I recently had the opportunity to work with Toyo Tires on their new “I Am Driven To Perform” campaign, which features the MMA fighters of Team Toyo. After shooting Anthony “Showtime” Pettis at the BAJA 500 (full video to be released later this week), we re-connected with both him and a good friend, Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett at CSW Gym in Brea.
The campaign called for dramatically lit photography of the fighters in action along with a few portraits. Armed with my trusty Canon 7D (which may have been the last shoot for it – 5D MKIII on order), some Kino Flo lights for fill, Pocket Wizards and an Einstein I was able to set-up a scene inside the cage for the fighters to work in.
Anthony is known for his kick heard around the world also known as the “Showtime Kick,” in which he delivered to Benson Henderson to defeat him in his last match in the WEC. This highly athletic move consists of him running onto the cage itself and propelling himself of it to deliver a devastating kick. A high-speed sequence was captured and later the team brought the RAW images into Photoshop to create a single scene. This final image will be used for a poster along with a large 10 foot by 20 foot banner at the UFC Fan Expo this weekend in Las Vegas. Next up was Josh and despite a broken hand he was able to put together a few variations of combos from a knee strike to uppercut and knee to high kick. Toyo decided to showcase his vicious uppercut in the final version of the poster. Not to be out done, Josh also did his version of a “Showtime knee” off the cage, which I might add did look pretty good.
After the hero shots were taken I sat the fighters down and captured them with their new Toyo “I Am Driven To Perform” compression shirts. My goal was to make them look larger than life (and in Josh’s case at 6’3″ wasn’t hard to do). Below are some of the final stills from the shoot.
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