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Posts tagged ‘ESPN’

Robles Wins at the ESPY’s

A quick update on Anthony Robles.  As some of you may have seen, last night Anthony Robles won the Jimmy V. award for Perseverance, along with best male athlete with a disability for 2011.  Proud does not begin to describe how I feel about him.  To those that read the original blog, you may remember he is a soft spoken, humble athlete that is the person we all dream would win, and once again last night, he did.

Congratulations Anthony….. again

 

Blair Bunting Photographs Bud Selig for ESPN Magazine

If the title is confusing, then you can understand my demeanor on set for this photoshoot.

ESPN recently contacted me to do a photo of Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball.  A man of much importance, I would not have much time with him, but would be able to pre-light a set, so wasn’t all that worried.  Now normally I try and immediately get on the same ground as my subject, as this profession is actually a team sport, though many view it as a one man show. What makes photographer strong is not just his lighting or composition, but his relationship to the subject.  Sure you could go an piss off a celebrity and get the great “angry” photo, but all you will end up doing is destroying any trust you will have on your next photo (if you get one), not to mention making the next photographer’s life miserable since the celeb will still have a bad taste in their mouth.

So when it came time for Mr. Selig, I knew that time was indeed what meant the most to him.  His liaisons informed me before he arrived that I would have 5 minutes with him.  Many think this is rough, but if you look back to the portrait I did of Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor, that was 48 seconds from start to finish.  So when the commissioner arrived, I shook his hand and informed him that I didn’t need him for the full 5 minutes and didn’t want to waste his time.  There was an immediate bond as he knew my intentions for the photo, and that I didn’t want to waste his time with the “just one more photo” routine.

So now for the title of the blog….   After photographing for 3 minutes, Mr. Selig chatted with my father in law and then walked up to me and said, “I just want you to know that you get an A+ for your work today.”  He went on to tell me of a photographer that rubbed him the wrong way the day prior, but that this had made it all up.

With that, let me emphasize one of the most important things that has to be on set for a successful photoshoot….. respect.

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Blair Bunting Photographs Blaine Gabbert for ESPN Magazine

As many know, Arizona is a bit on the hot side during the summers.  In the past I have had photoshoots that saw people near passing out on set from the heat alone.  However, during a couple months of the year (including our current month) photographing outside in AZ is an absolute dream.  Seventy degrees, light breeze, and sun, absolutely perfect photographing weather.  So when ESPN called me a few weeks back to photograph quarterback Blaine Gabbert, photographing outside was a must.

Adding to the beautiful weather was the great personality that Blaine has.  An easy going mid-western guy, he and I spent more time talking about fishing than we did photographing.  To say that he is obsessed with this past time is an understatement, as he brought his fishing rods to set and his friend (and fishing partner) Christian Ponder so that they could head to the lake straight from the photoshoot.

In all, it took very few photos to capture the images needed for the article and with the cooperation of the sun, this was one of those photoshoots that feels more like a lounge day than work.

Thank you, and good luck Blaine

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Congratulations Anthony Robles!!

Wanted to make a quick post today to say congrats to one of the most humble guys I have photographed.  Anthony has been an overnight news sensation after winning the NCAA wrestling championship, and did I mention he has but one leg?

Inspirational in every form of the word, Anthony is well deserving of such an honor.

Again, Congratulations!


NASCAR dropouts

A little while ago ESPN called and asked me to photograph a story about a NASCAR team that doesn’t race.  The team, Prism Motorsports, merely shows up to the track, does a couple laps and quits.  After they do their required laps, they pack up, and get their check from NASCAR, profiting by minimizing their on track expenses (tires and fuel). Hated by the rest of the teams and fans, when I asked where I could find Prism Motorsports‘ pits, I received the response, “in the parking lot, where they belong.”  The Tennessee gentleman that told me this wasn’t kidding….

So with that, the assignment was to photograph an action shot of a parked car….. in a parking lot…..

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Video game dreams shattered by the MLB

As all bored youths are, I too was a video gamer from a young age.  Starting with the likes of Mortal Kombat and GoldenEye 007, I moved up the ladder to Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.  So it was on this clout that I based my virtual self image, and would state myself as a competent gamer.  Playing Xbox 360 or Wii in my spare time is rather common, and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t stayed up till the early hours of the morning with my assistant trying to achieve pro status in golf on Wii Sports.  After all I am your average 26 year old, that just travels a little more than others.

It is with this background that we proceed closer to the now.  Last week I got a call from ESPN asking if I would be interested in photographing Heath Bell, of the San Diego Padres, playing Wii Fit for an article in their upcoming issue.  I have to say that I was worried, but not about the images, or players, but about whether or not I would be able to photograph and resist hopping in on pick-up games.  Delightfully I OK’d the photoshoot, and boxed up my Wii console, for I needed the veritable “home field advantage” (what a delightful pun you say), and off to Padres field where I would set up in the locker room.

Enter Heath Bell, 6 foot 2 inch, 240 pound monster that throws in the upper 90’s and takes no prisoners when it comes to Wii.  With a chip on his shoulder since learning or David Eckstein’s Wii Fit records, Bell was here to do some damage. Seeing as he is a bit taller than me and has over 100 pounds on me, I guess I should be grateful that video games were the chosen platform of such competition.

In a fateful move I picked up my Wii mote and challenged him to a tennis match with warning that I had played a few times before…… and he kicked my ass

I challenged him to a game of Downhill Ski Jumping, less experience on my side, but a bit of a balance advantage…… and he kicked my ass

With that I pulled out the trump card and challenged him to bowling…… and he kicked my ass (destroyed my dreams, and sent me home feeling like a little girl)

….

Yeah, I got the photo, so what, my dreams are shattered and now I must find a video game that I am good at…………. damn MLB players

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