Fitness Shoot with Josh Demelo and Tania

I’ve worked with personal trainer Josh Demelo many times before and this Sunday we teamed up again to photograph his fitness client Tania. In addition to the killer fitness images we got, Josh made a short video of the session. Josh always brings me the best clients. Thanks to ShowTyme Fitness for hosting the photoshoot.

Tania posing in front of a feature wall.

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography

Aerial Silks with Suzy & Dustina

I had to opportunity to work with two of the instructors from The Pole House, located in the same building as my studio. Suzy is a pole dance instructor and Dustina is an aerial instructor. Both ladies were really talented and this way my first attempt at shooting aerial silks so I stayed with a pretty safe lighting scheme. Afterward we broke out the fog machine for some more dramatic images. I think we got some good pictures. Thanks to Wendy for assisting that night.

Inverted Splits

Great flexibility and strength

A simple shape makes for great lines

- London Dance Photo - I am Mark Ruddick, an experienced photographer working in London, ON. I enjoy photographing dancers and really appreciate the athleticism and artistry involved. Coming from a fight photography background, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly moving subjects at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to capture my subjects at the peak of their motion in an artistic way.

Let me capture the photos that move you.

Athletic Nudes with Rachel

I had a great time photographing Rachel who is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner and a butcher. Her fight name almost writes itself. We got lots of good pictures and she was in really nice shape. Abs were brought out and photographed.

Thanks to my latest Fanshawe student Lisa for helping out.

Showing core strength

Flexibility

Great back and lats

- The Athletic Implied Nudes series is an exploration of the human body under muscle stress— understanding the body’s strength, flexibility, and power. Clean backgrounds, hard lighting, and black & white photography work together to eliminate distractions and highlight the muscle groups and figure of my subjects.

Beginning with Mixed Martial Artists and Boxers, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly firing muscle groups at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to freeze my subjects at the peak of their motion. Discovering a better understanding of the human form with this project has transitioned into my commercial fitness work, maximizing composition and positioning to best showcase the human form.

Why I Assist Photographers

In the world of photography, assisting has been a time-honoured tradition to gather skills and contacts. It’s a smart move as you can learn a lot from a senior photographer. I also assist with less experienced photographers for a variety of reasons. In this post I’d like to get into my reasons for assisting. The local college has a 30 hour field placement requirement for their photography program. I’ve worked with six of their students in the last year and a half, student number seven starts soon, and it leads me to think about the importance of assisting.

You Can Learn a lot About Photography

An experienced photographer will teach you a lot on a shoot if you just keep your eyes open. From their setup to client interaction to workflow, there’s always something to see and incorporate into your work. I will sometimes make notes during the down time on interesting tips or tricks. Assisting allows you to see different genres of photography you might not do yourself, opening up new ideas for projects and business.

Even shooting with a less experienced photographer can give you insights into new ideas and techniques. Sometimes watching what goes wrong (and trying to help it not to) can provide valuable information that you can take back to your workflow.

Assisting allows you to step back and see the entire set for many different angles that you might not see as the photographer.

Humility is a Good Thing

There are many unglamorous jobs assisting such as getting food or coffee, cleaning the studio floor before the shoot and before anyone gets to the set. Choirs will not sing your praises for setting up the lights, or fanning a large piece of cardboard to move the model’s hair. That’s okay I’m there to learn, not be the star. Doing the menial task keeps you humble and that’s a good thing because as a photographer sometimes ego can get in the way of trying something new.

Meet New and Exciting People

It’s always a good idea to expand the people you know in the photography world. You can meet hair and makeup people, models, stylists, other assistants, photographers and clients. A lot of people have different skills than you. You never know when you might need someone last minute or if they need a photographer. (Please do not try and poach clients, it’s wrong)

It’s a lot of Fun

Assisting can be a lot of fun; everyone pulling together for a common goal, to achieve someone’s vision. I like hanging out with photographers and assisting is a great way to get to know them. Even long days are good when you’re sitting at a restaurant going through the day’s images. A major goal of mine is to make sure my set / studio is a fun, happy experience. As an assistant, I strive for the same fun energy. It’s nice occasionally to work at photography for a day and then go home with no editing required at night. (Same for second shooting a wedding.)

