Gemma Spofforth – World Record Holder in the 100 meter Backstroke and 2- Time Olympian for Great Britain.Â
We originally shot Gemma a few months back for a British lifestyle Magazine called Zest. Right about this time we were working on a project with my agent Luke Lalor in Berlin at Periscope Creative and Dan Jones the in-house producer there shooting a series of Olympic swimmers from different countries. They had produced a successful series with famous soccer players from different countries with the colors/Flags of their home country painted onto them in various ways. Not so much an exact replica of the flag but more an artistic interpretation. Still trying to be faithful enough that the viewer understood and it would be patriotic not offensive.
We began pitching the idea to different Olympians and their agents to see if they were interested and we got a great response back but we found out we should have begun the process (especially for editorial with little to no budget) a year earlier, these athletes were now in the 6 month workout lead up to team trials and the Olympics and did not want to risk any media distractions.Â Some agreed others did not, however it has led to a worldwide process involving all Olympians and multiple photographers in multiple countries shooting athletes around the world. If you know a past, present, or future Olympian that might be interested in taking place in this series have them get in touch with us we may be interested.
Back to my original story. We did the shoot for Zest with Gemma and then pitched her on the idea for this Olympic shoot as well. Our luck is that she came over from England for college a few years ago in good old Gainesville, FL right up the road from us where she swam as a UF Gator and does her Olympic training there full time.Â This meant we would not have to travel across the Atlantic and it was very easy to get her to our studio as she came to town for various reasons quite often.Â
Gemma took about 2 months since we shot her to train undisturbed and get through team trials for London this summer, which she did clenching her spot on the England team for her second Olympics. Gemma is a pretty inspirational character and has had to come back from the loss of her mother and a pretty nasty accident on a bike and still win a spot on the team. Her world record still stands and she is looking very fit for the games this summer. She was a great sport letting us paint her up, dress her up, and even throw water on her. We love working with her and wish her the best in the pool.
Thanks to Kristen Nugent @knmakeupdesigns for her flag painting and great job on the H&M, also to Tammara Kohler @fusedfashion always great. These girls make me look like I know what I am doing dressing women, thank god I know I just need to have them. Once again, Zach and Flipper did a great job throwing the water as well as tolerating a shoot that definitely went longer than plannedâ€¦â€¦