Environmental Portraits Series - Cambridge Athletes
Updated: May 21, 2019
I have worked with University of Cambridge Sport for a number of years, creating sport photographs for their banners, brochures, advertising campaigns, website, etc. But last year they approached me with a rather unusual project in mind: we were to create larger than life portraits of athletes to decorate 8 of the walls of the Sports Centre - floor to ceiling!
The idea was to photograph Cambridge University athletes showcasing their sport in front of University landmarks, bringing together sport and academic elements. Knowing I was shooting for such large end format came with its challenges, but also made me focus on the impact I wanted these images to make.
Every athlete who took part in the project amazed me with not only their achievements, but their humble attitude and their dedication and discipline. I knew I wanted the focus of each portrait to be on them, with a sense of poise as well as using the environment to tell a story of what it's like to study at the University of Cambridge.
We shot the first 4 sports in June last year, and the team at University of Cambridge Sport liked them so much that we ended up shooting 30+ sports in different locations across Cambridge University over the following 9 months - from the Bridge of Sighs to the chapel of Selwyn College, Senate House, the Mathematical Bridge, the Old Schools, Museum of Zoology, the Debate Room at Cambridge Union, and many more.
The resulting photographs were first introduced at a private exhibition in the Old Schools Combination Room. The exhibition accompanied the announcement of the results of the Sport & Academic Performance Report, which demonstrated that undergraduate students who participated in University-level sport performed just as well academically, if not better, than the undergraduate population as a whole (more information about the Report can be found here).
Here are some of my favourite photographs from the project.
1: Trinity College courtryard
2: The Old Schools
3: King's Parade
4: Mathematical Bridge, Clare College
5: Parker's Piece
6: Kettle's Yard
7: Cavendish Laboratory Lecture Theatre
8: Girton College
9: Cavendish Laboratory Museum
10: University Library
11: Museum of Zoology
12: Queen's College
13: Selwyn College Chapel
14: Faculty of Law
A selection of 10 of the photographs can currently be seen in the University Library Tea Room (until the end of May).
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