Thoughts on How to be a Good Assistant

  • Be early. If you’re on time, you’re late

  • If you notice something simple wrong, fix it

  • Ask how to dress for the shoot and then do it

  • Don’t hand out your business card at the shoot

  • No job is beneath you, unless you’re on a ladder

  • Debrief with the photographer after the shoot is done. Ask questions about what you did, what you saw

  • Have a positive attitude. There is nothing worse than an assistant who doesn’t have a passion for the work (photography - not getting the coffee)

Photo Session with Canadian Olympian Kristen Bujnowski

Canadian Olympic bobsleigher Kristen Bujnowski needed images for promotion and sponsors. She came into the studio and we figured out the plan to get her the images she needed. In addition to being a world class athlete Kristen is also a mechanical engineer. It was a really treat to work with her. We captured a bunch of sponsor images and other promotional pictures. Below are a few of the images we made.

Makeup: Faces by Abie

Canadian Olympic Bobsleigher Kristen Bujnowski

Bobsleighs can travel at 140+ km/h, notice the scrapes on the helmet?

In her speed suit and spikes

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography

Athletic Nudes with Sonny

I had put out a call for participants in my Athletic Nude series and Sonny responded. He said he was moving to London the next week for a job. Little did either of us know at the time his job was in the same building as my studio, so that was a really funny coincidence. We only had a very short time to shoot but I think we will set up a part two of this shoot for the series.

Showing the core thickness

We always start with a good back shot.

Using side light to highlight the physique.

Full body picture.

Stretching out to show the hamstrings

Great way to display the shoulder thickness

Great way to display the shoulder thickness

- The Athletic Implied Nudes series is an exploration of the human body under muscle stress— understanding the body’s strength, flexibility, and power. Clean backgrounds, hard lighting, and black & white photography work together to eliminate distractions and highlight the muscle groups and figure of my subjects.

Beginning with Mixed Martial Artists and Boxers, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly firing muscle groups at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to freeze my subjects at the peak of their motion. Discovering a better understanding of the human form with this project has transitioned into my commercial fitness work, maximizing composition and positioning to best showcase the human form.

Dance Photos with Emma

I got to work with Emma earlier this month. She’s a talented contemporary dance and in her own words “Likes to jump” We did a few different dance sets and got some really solid images. Here are some of my favourites.

Single light with hard shadow.

Jump with no shadow

Last Jump

Showing off her back muscles.

Fierce

- London Dance Photo - I am Mark Ruddick, an experienced photographer working in London, ON. I enjoy photographing dancers and really appreciate the athleticism and artistry involved. Coming from a fight photography background, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly moving subjects at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to capture my subjects at the peak of their motion in an artistic way.

Let me capture the photos that move you.


Ontario Muscle Contest Winner Nadia

Last Fall Ontario Muscle and Mark Ruddick Photography ran a free photo shoot contest. Our winner was Nadia (@ironcurlsandcurlingirons) We held on to the images for a submission and can now release them.

Nadia was great to work with and is in year-round top shape.

Photo assistant: Clayton Durell
Makeup: Melissa O Makeup

Posing in heels

Great hair in this image

Flexing top to bottom

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography

Fitness Shoot with Adrienne

Late last year fitness competitor Adrienne came to the studio for her second shoot with me. She had really added to her physique in the 18 months between the shoots and looked absolutely fantastic. She added a lot of muscle and definition. We got some great images and had a good time.

Hair: Jessica Marie Hairstyling
Makeup: Melissa O Makeup

Showing off biceps and core

Everyone loves deadlifts

Leg raises to bring out the abs

Leg extensions for quads, but don’t miss her delts.

We also did some softer looks.

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography

Last Shoot of 2018 with Decathlete Josh Mather

The last shoot of 2018 was with Decathlete Josh Mather and photographer Howard Adams. Howie had set up the shoot so we could team up and do some sports portraiture together. Howie is the go to guy in London for any track & field photography. Josh is a great athlete and is going to Rutgers University next year on an athletic scholarship. We did some action shots and some portrait work.

I was pleased overall how the pictures turned out and I learned a lot from Howie about timing and positioning for track & field events.

It was good to get out of the house and into the studio after 5 days of being sick in bed. Thanks to super assistant Wendy for her help, I needed it.

We started with long jump.

From the end of the pit.

Then we played with the Javelin and some fog.

Side lit to show off shape

We finished up with some standard portrait work.

