When Lifestyle and Sports Collide
The Fred DiVito quote, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you” is what came to mind as I was culling this great lifestyle shoot with Dublin runner, Brandon. His vision and passion for his sport are huge and I knew I had to honour this with each capture of my lens. What we both do in life is vastly different and yet, this sentiment rings true in both realms. As a lifestyle and commercial photographer, my assignments have a pleasant variety, however, my duty is the same…to tell a story to my audience that resonates deeply within their soul. Whether it is the story of a product, or the photographic narrative of a life, it is a humbling and sacred charge.
I was honoured when runner Brandon asked me to follow him through the streets of Dublin, documenting his journey as not just an incredible athlete at striving to be at the top of his sport, but also as an inspiring human being. I was one hundred percent up for the challenge this lifestyle shoot presented. In this project, I wanted to allow the world to see the drive and focus Brandon has, as well as give a glimpse into his amazing character.
Brandon’s smile and personality are infectious, but bigger than those things are his vision and imagination. Even as Brandon trains along Dublin’s picturesque Gran Canal Dock and Sandymount Beach, he often envisions running to far reaching horizons in his pursuit of conquering greater times and more epic distances. This desire drives this great Irish 400 mt distance runner to train with a tenacity that I was aiming to capture in each shot.
One can see Brandon strive for perfect form, his legs and arms reaching toward what lies beyond. I also loved bringing the focus from the person as a whole to the smaller details, such as him checking his times on his watch and his striking pair of running shoes. These are things that will, of course, resonate with other lovers of running, but they give connection and insight to those who may be largely unfamiliar with this sport. Creating a connection is something that I as a lifestyle and commercial photographer am always thinking about.
Some other great shots from this session included Brandon performing some stretching and bodyweight conditioning, showing that the science and preparation to running involve far more than feet pounding the pavement. I also found the shot of him preparing to drink from his bright blue water bottle striking because to me, it showed a man determined to continue pursuing his goal despite obviously feeling the burn of his workout. Who doesn’t find inspiration in people like this?
Perhaps one of my favourite moments from my time with Brandon, was the frame showing his captivating and engaging smile. It was warm and welcoming because it emanates from a beautiful soul. Every shoot has its own challenges. With this session, I knew I wanted to be sure to capture Brandon’s athleticism and more importantly his story authentically. I feel this challenge was accomplished, and I can say I was changed for the better through my time with Brandon.