How You DO Shoot Olympic Athletes: The Best Yet

How You DO Shoot Olympic Athletes: The Best Yet

As many of you probably agree, some of the photos of Olympic athletes thus far have been either strange or downright bad. It relieves me to find that there are some commissioned photographs that don't make me cringe, but rather put a smile on my face. Both TIME and Women's Health commissioned photographs that, in my opinion, really nailed the "Olympic Photograph."

These photos of olympians by Martin Schoeller are, in my opinion, the best yet released.

Gabby Douglas for TIME Magazine


Allyson Felix for Women's Health Magazine


Lolo Jones for TIME Magazine


Nastia Liukin for Women's Health Magazine


Ryan Lochte for TIME Magazine


Natalie Coughlin for Women's Health Magazine


[Via TIME via VH-Artists]
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These aren't very inspiring either...they should have thrown Joel Grimes into that mix. Just about every image I have seen so far is relying on gimmicks to generate interest.

James Sanny's picture

Wait, so relying on composite work isn't a gimmick? 

Tam Nguyen's picture

I love Joel's work when he doesn't do the whole "composite it to a HDR background" deal, if you know what I mean. Ya know, just the actual portraits before he murders them in PS. It's just me.

JOEL GRIMES?! Fakey, silly, contrived photography that all looks like something from a video game. If HDR isn't a gimmick, I don't know what is. 

On a side note, the Nastia Liuikin photo nearly makes me wet my pants. Creative and terrifying, if it were real.

Christopher Hoffmann's picture

What's so terrifying? My day job is as a Steamfitter and I'm on edges of building everyday.... Oh yea, I'm not standing on my hands upside down... Ok, point made....  ;)

Rob Hall's picture

I Think that is a composite as well...given her lighting quality and shadow location...

Jared Pyfer's picture

Haters gonna hate. 

Daniel Sather's picture

My goodness the muscles on Natalie Coughlin's legs are ridiculous. 

Not quite the best but these are decent photos.

I like when the photographer add some twist when photographing these athletes but the ones Annie took are a bit too much and just don't fit in together...

You guys just don't get it do you? The whole this is how you do it, those other photos from that other dude suck is getting kind of old. There is a huge difference between a "media day" portrait and making a portrait when the athlete is made available to you outside of a conference room setting.

Maybe, but if you're in a conference room setting, perhaps you just shoot a simple portrait, rather than trying to capture an athlete in action. Except for those conference-room sports, of course. The criticism was a result of a photographer trying to do something impossible, and then publishing crap. 

harry's picture

Holy shit as if you guys are producing this/or being hired for this work.  This stuff right here is a hell of a lot better than the Team USA portraits talked about a few weeks ago.  The only bad one of the bunch is the Lolo Jones one...looks like an addict slumped in her chair.

If you guys are such ballers shooting athletes outside of just their sporting venue then post them up for us to see and comment on otherwise STFU.

Rob Hall's picture

Worst logic ever. Have you ever said a movie sucked? I'm sure you have yet I doubt you make multi-million dollar movies. You do not need to be doing the same caliber of work in order to comment or criticize it, nor even be involved with it whatsoever. 

Another gallery to add to the mix, and granted the direction is a bit different, no less worthy:

Jaron Schneider's picture

Covered this last week my friend :)

Jason Myers's picture

Ha! Don't get me wrong, I like Joel Grimes, but to say he doesn't add gimmicks to his images is pretty silly. Compositing is a complete gimmick and I agree HDR is also. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with either, but to say these traditional images that took a lot of planning and talent to pull of without compositing or HDR aren't acceptable is disingenuous. 

George Socka's picture

and guys, whatever youre using to host this thing don't work in IE - cant see the first 4 images.

Jaron Schneider's picture

IE is struggling with our site right now. Try using a different browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari. Thanks!

Benicio Murray's picture

It's 2012 for crying out loud. people who use IE should be banned form the internet.