Sportraits is a series of environmental portraits examining Ryerson University’s athletes in their athletic arena. The environments include fields, open spaces, gymnasiums, ice rinks and swimming pools. I photographed the athletes in action, directing them from behind the camera.

It was important to capture both the athlete and the sport. In some photographs, motion is the key component. In others, it is the interaction between subject and photographer. This is because eye contact, to me as a photographer, is vital in understanding the character and personality of a person. This also highlights the active nature of athletes in their craft.

The technical aspects of the project are also significant. The portraits are lit in such a way that they can exist as commercial and fine art portraits. As commercial portraits, I envision the images existing in a magazine/editorial where it tells a story about athletes in the Ryerson community. As fine art portraits, the work exists as a representation of young athletes and how they are presented to the public. The images address the athletic body and form, but also demonstrate athletes as individuals with personalities that show through their athletic excellence.

My approach to presentation speaks to my primary influence for this project, Annie Leibovitz. Her lighting techniques were highly influential, and her work also straddles the line between commercial and fine art. 

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