal of mine for so many years, and opening up that poster to see my picture and signing my name is just the best feeling.