If you’re on a last-minute hunt for a selection of impressive bodies fit for a photoshoot, you could do a lot worse than stake out the local CrossFit ‘box’. Populated by a succession of curiously dedicated, jargon babbling, protein quaffing, high fiving, gymnastic weightlifters, the chances of capturing muscular magic is high – but timing is everything.
“If run-of-the-mill mid-jerk mid-jump mid-squat photography is your goal, a CrossFitter is so ‘in the zone’ during a workout, you can snap away unnoticed with great results,” says Samantha. “But if you want athletes to ‘pose’, I rapidly discovered that the post-workout window is the one to aim for. Not only is the blood flowing, keeping muscles ‘pumped’, but pleasure-enhancing endorphins are also on the rampage. My ‘models’ felt strong, fit and glowed with pride – mixed with a little sweat! Those who previously felt deeply uncomfortable suddenly did a 180º and said “what do you want me to do next?”.”
The shoot at CrossFit Mallorca didn’t have the most auspicious of starts. Once more the chickens managed to muscle in (pardon the pun), despite being 30km away at home, leaving a secret gift of chicken poop in Samantha’s handbag as she loaded the car. But after some serious babywiping and a coffee or two, the hourly WODs became perfect casting couches and the memory card filled with burly beauty.
But just how hard is it to ask ‘amateurs’ to step up to the plate and become instant models? “Of course it’s much easier to shoot with a professional model as they already know how to pose and engage with the camera,” says Samantha. “You need to coax an amateur and, more often than not, they are self conscious or camera shy. But once I’ve positioned them and taken a few shots to see on the LCD display, their confidence grows. This was especially true at CrossFit Mallorca. Aside from the Box’s competition athletes such as Rob, Cathy, Janis and Javi, most hadn’t been photographed professionally and were pleasantly surprised at how good their physiques looked previewed on screen.”
Samantha Hemsley Photography joined forces with CrossFit Mallorca to take part in Palma’s famous Nit de l’Art on Saturday 17 September with a pop-up art exhibition on the incredible roof terrace at Hostal Apuntadores.
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