Although action sports photographers treat the great outdoors as their studio, don’t be surprised to hear that they’re not always on a glacier, beach or skatepark. To give their portfolios variety, they shoot commercial and fashion photography when the chance comes their way.
Well-respected surf photographer Agustin Munoz was given a brief by Somos Magazine in Peru to do a fashion shoot of some of the world’s best women surfers – including Sally Fitzgibbons, Sofia Mulanovich and Maya Gabeira – during their visit to a mid-season high performance camp in Peru.
The concept was both pretty obvious but also new for the sport: treat some down-to-earth surf girls as models for the day – in full make-up. Surprising to hear perhaps, but female surfers don’t get the opportunity to do fashion shoots that often.
“We tried to make the shoot different to a regular surfing shoot by mixing fashion with surfing action. Doing fashion shoots with athletes is usually pretty limited by what they can do but we always work something out. Obviously, if it’s an action sports shoot, it’s better to use athletes. If it’s a fashion shoot I prefer models."
“I was really happy with the shots I got though – the girls did a fantastic job.”
However Munoz wasn’t working with just any athletes. Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) was the youngest and quickest, male or female, World Surfing Tour qualifier in ASP history. Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) was the first South American woman to win the ASP world title in 2004. Maya Gabeira (Brazil) surfed the biggest wave ever by a female when she successfully surfed a 45-foot wave at Dungeons Beach in South Africa. She also won the Billabong Girls Best Overall Performance Award for a record four years in a row.
After shooting the girls hitting the waves, Munoz gave each of them a theme to play for the interior shoot: soccer player (Fitzgibbons), film maker (Mulanovich), model (Gabeira) and artist (Nadja de Col). The day ended with the obligatory swim-suit shoot.
“The only problem was the weather and it’s pretty cloudy at that time of year in Peru so I concentrated on getting some interior shots from the house.”
As for equipment and post-production requirements for a fashion shoot, Munoz has his own preferences.
“Generally, I like to use pretty wide aperture lenses, like 85 – 1.8, 50 – 1.2, 24 – 1.4 and sometimes I use zoom lenses like a 200 – 2.8. As for flashes, I like to use Elinchrom. Normally I use soft boxes as they make the light softer and skin looks better. For this shoot, I also used a ring flash.”
“For post-production, most of the time I just have to fix the skin and colors, but it’s mostly just color corrections.”
For the girls, the shoot was a chance to be both feminine and show their credentials as top athletes. They were of course delighted with the final shots.
“What we normally do is so different,” said Maya Gabeira. “We’re always in the ocean and, you know, we can never wear make-up or really think about how we look out there. It was just fun to be a model for a day.”
Press play on the image to see the making of video and check out the gallery for a selection of surf and lifestyle photos of Sally Fitzgibbons, Sofia Mulanovich and Maya Gabeira as well as fashion shots from Agustin Munoz.