For several years, I’ve made the Christmas cards for a couple different USCG Air Bases.


I love that Joey (George Washington there) is taking these things so seriously now-a-days. His ideas keep getting better and more fun to work with… but someone needs to get those guys a green screen cause this lasso tool is taking forever.


Somewhere between this and last year, one of the guys from North Bend, OR got reassigned to Savannah, GA. So this year, I ended up doing the card for that station and the Oregon guys went without. They ended up going for a remake of this classic Rockefeller Center picture, but with Savannah in the background.

I’ve included the pictures they sent me that show how they all assemble; it was a bit of musical chairs to position them all so they look proportionate. The most difficult part, actually, was getting that I-beam to look like the original.


Two of the guys weren’t there the day they went to the lumber yard, so they were shot indoors later in the week. You can see the two guys without hardhats and how they stand out rather odd.

I heard that actual lumberjacks were working the yard that day. I would imagine they were very impressed with how manly these swimmers were.

Apparently, the Lumber Yard one was too male-centric and it was decreed from the higher-ups that it had to be redone. The only thing toned down seemed to be the lumberjackness of the card, but looks like they just chose another one of the Village People to emulate and were instead sailors.
I know you can tell they weren’t really on the dock, but hey … I don’t charge these guys much.


The second year, they must have thought, “It’s not enough just to take our clothes off, how can we make sure, like, that all of our skin is, like, touching one another?” The photoshopping is the longest, most tedious part of these, because they take all their shots in the base under fluorescent lighting. The best part of this one was that I actually had to photoshop out a red ball-gag from the mouth of that guy in the front. I just hope my taxes paid for that.


This was the first one, and the year that Magic Mike had just come out, so they wanted their card to look like that movie poster. Rescue Swimmers seem to be really big fans of their own bodies and I think they assume we all are too. The worst part of this one was each guy had to be cut out, which meant I had to zoom way in and pen tool around all of their bodies.