Advanced Studio Practice 2B: Shoot: Dwain

3rd April 2015


The aim of this shoot was to photograph Dwain in one of his most common, and favourite places – the gym. He describes it as his ‘second home’. He trains here for many hours every week, and he teaches children gymnastics here. It is also important to him because he trains towards his career in this place – which is to become a professional free runner. This is his ‘base’ and also a place where he is part of a community and has a lot of friends here, it is his comfort zone. As he has grown up here from his early teens to the present, and this has shaped him as a person – in his philosophy in life, his outlook and the way he views obstacles. I think this is quite telling of him as a person. He has a strong determination but also loves to have a laugh.

Photographically, the lighting was quite challenging in here and I had to bump up my settings. However it was a really interesting space to photograph because of the dynamics, and because of how the space is used by Dwain and the others guys he trains with. I wanted to get some images where it just was a straight on shot of Dwain, with the gym all in the background. I also wanted to get a few actions shots. The reason being to show him stationary, and get a portrait with the background as context, but also getting him doing what he loves to do and is a part of him – move!

I feel this shoot was really interesting – seeing how places are important to people and why. How a place can be such a big part of someone’s life, in their past but also towards their future. I managed to capture a few different expressions from Dwain, depending on the situation. Some of the ones I think work the best for this project are the ones on the bars upside down (showing his fun/active nature), the one where the light is shining on his face as he climbs the roof (showing the extreme expression on his face), the ones where he is stood looking at the camera with the gym in the background, the ones where he is balanced on the bars (showing concentration and skill!), the one where he is lent on the horse and talking to his friend (although it is out of focus it shows his concentration and thought process behind the jump and how he will overcome it) and the last few again where he is stood with the gym behind him.

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