I just got back from a long weekend working at the 2014 Emerald Cup Bodybuilding Championships. This year was the biggest I've ever seen the show. Two full, packed, intense days of production with standing room only crowds.
That said, walking into the venue I thought that I probably wouldn't take any photos this year. I've photographed behind the scenes at this show so many times that I felt like, "been there, done that." I already know the angles I'm limited to. I know what to expect from the athletes. I know what sort-of works and what doesn't. So I set a goal this year to look for reflections, but that quickly went out the door when I remembered that everything backstage is matte black.
Then I was reminded of a blog post or two from Chase Jarvis. He's consistently mentored that a true artist doesn't wait for inspiration. They do the hard work of pushing through uninspired times. That's where I was at this year - uninspired. There was no loss in failure. After all, no one was paying me to capture photojournalist worthy moments. I was doing this for me. So the challenge to myself was pushing though.
There are a couple pictures I really like below and a few that I feel captured a photojournalism zeitgeist, but aren't necessarily my most beautifully crafted work. Without words, sometimes I like to let the photos fill in the gaps in the story. So let's start with the men's competition...
The Atlas Brothers, Sam and Steve, were back this year to do their tandem acts of strength. While I was playing back their music during rehearsal I went up on stage and captured a few moments.
Of course, the women's competitions were intense and we even had a pro physique class this year. Ten years ago who would have guessed that women would have dominated physique competitions? The promoters had to add an extra day onto the show just to handle all of them!
...and then it was all over. This shot was obligatory to show my film poster, nothing more. I should have made the poster bigger, after all this is a bodybuilding competition. Bigger is better, right?