Local Bodybuilders Re-Create Warrior Scenes in Menifee

It looks like a movie poster, but this picture was taken during a photo shoot with local bodybui...

It looks like a movie poster, but this picture was taken during a photo shoot with local bodybuilders in Menifee.
Gather about a dozen avid bodybuilders, dress them in ancient Spartan battle garb, point the cameras and what have you got?

Quite a photo shoot.

That was the scene Aug. 10 for a small group of residents from Menifee and surrounding areas who take their passion for the movie "300" almost as seriously as their daily workouts. In a vacant field strewn with boulders and providing a realistic background, photographers from the Elite Photography Events meetup group of artists created scenes similar to what fans of the 2006 film saw in theaters.

The movie "300" is a fictionalized re-telling of the Battle of Thermopylae in the Persian Wars about 480 B.C. The story tells of King Leonidas, who leads 300 Spartans into battle against an army of more than 300,000 soldiers. Local bodybuilders Erick and Tawnya Shultz organized a group of workout enthusiasts -- some of them professional bodybuilders -- to dress in realistic battle gear and pose for the cameras. At right, Eryk Bui leaps toward the camera.

Goals for the project were to give both the models and photographers unusual, impressive additions to their portfolios. Beyond that, it was simply to have fun. The models made all their own costumes and certainly appeared physically suited for the roles.

"Many of our photographers are published and do submit for publication, but this most likely will not be subbmitted due to its theme. It won't fit too many magazine genres. This is more about a lot of locals getting together to recreate something really cool," said Sarah Reid, a Menifee resident and one of the photographers.

Shooting shortly before sunset to take advantage of the lighting conditions, Reid and the other photographers posed the models in battle positions. Some held spears and shields and jumped off boulders for the camera. Others posed with horses provided by the Menifee Riding Academy. at left, Erick Shultz poses as a mounted warrior.

"I was interested in doing a photo shoot that showed people in good shape," said Lindsy Alfano, a Menifee resident who works out often with her husband, Nick.

Nick Alfano, an attorney, and Lindsy take part in bodybuilding competitions. Lindsy and many of the other female models in the photo shoot worked for hours making their own leather costumes.

"We want to show our kids we can still do this," she said.

Krissy Chin of Menifee saw the movie and was approached by the Shultzes about taking part in the photo shoot.

"The warriors we're portraying were fierce and strong-willed," Chin said. "That's a perfect role for me to play."

Chin is a professional bodybuilder and fitness model. Next month she flies to Korea for a competition.

Photographer Sarah Reid gives instructions to model Lindsy Alfano during the photo shoot.

Tawnya and Erick Shultz poses for photographers with a horse provided by the Menifee Riding Academy.


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