Recently, I have had a few opportunities to take action portraits of people doing what they love best. In this case … offroad riding. I had no idea that I would enjoy this type of photography and always thought of it as very complex, time consuming and technical. But I was wrong and I pleasantly found that action, or sport if you prefer, portraits challenges both my creativity and technical skills as a photographer allowing me to show my subject at their best in their element.
I had a sneak preview of the upcoming XC race held at Chicopee, in Kitchener, Ontario and was invited by Ron Golden of Motomotion to ride with a group of established riders. I not only jumped at the chance to ride my KTM 200 but I also wanted to stake out some cool areas to take action shots of racers next weekend. I have been wanting to have a sport portrait photo session for a while and this was the perfect opportunity.
Overall, I am stoked with the pictures I took but not so stoked at the way I rode the technical sections of the course. I have not been able to do a lot of riding over the last five years (I can count them on both hands) and I believe I have been spoiled by both the Ganaraska and Simcoe Country Forests for their sweet flowing singletrack. I am a whiz on that but had an eye opening, and embarassing (yes…I have an ego) technical faux pas in the uphill sections of the course reserved for the pros.
Sizzle! Hot off the press – Ron Golden of Motomotion, in collaboration with KTM Canada, have chosen my photo of XC number one plate holder Josh Long as a background picture to this uber cool award plaque. This is one sweet looking award which if I were racing I know I would work extra hard to be able to land one and proudly hang on my wall. Congrats to Motomotion and their graphic artist for the creation of the award and poster. Job well done!
A few weeks ago after the Burnt River XC race KTM and APEX backed rider Josh and myself headed out for a photoshoot session. Riding with blistered hands and broken toes Josh was a complete pro and was super easy to work with. Josh busted out some sick riding moves, and even caught me off guard a few times as he litterally flew over my head. Knowing ahead of time what the photos were going to be used for helped me in directing Josh. Forty-five minutes later, the photoshoot was a wrap and Josh hurried back to the awards ceremony for his podium finish. Not bad day for a guy riding with a few broken toes.
It was a treat to shoot a gifted rider and a bigger treat for me to see my work on this 12×15″ award plaque and promotional poster approved by KTM Canada. Shooting one on one really taps into one’s creativity and I relished at this opportunity. At the end, I was very happy with the shoot and showed my potential photos with confidence.
Mark Sunday, August 26th down on your calendars for a XC race that you won’t want to miss. Bring your family and kids as there will be a host of activities for every age group – think bouncy castles for the wee ones, peewee races and more. My husband will be bringing our two young children and I am excited to show them how family orientated the wonderful world of offroad racing is. Plus, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Rick Hanson Foundation – another uber cool detail about this event.
I look forward to being the Chicopee official photographer. A huge title and I am honoured to be able to wear it. See you in a few weeks at the races and don’t forget to smile and style it for the camera! Thanks to Ron Golden and his hard working crew for putting this entire event and idea together.
Cecile Gambin Photography is open, taking bookings and is practicing COVID-19 safety measures during this unprecedented time.