Monday, July 12, 2010



I have always wanted to nail down a series of strong portraits that have a ton of emotion, but a lot of grit too..I was searching for faces with character without having to resort to the cliches that we all know so well. The key was to generate compelling imagery of real people without having to use the vices of background or location.

I wanted real guys that came from all aspects of life, of all ages and that had faces that could tell stories on their own.

What could be more perfect then Rugby players?

These guys are selfless when it comes to their bodies, they play a sport that is just as rough and tough as football but they don't wear any pads or helmets.

They seem unaffected by the fact that they are even missing teeth because of how hard they play. They wear their scars like badges of courage. It's such a human thing in what can be perceived as an in-humane sport.

I had visited a small town years back called Faribault, MN to watch a Rugby match and thought what could be more perfect than photographing the team. A little about them ...

The Faribault Bokspring Rugby Club in Faribault , MN happens to be the longest tenured Rugby Football Club in the state of Minnesota with its first team starting back in 1971.

The best part of this project was that I got to set up right next to the field, so when they were done playing they came to my makeshift studio - sweaty, bloody, dirty and - best of all - their facial expressions and eyes really held what they were carrying with them during combat just a few moments before I clicked the shutter.

It's amazing what happens to a photographer when in a room with these players. I found that I too became more aggressive with them to incite in them the emotion I knew was characteristic of the game ... and it worked!

Special Thanks to my team of Makeup Artists who worked on this project with me, Nicole Fae, Laura Hart and Marina Moua

Equipment Rental: Flashlight Photorental

Retouching Artist: Dan Kopton


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