Power couple alert! This is Samuel Girard and Kasandra Bradette, two short track speed skaters who just qualified for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang yesterday.
Most of my editorial portrait shoots involve artists, entrepreneurs, actors. I rarely have photoshoots with athletes, so I was thrilled about this one. I got contacted by Sportbox Entertainment Group (an athlete management company) to do a lifestyle photoshoot with Sam.
He's a smalltown kid from Ferland-et-Boilleau, just 21, but he’s already seen as Canada’s bright future in the world of short track speed skating after collecting a few medals in the speed skating world championships, and recently edging out Charles Hamelin (a name you’re probably more familiar with—at least for now) during the Olympic qualifiers. As we approach the 2018 Winter Olympics, you’ll probably start hearing more and more about him.
Traditionally, photoshoots for athletes are quite similar. Dark backgrounds, dramatic rim lighting, athletes looking serious. You know the kind of shoot I’m talking about.
For Sam’s shoot, we wanted our shoot to focus on his upbeat and down-to-Earth personality.
We also took a few shots on the ice, and although the main focus was to capture simple, posed shots, we finished early, so I asked if we could take a few action shots.
I picked the spot where he’d be in the middle of the sharp curve, placed my lights, and pre-focused on the ice. I just needed to stay still and press the shutter when he passed in front of me. I gave him the cue to start and just had to laugh afterwards. He simply flew past me. I was so startled by the speed from up close that I didn’t even have time to press the shutter on that first pass. It took a few more laps, but in the end, we got a few shots, including this behind the scenes shot that I love.
Can’t wait to cheer them on!