I am in love with martial arts and have always been. I am fascinated by fighters by their hard years of training, their patience, their self-discipline, and all these things that most of us won't have the courage to do and commit to. The rawness, the precision, and the beauty of Muay Thaï, Aikido, kungfu, and Karate leave me speechless. Martial arts have been on my mind for years and the idea of capturing such athletes one day was on my bucket list for years.
2 years ago it finally arrived and I tried my hands on a Muay Thaï / Kick-boxing session with fighter Steeve Valente. A memorable experience that left me wanting more. I had to wait until last summer to finally have my first Karate photoshoot!
It all happened in Antibes with a European and World champion member of the French National team named Alizée Agier. An amazing young athlete that you should definitely follow during the years to come. My partner and I picked her up at the train station and headed straight to our location.
We decided to go for an outdoor session early in the morning on the Cap d'Antibes. And yes we took out the white Kimono for a few shots! I used a Canon 5D Mark III and 1 Broncolor Siros L 800w to control my exposure and shoot against the sun. The use of HSS really helped me have full control over the exposure of my scenes. I deliberately let a bit of flare and natural light leak in my shots and of course played a little bit with water reflections on a few images. Alizée was fantastic, professional, efficient, and fun! But I didn't expect less from such an athlete. It took us a few tries as you can see on some shots in the BTS video, but that's because I am a perfectionist. I know I can be annoying sometimes, but when I have a picture in mind, I cannot leave my scene until I have it.
Hope this is only the beginning, as this photoshoot gave me tons of ideas. We made it simple for this first one. Froze some action, a few portraits, and high kicks... Next time we will push this much further!