The Rugby World Cup 2019, in Japan, has kicked off! As I write this, it’s a rainy Sunday morning in the UK and I’m sat in front of the TV watching England play their opening game against Tonga. How’s that for multi-tasking? Blogging while enjoying my Sunday! It’s been a good game that, by now, I’m sure most of you will know that England won. I played a bit of rugby when I was at school and I’ve always enjoyed watching international rugby. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the players over the years when I was a photography assistant, including England Centre and try-scorer against Tonga, Manu Tuilagi who has scored a couple in the game I’m currently watching.
I was looking through some of my sports images and I haven’t shot any male rugby players yet in my career (but it would be great if any clubs want to get in touch) but I was incredibly lucky to be able to work with the Worcester Valkyries, now Worcester Warriors Women (https://warriors.co.uk/). The Warriors got in touch and were looking for some new images that they could use to promote the team and women’s rugby.
My assistant, Paul, and I headed up to Sixways, the Worcester Warriors training ground and spent the afternoon shooting all of the teams profile shots and also this more dynamic team shot shown below that the Warriors requested in their brief.
One of the highlights of the day for me was meeting Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Clark (image below - sporting a new black eye for her team shot). 2014 Rugby World Cup winner, the most capped player in women’s international rugby history and also the most capped England Rugby player ever. Yep, that’s right EVER! In November 2016 Rochelle surpassed Jason Leonard (114 caps) as the most-capped England player across both genders. ‘Rocky’ made 137 appearances for England and scored 23 tries along the way. Clark retired from rugby last year, in 2018, after an incredible 15-year career with England.
I’m very lucky to meet some of the people I do while doing this job. To shoot ‘Rocky’, despite it being quite brief, was a pleasure. A true professional and an incredible ambassador for the sport of women’s rugby.
I’m sure that if you aren’t interested in rugby one bit then this blog post might have been a little boring for you! I hope you can still appreciate it from a more photographic point of view though even if you don’t connect with the sport. If you still aren’t sold on this week’s blog (you’ve obviously still read it until the end) then I hope you can at least recognise the incredible talents of ‘Rocky’ Clark and appreciate that it’s pretty cool to have shot with this amazing athlete and someone so talented in her field. Well, it was for me anyway!
Anyway, I thought it was a good time to share a little story about this shoot as rugby seems to be everywhere I look at the moment with the 2019 World Cup in full swing.
I wonder what random topic I will be talking about next week. They often just come to me haha! I should have maybe Googled ‘photographers blogs’ or something before starting this back in May. I’m sure most people have some sort of plan. I like to wing it with the blog though. It keeps it interesting for me and also, hopefully, the 7 people out there that read this blog weekly haha! That reminds me! Love you Mum and I will call you tomorrow! She is one of the 7 of you haha!
There’s some technical stuff from the shoot below for the folks who are interested. I hope all ‘7’ of you have an awesome week!
Camera: Canon 5D MK IV
Software: Capture One Pro
Lighting: 5 x Elinchrom Ranger RX S Head
Background: Charcoal Grey
Assistant: Paul Stringer