A couple weeks ago, the founder of a new taekwondo club approached me at the paper. He and an athlete had just come back from their first tournament in Alberta. They had been successful, bring back a medal each from the competition.
I met up with Nathan and John Kempis, his athlete who has only been training in taekwondo for a year.
The studio they practise in was above a gym in the downtown neighbourhood of Riverdale, so after the paper’s deadline on a Friday afternoon, I drove over to the gym.
I was without my strobe kit, as I was in the middle of a move. But I knew that I wanted to do a variety of “action” portraits with the duo.
Luckily, the inside of the gym was like a giant softbox, with window light streaming in from windows on three sides of the gym and from a skylight.
We started off by doing an interview and then transitioned into the photos.
Using different architectural elements, I tried to frame Kempis and Cross in the images. Then we began to test the limits of Kempis’ jump.
He jumped probably almost two dozen times to get the shot that was eventually used on the cover of the Whitehorse Star.
Here are a few more outtakes that I liked.