It’s not everyday you get a chance to photograph a gold medal winning Olympian. Recently I got a call from ‘Hello MXB’ of Belfast asking was I available for a shoot in Dublin? They where shooting a TV advert for a woman’s insurance company and also needed photography for everything from website to magazine ads, to large posters. They also need a behind the scenes (bts) video of the day, it was going to be a busy one.
We arranged a meeting to discuss the style of photography required and the way the video was to be shot. It was only at the meeting that I was told the client was It’s 4 Woman Insurance and the face of the campaign was Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor. I will be honest and say I didn’t know an awful lot about Katie except that when she came back home from the London Olympics it was to a heroes welcome and then some.
There would also be 5 other models / actresses on set requiring similar video and stills photography. Though thankfully no interviews! The casting had been carried out previously by MXB and the production company.
The day of the shoot was an early start, leaving at 5.30 and heading straight to Dublin. When I say straight I mean via Applegreens to get a coffee. I always manage to squeeze a coffee in somewhere. Arriving at the studio the film crew where well underway with their preparations. I had mine to do. The next hour was spent setting up the lighting and backdrop for the photography and in another part of the building we setup the area to do the video interviews with Katie and the director etc.
So, the plan was to shoot video of Katie in makeup, just real candid stuff and then with her on set making the ad. After that I would go on to shoot her stills for the poster and print part of the campaign (same for the other models / actress) then a quick interview. It all sounds very easy, but we had a limited time with Katie as she was due to fly off to a training camp and other engagements.
You’re probably expecting to hear that it turned into a nightmare and Katie was a Diva – well nothing could be further from the truth. Most male boxers are mouthy and all about the show. Katie has both feet planted firmly on the ground, a very softly spoken girl and a dream to photograph. Still I was on my very best behaviour, no cheek from me. I didn’t want to see a right hook coming over the top of the camera, not that I would have seen it after watching her London Olympic video. The one thing I can’t get my head around is the fact that she can get in the boxing ring and stand toe to toe with her opponent. She is just to damn nice.
MXB and the production company did a great job casting the other models / actresses. They all did everything that was asked of them. Makes a massive difference working with professionals as opposed to people that think they are professional! A big thanks to everyone involved.
Anyway we wrapped up about 6.30pm and set sail for home, that was only half of the job done. Next came postproduction on the images and video, but that’s not nearly as interesting as shooting. All said and done it was a great days shoot and I’ll certainly be watching the Rio 2016 Olympics and cheering on one Katie Taylor!
View the behind the scenes video
View the ad for It’s 4 Woman online insurance