Photographing Super Rugby Players

Professionalphotos was commissioned to photograph key players in the Super Rugby League for a sponsor ad campaign. These are some of the best rugby players in New Zealand and perhaps the world. Also some of the players are in the New Zealand National Rugby Team, the All Blacks.


There were a selection of players from each of the major teams and the photoshoot was to take place over 4 different locations over three days. The brief called for a consistent look to all of the photographs which would present a problem because each of the different locations we were to photograph at had it’s own type of lighting. The only way to get a consistent look in outdoor and indoor venues, was to use shutterspeed and flash units to overcome all ambient lighting and to rely solely on the lighting I would create.

A contact sheet of a selection of Super Rugby players

Here is one of the contact sheets with selected photos.

Another main limitation was that I would have each player for no more than 10 minutes. This meant that I had to have the lighting completely sorted before the players arrived.

I set up the green screen and the lighting was kept simple so that there would not be alot to modify once we got to taking photographs. There were art directors, makeup artists and stylists all on set and at one stage I had some people holding the backdrop to stop it from blowing away as we were outdoors and it was windy.

Ideally I would have liked to use a 2.7 meter backdrop and extra lighting units to get the background an even shade of green. With our time limits and the fact that we were driving to different locations meant that the lighting and the background needed to be portable and also needed to fit into smaller places.

a closeup photo of an Auckland Blues jersey

A detail photo of the green screen with an x indicator where to stand

The photoshoot went well and all of the players bar one were exceptional and easy to work with. As a photographer dealing with people in the lime light, occasionally you will encounter difficult personalities and that is when your professionalism is needed the most.

Super-Rugby-players-second final

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