There is a certain element of excitement when asked to photograph a sport person for a newspaper but it comes with its own difficulties, one being that of time, or to be precise, the lack of it.
This shoot was no different. A rugby player of great importance for both Club and international rugby for an interview piece in the Daily Mail.
As it’s common, the exact details were not readily available.
I found out on the day that I was to be given a few minutes during the shoot for new Wales Rugby Union sponsor Isuzu, which was to take place in one of the most stunning locations of south Wales, the Black Mountains, an area adored by BBC’s Top Gear.
With cloudy weather and fine rain on and off for most part of the day, nothing was certain and the allocation of time was a simple “just prepare for when he finishes”.
What I really enjoy is producing powerful environmental portraits and always attempt to include as much of the physical environment around my subject as I possibly can.
The area lends itself to be used readily, but had to make sure that no roads were visible.
Surprisingly, the weather did remain dry… just and after managing to make my broken flashgun work after dropping it and also manoevre my light stand to a position that it would still be triggered by my camera trigger off I went.
It is common not to be told how much time you’re allowed so I found myself climbing up a down a wet grassy slope to make some final adjustments as I knew fully well that I would be asked to just finish off any minute.
Rugby sports photography. Scarlets and Wales international rugby player Jonathan Davies in the Black Mountains, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK
As my initial plan to photograph the player in a more grassroots environment had failed, I took the decision that given the circumstances, he had to look grand, like a King, not that it mattered.
The only downside to all this was that I was left with no time to do some close-ups, and although I was promised to have more time with Jonathan afterwards, this never came to fruition as the whole project ran out of time altogether, within minutes of me pressing the shutter release button for the last time.
Anyway, the Daily Mail love their full lengths, so in the end, it worked out.