I’m extremely proud to finally be able to share “Water’s Edge,” the feature I shot for ESPN The Magazine of Bill May, “the greatest male synchronized swimmer who ever lived.” Bill May had been retired as a professional athlete for 10 years and was performing in the Cirque du Soleil “O” show out in Vegas when he was yanked out of retirement to train for the milestone of his life: The first ever synchronized swimming world championship to include men.
This piece has been a long time coming–it’s been almost 9 months since my shoot with Bill. Capturing the precision and grace of athletes in motion is difficult enough–just imagine the added inconvenience of maneuvering in the water within a restricted timeframe. I had 30 minutes to shoot as Bill May and his partners Christina Jones and Kristina Lum Underwood on the pool deck. The next 3 hours were spent photographing whatever pictures I could get as they trained, fully focused and totally indifferent to my presence. Afterward, I was given just one controlled half-hour under the water to direct some of the movement.
Some of my favorite photos of last year came came from this shoot. Five of the images from the shoot were recognized at the 2015 International Photography Awards, where I won Sports Photographer of the Year. Some of the pictures will also be included in the American Photography 32 award book, which will be released next November. The AI-AP books are the “first and foremost go-to resources for art directors, designers, photo editors and art buyers who insist on assigning only the best original, thoughtful and compelling pictures.” I’m very happy about both accomplishments.
Check out more of my photos and read about Bill May’s incredible journey at ESPN.com