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Busy couple of months not only been doing some portrait sessions and work for my national newspaper clients. I have also been doing a couple of assignments that are a bit different from the norm.
In February ITV Boxing asked me to shoot the promotion photography for the launch of their new Pay Per view Boxing. Along with doing the actual fight coverage, the brief also included a behind the scenes with Chris Eubank Jr. The fight was between Chris Eubank JR & James DeGale.
The shoot took place at the legendary Pinewood Studios – the home of James Bond, near Heathrow Airport. Before the boxers arrived there was a lot of preparation work, which meant an early start for me.
There is a lot of bad blood between the two fighters, hence they had to be to kept apart during the filming. Chris was scheduled for the morning session with me and James after lunch (he had is own photographer)
The lighting was set up for TV cameras, TV adverts don’t allow for flash or any other photography lighting. Normally this would be an issue as this was a very big studio with no natural light, however I was able to capture the TV lighting in a way that made the images more dramatic.
Part of my assignment was to shoot some behind the scenes images of the TV advert to show how the day unfolded prior to the actual filming. The ITV social team were keen to tell the story of the build up to the fight. Time is precious when the TV cameras starts to roll, hence most of the shoot happened in-between takes when lighting rigs were being set up or test filming was happening.
Chris was going to be in the “Blue Corner” and James was going to in the “Red Corner”. The lighting for my shoot had a blue bias. This gave great effects with the contrast of the black background. A smoke machine was even used to give that added extra.
A little secret that we used to give Chris a sweaty look as if they had done 10 rounds. Water Spray was the answer and was applied constantly by the make-up artist.
The advert brief was to have two different setups. The first was Chris looking tough and punching into the camera with his menacing stare. The second part was finished in post production, as clearly we could not get them together for the shoot. The idea was to have the two boxers go head to head in the middle of ring.
Chris was waiting between takes as the lighting was being changed up for the second setup. Using a longer lens I got a candid picture of him when he was totally unaware of being photographed.
As you can imagine the length of the shoot from setting up the lights to the final take lasted a good few hours. In reality the length of the advert was only about 30-40 seconds. I came away from it with some really really striking images and all in all a good mornings work.