This is probably one of my favorite projects I’ve had an opportunity to work on with the University of Oregon. There’s something about the creative possibilities that are allowed when you are working with a small group of athletes and especially when it becomes individual shots for posters. There’s a lot of freedom and it allows me to be a little more creative on set. In other cases, when we are shooting a large group I have to be very conscious about how people are going to fit together.
We started off the shoot with some posed images of the guys because there’s always potential use for images like that. We quickly ran through what I like to call the trio. Essentially, I photograph the athlete straight to camera, and then roughly 45 degrees each way. We’ll do multiple poses at each phase but this gives us a ton of options for any other promotional materials that weren’t planned for prior to the shoot.
After we had captured all the posed assets we decided to have a little fun! Capturing athletes in motion is probably one of my favorite things to do. It allows me to relate back to when I was an athlete and try to coach them so I get exactly what I need. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that we are usually shooting these images in a confined space and with all the lights there’s not a ton of room for them to build up speed. In some cases you have to tell them to throw everything they know out the window and do something completely unnatural. Often, the athletes look at me like I’m crazy when I’m “trying” to demonstrate when I need them to do. But, when they see the images of themselves they start to trust the process and that’s how we end up with something incredible.
For years, I’ve been asked to show more of how I create some of my images. Often, I just forget about it until I’m done and then I tell myself I’ll do it next time. We’ll for this project I ended up creating a timelapse video of the retouching. It’s not exactly start to finish because I did again forget to create a video until after I had already created the first image (image above on the right). But, I did create one where I go from start to finish on the second image. At the beginning of the video I drag over all the layers from the first image and basically work back through everything so it should still give you a good look at my process. Hopefully it’ll become something I do more frequently in the future.
Be on the lookout for more of my work coming soon. A lot of my University of Oregon images are making it out into the wild so I’ll be able to share a bunch of cool new work with all of you!
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