Cub Swanson for Fight Magazine

 

I have wanted to shoot Cub Swanson for the last year. Something about him was so likeable. I was thrilled when Fight Magazine called to ask me to shoot him for the cover and feature of this month’s Fight Magazine. I went to Palm Springs where he lives to meet him. Writer R.J. Clifford was there to interview Cub between shots. I was fascinated hearing about his life growing up hard in Palm Springs and all that he has overcome. He is open and honest about growing up around gang violence and drugs, and getting to where he is now inspiring youth who are in the same situations. Cub has an easy smile and a great energy about him. It was way hotter than I expected in Palm Springs and we were going to hike up the hills to shoot Cub running the cliffs. Cub walked out of his house with a pair of shorts for me. It’s those kind of gestures that you remember, and help define a person. We had a great, fun day. Even when R.J.’s truck got stuck in the sand  by the wind turbines and we all had to push it out, it was somehow a fun group effort. I’m really happy for Cub! Cub CoverWeb_FIGHT_MAY13

Here comes the Boom

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I am so happy to see my great client and friend Bas Rutten out in Here Comes The Boom. Bas was my first feature portrait shoot for Fight Magazine a few years ago. Since then I shot all the images … Continue reading

Thanks to everyone who came out to Gallery 135 in Portland for my show!

 

Thanks so much to all who came out on First Thursday for the opening of my show at Gallery 135! What a great crowd of people who came in to view. It was so fun talking to all the fight fans and non fight fans about all the really amazing people I get to photograph.  Special Thanks to all at IDL for curating the show and to Cash for taking awesome pics…

Cain Velasquez

 

I met Cain when Fight Magazine sent me to San Jose to shoot the incredible roster of guys training at AKA with Crazy Bob Cook. Cain was training and he was going hard. My first impression was this guy is Tough.  In a room full of the top MMA fighters training, to be singled out as such is a statement in itself. Cain wasn’t laughing or smiling he was hard, tough and serious. Any one sparring with him was going to get his full force- no holding back served up. The first day I was at AKA, Cain sent a message that he didn’t want to shoot, but he would the next day. Day two I was wondering if it was going to happen, he didn’t look at me or acknowledge I was there.  When he was done he gave me ten minutes. We did the set up shots I needed to deliver and then I asked him to stand in front of the rainy window light. Somehow the soft light accentuated how tough he is and that was the magic moment. I knew not to try to get him to smile, it wasn’t in him. I was getting the essence of who Cain is, pure, tough, strong and determined. My favorite image from this moment was used as the cover for Fight Magazine celebrating Cain as Fighter of The Year. I was at the UFC fight when he defeated Lesnar. I knew he was going to bring it and loved that he advanced when others would have been tentative. I was on my feet yelling and cheering until my arms were tired from clapping. I have never seen an arena light up like that. After the fights when we were walking to our cars I was  happy for all the Latino’s who were so proud to have the first Latino Heavyweight in history. I said  in Spanish…I am as happy as you are Cain won today!

Fedor

I shot Fedor Emelianeno on the day after his only loss. I sat waiting in San Jose for two days before the fight for our shoot. It kept getting bumped back day after day. The first day he was sick of the media. Day two he was praying with his priests during our shoot time….The upside was I sat in a war room with the Showtime and Strikeforce people and got to know them all. They are a great tight team. I was told he would shoot the morning after the fight. It’s dicey to say you will shoot a fighter the day after a fight. If they lose they are understandably down. If they win they have celebrated all night. Of course everyone thought Fedor would win, so sure…. a day after shoot will work. Then Werdum won in the first round. I thought, there goes my shoot. I expected Fedor to cancel the shoot after he lost the fight, so was waiting on tenterhooks on Sunday. I was waiting in the grand ballroom of the LAX Hilton set up and hoping Fedor would shoot. He showed up with his entourage that included his wife, and two Russian Orthodox priests. One look at the priests and I wanted to shoot them. They have faces out of an old novel, not of this century. I am still thinking about how the priest was rocking the new G4 Iphone and I am on a Blackberry…. Fedor was quiet and contained. His face had no swelling, but a few bash marks on his nose and a broken blood vessel in his eye from being choked. We did manage to get Fedor to smile and I am not saying how…..but certain words like cheese, don’t translate into Russian. Fedor was in good spirits and I think will welcome the challenge to come back and face Werdum again. He has a fire now…

Tim Kennedy

 

How much fun did I have shooting Tim? A lot…. but I kind of knew that going in. I first met Tim at Camp Pendleton a few months ago on a shoot for Fight Magazine for training the troops. Tim is game for anything, and I love that.  We shot for Fight Magazine at Krav Maga gym in Los Angeles. Tim is such a happy guy it was hard to make him look mean. People heard him yelling all over the gym while we were shooting. I shot Tim backstage right before his fight. He was getting his hands wrapped and marked and was super cool and happy. I get the impression after serving, MMA is a vacation. He is that chill. Tim gave me his walk out T-shirt which I was wearing when he won his fight easily in the first round. You have to be happy for some one this nice. Big things will come for Tim. Thanks to Nick and Leo for making it all happen!

PETA Campaign with Jake Shields

The new campaign I shot for PETA with Jake Shields is out. I love the concept. I was really surprised when I shot Jake and he told me he was a vegetarian and had been all his life. You really don’t think of some one like a fighter being a veg head. It dispels some erroneous ideas about nutrition and energy which I think is great. I love when people are not what you would think from the outside. Jake gets props from me for standing up and being proud. Congrats on the big win too Jake!