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography

Dance Photoshoot with Nicolette and Claire

Dancers Nicolette and Claire came to the studio to help me test out some new lighting. I was playing around with the strobe setting on my speedlights to capture multiple images on the same exposure. The ladies were talented dancers and provided some great poses for testing. I was pretty pleased with the test, but I definitely have some work to do. Afterwards we shot a few poses with more conventional lighting. Thanks to my Fanshawe work placement student, Clayton Durrell, for assisting during the shoot and for acting as a manual rear curtain flash on the one image.

2 dancers, 8 flashes

Strobe with rear-curtain flash

A simple skirt drop makes this lovely image.

Simple stretch en pointe.

I like how quiet this image is.

- London Dance Photo - I am Mark Ruddick, an experienced photographer working in London, ON. I enjoy photographing dancers and really appreciate the athleticism and artistry involved. Coming from a fight photography background, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly moving subjects at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to capture my subjects at the peak of their motion in an artistic way.

Let me capture the photos that move you.


Fitness Photoshoto with Demelo Fitness and Julia

Demelo Fitness invited me to photograph his fitness client Julia at Showtyme Fitness. Josh’s client always come to a shoot prepare, in shape and with a great attitude. They are across the board positive and engaged in the process. We got some great on location images during the shoot.

Thanks to my Fanshawe placement student Jessica Hernandez for assisting.

Showing off the triceps with a pull down.

Abs after some much appreciated carbs during the shoot.

Great choice in wardrobe for showing off the arms

Josh Demelo proud of the abs

Staring down the competition.

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography

- DEMELO FITNESS personal training is managed by Joshua DeMelo - a London native. He has a background in competitive bodybuilding, having placed 2nd in his first competition. He is moving on to the provincial level in 2017. Josh is also certified by the Canadian Personal Training Network and also has worked with some of the TOP coaches in the fitness industry. 

Pointe Tango in the Studio

Alex and Erin from Pointe Tango dropped by the studio a couple of weeks ago to play around with a few concepts. (Thanks guys) They are outstanding professional dancers who travel the world. I can’t wait to see their new show in 2019.

We started off with photographing Erin in her pointe & tango shoes.

Many shoes and many different poses.

Erin had a million different poses for these pictures.

Next we moved into some motion lifts. Alex is catching Erin in full jump.

Alex showing off all of his gym work with a one arm press of Erin.

- London Dance Photo - I am Mark Ruddick, an experienced photographer working in London, ON. I enjoy photographing dancers and really appreciate the athleticism and artistry involved. Coming from a fight photography background, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly moving subjects at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to capture my subjects at the peak of their motion in an artistic way.

Let me capture the photos that move you.

- Pointe Tango - is a new dance company directed by Alexander Richardson and features dancers Erin Scott-Kafadar and Alexander Richardson.  This contemporary company uses elements of Argentine Tango and Classical Ballet to explore a new dance vocabulary based on connection, improvisation and intention.

Athletic Nudes with Tanya

Physique competitor Tanya came to the studio to take part in the Athletic Nude series. She had incredibly dense muscles that showed perfectly on camera. We did a lot of powerful poses to show off the different muscle groups. She was a real pleasure to photograph.

Back and leg flex

Rear Double Bicep

Back and shoulders

- The Athletic Implied Nudes series is an exploration of the human body under muscle stress— understanding the body’s strength, flexibility, and power. Clean backgrounds, hard lighting, and black & white photography work together to eliminate distractions and highlight the muscle groups and figure of my subjects.

Beginning with Mixed Martial Artists and Boxers, I have developed my technique to capture rapidly firing muscle groups at high speed in front of the lens. The resulting instinct for timing fight photography has lead to an ability to freeze my subjects at the peak of their motion. Discovering a better understanding of the human form with this project has transitioned into my commercial fitness work, maximizing composition and positioning to best showcase the human form.

Pinup Shoot with April

International model April Hutchinson and I have been wanting to shoot again for a while and finally found the time. We did a couple of quick set, because when you work with a good model you only need a short time. Including her fight April and I have probably shot together 7 or 8 times now. Here are the edited images from the shoot.

Playing around with the new ceiling mount in the studio.

Getting dressed into bunker gear.

- Mark Ruddick Photography is a full service London, Ontario photographer who specializes in fitness, bodybuilding and fight photography