Yesterday I drove to the Don Kolov Arena in Mississauga to take photos of the wrestlers at an event for Destiny Wrestling. The photos will be used by the company promoters in future marketing and on posters. I will also share the images with the wrestlers online (see links below). I took the opportunity to hand out business cards like confetti. I suspect that, like confetti, my business cards will also end up on the floor. Ah, well.
On arrival I was directed to a dark corner of the building. After setting up my backdrop and a couple of lights, I put the camera on a tripod and took some test shots using my phone via Bluetooth. Tip: This is a really great way to take selfies. I made adjustments to lock in the shutter speed, ISO and aperture I wanted. And I waited.
Photographing wrestlers getting ready for matches is a little like herding cats. Wrestlers are focused on the task ahead of them and stretching, working on their moves. They have neither time or interest in having photos taken during the pre-match run up. It’s distracting, just when they need to get psyched and ready to rumble.
Which made it a challenge.
I planned around this, arriving an hour and a half before the doors opened. I spent some of that time walking around announcing ‘Promo photos for the posters! Come over and see me by the fire exit!” This worked, encouraging a few to meander in my direction. Others were too preoccupied, and that’s fair enough. They are there to do a job. Me too. I made sure to speak with the promoter and coordinate with him to get all the images he wanted of the wrestlers on the roster. A thumb’s up and a handshake from him, and I knew we were all good.
Time well spent
This one-hour booking turned into a four-hour session, and being in the back of the building I missed all the matches. Event photography 101: Roll with it. In between taking photos of the wrestlers I watched over the shoulders of the I.T. team, on the monitors set up and recording the event from every angle. It was fun to get an inside view of the behind the scenes of an event like this, with routers and monitors and computer systems everywhere. Unlike being ringside with a camera, you don’t run the risk of getting hit by 300 pounds of low flying man-flesh or a chair. So that’s a definite bonus. You have to be quick on your feet, working ringside, for sure.
I am tentatively booked for two more events, one of which I will be back shooting ringside. So I guess it’s time to dust off my dancing shoes and get out of the way during those ladder matches. When you are that close to the action it really comes home just how many things in and around a wrestling ring are airborne at any given time. Including sweat, and other photographers. But that’s all part of the excitement.
Here’s a gallery of some random images from the day, including my own behind-the-scenes of the setup and prep. I think they came out well. Leave a comment below if you agree or disagree. Constructive feedback is always welcome. To see the full collection from this shoot check out the gallery on the photo site. Me?
I look forward to seeing these images on future event posters. And so do the wrestlers.share this with friends: