Pride Of The Black Country: Father’s Pride

As a sort of sideline to the action shots of the boxing events arranged by Priory Park Boxing Club in Dudley (the “Pride of the Black Country” as they have been called), I have continued to add to my ongoing documentary project of the same name.

The above shot shows a young boxer (just 9 years old) emerging from the ring after a non-competitive bout at a recent “Development show” to a huge hug from his very proud father, still clutching onto his trophy. This image will eventually be converted to black and white.

To me, this image encapsulates some of the excitement and euphoria that is so apparent at all of the many shows I’ve shot.

Boxing Away

Over the last… ooh, quite a few… years now, I’ve been fortunate to photograph some amazing boxing action at all levels, from young amateurs to white collar first-timers to professionals. I owe my┬áintroduction into boxing photography to Paul Gough and his amazing team at Priory Park ABC in Dudley, which in turn led to my ongoing relationship with Birmingham’s fantastic white collar gym “Fighting Fit City Gym” (led by Neil Perkins).

I’ve covered many fights but also provided promotional and press images for clubs, promoters and individual fighters. I’m pleased to say that this seems to be growing nicely. However, I’ve decided to push myself and my services a little further afield. After all, even the studio images can be produced on location if necessary.

Reflective Tank

The recent “Portfolio Booster” course gave me the perfect excuse to invite brilliant local (Black Country) boxer Ryan “Tank” Aston back into the studio. Ryan is an exceptional subject for photographs, super-fit (as you’d expect a professional boxer might be) but is also a very handsome chap.

This shot shows Ryan in a more reflective pose. He’s now taking more bookings for modelling gigs (see his Purpleport profile here).

One Wall: Two Shoots

When I moved Fotofilia to the current premises within BOM (Birmingham Open Media), one of the items I was determined not to leave behind was a large piece of flooring vinyl. Not (just) because I’m a bit of a tightwad, but because this piece of aluminium chequerplate-effect vinyl had proven its worth as a very versatile background at the old premises and I really didn’t want to be without it.

As an example of its versatility, here are examples of two very different shoots using the same background taken within a week of each other..

 

In the unlikely event that you can’t tell the difference, the images on the left feature the gorgeous Kate-Anne Cooper (taken at a Fotofilia “Special Studio Evening”) and the ones on the right are boxers from Fighting Fit City Gym who came in for some promo shots for their forthcoming boxing show at Gatecrasher in Birmingham.

There’ll probably come a time when I get bored of this background. Maybe.

Mud, Boxers, Mud, A Tank And A Digger

Some people spend their Summer Friday afternoons drifting away from their places of work and heading over to the beer garden for a bit of liquid refreshment. Not me. I was taking photographs in a very muddy builders’ yard in the Black Country.

I had been asked by Priory Park ABC‘s head trainer Paul Gough to take some pictures of some of the club’s top boxers for a poster. The idea was to photograph the lads in front of a digger – with boxer Ricky “Digger” Summers (who will be fighting for a title at the event that the poster is going to be advertising) taking centre stage.

Pictured are (from left): Ryan Partridge, Ryan “Tank” Aston, Ricky Summers, Luke Paddock, and Ryan Corrigan

The only digger available was perched atop a huge pile of gravel/soil and because of the available space could only be photographed from 180 degrees. The strong sun was in and out of the clouds on a minute-by-minute basis and was either directly behind, or almost to the side of the lads. And so I used some off-camera strobe to lift up the shadows on their faces a bit.

We finally dispensed with the high-vis jackets and helmets and let the boxers look like boxers…

And just to show that we also experimented with some different positioning…

Neither of these images are the one chosen for the poster. You’ll have to wait to see that. And the ultra-high-clarity finish to these images is as requested by Paul (it’s not my usual look but I do like it on these shots).