Next week my son Cash turns 17 years old. He is an almost 6’3″ ,145 pound rail of joy. As my Mama used to love to say…he is a long cool drink of water. He is that refreshment to my heart and soul, on a hot day in the world at large. He inspires me daily with his love and enthusiasm. One of my proudest moments is watching the ease with which he tells people he loves them. He is an open loving soul in a world where so many people are closed and guarded. I have learned as much from him as he has from me on this incredible journey we are on together. Once when he was 8, we were in Hawaii trying to find a hidden trail a local had told us about. The sky opened up and it started to pour.I suggested we bail and go back to the hotel, my mind focusing on the mosquito population and their love for my blood. Cash looked at me and said we may never be here again…we need to find this place and enjoy this moment. Right after we found the trail head, the sun came out and we had the most amazing hike into waterfalls, and jumped from rocks in to cool pools. He brings that love for the moment at hand.I had to learn to be a fighter for him, something my pacifist soul had never mastered. Along the way I started photographing all the amazing fighters I work with today. Not a coincidence. I absorbed their heart and endurance and learned to bend to the forces, but never break to them. To become stronger in the fire like metal and yet keep a tender heart because I had this son to remind me daily of all the good in the world. When he calls to tell me he is dancing in the rain like I taught him, I am so grateful. I am proud and grateful to be Cash’s Mom….he is my favorite human and he quenches my soul. Happy, Happy Birthday!
I am once again happy to have the cover of The Ring Magazine for March. It is a photo of Manny Pacquiao hitting the double bag at The Wild Card Gym. What is really amazing is that I took this photo during media day before the last fight. Any one who has ever been to a media day will understand the utter chaos of tons of reporters, photographers and videographers all crammed in a small area jockeying for a shot. You never think you will walk away with a cover image. Thanks to Nigel at The Ring and super huge Congrats to Manny for being Fighter of The Year!
I recently did photos of a Dad about to ship out to Iraq for the next 14 months. His ex-wife was the one who hired me, which is incredibly special. They have two young sons who are going to miss their Dad so much. If anything happened to him, she wanted them to have special photos of them together. How wonderful is that? These boys love their Dad so much, I can’t imagine them not seeing him for over a year. Our kids change so much in that short time. I was honored to be able to spend time with such a great family and capture the love they all have for each other. I put the images up on a web gallery so the Dad can see them anytime while he is away. I am sending out a big wish that he comes home safe and early to his boys!
I spent a few days shooting Amir at the Wild Card. He is so grounded it is hard to believe how young he is. He already has that incredible focus. Freddie believes in him. He thinks he is his next big fighter coming up, and Freddie knows fighters. The first day I watched him spar his sparring partner was on the mat looking stunned in the second frame I shot. He had no idea what had hit him and how he had gotten there so fast. Amir has no ego, it is work and fun. I love watching these guys smiling through their training, enjoying the process. Amir’s next big fight is in the UK June 27th. A big thank you to Freddie, Amir and his Dad Shah for letting me hang out and photograph him.Image Copyright Landry Major Photo. Do not reproduce without permission
I am not sure why, but I love to watch some ones hands being wrapped. I am not sure if it is the intimacy of it, or the zen moment, but it fascinates me. Watching Freddie Roach get his tape ready and the care that he takes with each hand is a pleasure. Watching MMA guys wrap is a different process, there is no gauze. Everyone has their own colours and tape, in their unique ritual. Some boxers use gaffer tape or electric tape. How do you decide how you will have your hands wrapped? One trainer who boxed for years told me the story of how he was late to arrive at a boxing match so they wrapped his hands in a hurry and badly. During the match he felt his hands breaking, but kept fighting through the pain. By the end he couldn’t even feel his hands striking. He won, but both hands were broken. He only tried to fight one time after they had healed. The bad wrapping ended his career. So the ritual, is incredibly important.Image Copyright Landry Major Photo. Do not reproduce without permission
Ok, I am smitten. Smitten by the Wild Card Boxing Gym and the people who inhabit it. The international boxing talent that train in this small gym in the middle of Hollywood is amazing. I was there two days this week shooting English boxer Amir Khan. While I was there Andrei Arlovski was there sparring in preparation for his next MMA fight. There were boxers from Scotland, Kenya, you name it. Freddie Roach is the quiet presence that every one flocks to. He is somehow still grounded and ego free. He just went to Vegas to accept his giant Trainer of the Year award and trophy. Since he hates trophies..he left it on the bus, and they will mail it to him. His assistant trainer heavy weight champion Michael Moorer is working with Arlovski while Freddie concentrates on Amir who is amazing already at only 18 years old. The first day I was there his sparring partner was on the mat looking stunned after the first two minutes, trying to figure out how he got there. There is a quiet intensity to everyone in the Wild Card. The Wild Card parking lot and being yelled at by the woman who runs the laundry downstairs is considered a rite of passage. I had some amazing conversations with trainers who have given me such great insight into boxing and boxers. Pictured Scottish Boxer Gary Young.