The PDN annual has become one of the most respected competitions internationally, the rosta of names that have appeared over the years gives a clue that its credentials are first class.
Having picked up the Advertising Photographer Of The Year title at last years World Photography Awards in Cannes to now be jetting off to PDNs bash at the Tribeca Skyline Studios in New York City really is a privilege and I guess I have to thank the judges for their good taste (well I would say that wouldn’t I?).
The images were taken as part of a shoot for Wolf Blass and the RFU, they were taken down at Twickenham where fortunately there was room to build a temporary studio, the lads, all exceptionally busy from not only England but also club commitments, are always in demand so we were very lucky to have them for a few hours.
Initially working on the ‘ready for action’ poses, the lads clearly needing little prompting to look pretty tough we got what we needed in no time, Dylan had us in stitches, terrifying on the field but turns out to be quite the joker off.
I wanted to try to get something a little deeper, more of a glimpse at the man inside, the lads were up for it so a lighting change and we were reset. I got them into pose then asked them to think about something deeply personal, I then waited for ‘the moment’ it isn’t really possible to define what this is but you instinctively react when it occurs and the shot is in the bag, I shot remarkably few frames, maybe only 5 or 6 of each player but I knew when I had the shot.
The style was inspired by a combination of the old school sporting hero wills cigarette cards from the 40′s and the preferred style of portrait of the former Soviet bloc.
The key to the success of these images rests with the players though and I’m extremely grateful to them for being such fantastic subjects, so Ben, Toby and Dylan, thanks a million, these three are über talented, keep your eyes open you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot about them over the next few seasons.