PRESS – A PHOTO EDITOR

2015_07_14_ESPN_Bill_May_0179.jpg

I was recently interviewed by Heidi Volpe for Rob Haggart’s photography blog, A Photo Editor. We talked about the technique involved in shooting synchronized swimmer Bill May for the ESPN feature, and she even spoke to Bill May himself. Below is my introduction from the piece. Click the preview to read the rest of the interview on Haggart’s blog, or head over to my website to see the entire collection of Bill May photos. 

“I don’t really adjust my style for different projects, nor can I really define my own style.

This simple story sum things up nicely – Alfred Eisenstaedt was hired to shoot our college portraits. He came into my class of 20 kids, and he asked everyone, “What kind of photographer do you want to be?” I was one of the last kids to be asked, when it was my turn, I replied, “fashion photographer.” He asked why. He’d not asked any of the other kids this follow up question. I panicked and blurted out, “Because I like girls!” Everyone in class had a good laugh, and then Alfred later explained that being a fashion photographer is no different than being any other type of photographer. You have a subject in front of you, treat that subject in front of you the same as you would a gown on a hanger.  It becomes a portrait of a gown, just as if a person was standing there.

So, I don’t look at myself or categorize myself as a sports photographer, I see myself as a photographer, and I see the subject in front of me as a subject. At the end of day, all photographs are solved with the same notes, regardless of the subject matter.”

PRESS – ESPN THE MAGAZINE

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