What are your top tips for shooting athletes on the move?
I think my top tip here would be to spend time getting to know and understand the sport that you are shooting - knowing the nuances of the style, and where the dangers and thrills of a particular sporting discipline are will go a long way to seeing better angles, finding better shooting positions and ultimately telling a better story.
How do you prepare for reportage? Do you already have shots in mind? Is your camera always ready to go?
For me, the thrill of reportage photography is in seeking out the shots that will tell the best story - viewed like this photo shoots become one long exotic treasure hunt. And the hunt starts way before you get on location - knowing the place where you will be shooting not only from a logistics point of view but also from a historic and cultural angle really helps hone in on what shots will tell the best story, which is really the reason why us photographers are out there.
Do you need to be really fit?
It definitely helps being fit. Trying to keep up with athletes without a backpack full of camera gear is hard enough. I have found that the fitter I am the more unique my photographs are - mostly because I’m able to access places that others might not - and the less of a pack mule sufferfest a shoot becomes.
Does this mean having a lightweight set up?
Being lightweight definitely helps. You only have to carry a backpack or piece of equipment that is too heavy or seldom used once. That said, finding a lightweight gear setup that doesn’t comprise your capacity to deliver on a brief is tricky and a continual work in progress - I really enjoy this process.
What was it like covering the Red Bull X-Alps?
This was one of the most memorable shoots I have done. Looking back, it is a blur of nonstop shooting - chasing and documenting some amazing athletes up over a myriad of mountain passes, at sketchy sunset flights, through summer snowfalls, on windy Alp ridgelines, and into the bright lights of Monaco. I was fairly new to the sport of paragliding back then and so this was a real eye-opener and I will forever have the utmost respect the athletic and mental prowess it takes to conquer the Red Bull X-Alps.
Are you entering Illume?
Any advice to would-be photographers?
This will sound counter-intuitive given the question but if you want something badly enough you don’t need advice on how to do it. The desire and destination creates the how not the other way around.
Are you working on any interesting projects at the moment?
A few close friends and I are looking to sail from the Arctic to Antarctica next year onboard a zero emissions yacht and along the way invite artists and athletes to help tell and share climate change stories.
Feeling inspired to enter? Submissions close on July 31, 2021, so you better be quick! You can submit your best adventure and action sports imagery here.