“The Modern Voice of Classic Elegance”
This shoot took place in Repton Boxing club, London, a real down and out training ring with real character and heart. “No Guts No Glory” is at the core of this club and it shows too.
This shoot “plays upon the theme of two sharp-dressed east London ‘firms’ pitting their champs against one another! Tailoring and contenders – the mood’s a little bit Savile Row, a tad squabble and row. “
The experience of assisting on an editorial was amazing. I got to learn how all the different elements of a shoot is brought together to create the final outcome. Assisting is hard work and you have to be on your feet. You have to anticipate the photographers every move, be ready with the next piece of equipment without him even asking for it. You have to be ready to step up to the plate. One prime example of this was on this particular shoot. Only one boxer turned up, so the shoot was going to fail at the first hurdle. We got on with getting the shots that didn’t require the boxer and the shots that only required one boxer (see final shots below), but one of the main shots was two boxers fighting, to help complete the whole feel of the story.
To maintain the authenticity of the fight, we needed another boxer that was in the same weight category as Duds (who was also great to work with). The production manager was on his phone, hunting down a boxer, even one of the models knew of some boxing friends, but none were able to step in. Then all eyes fell on me….yes me! I stood there not quite registering what everyone was thinking, but then it clicked. I was the same weight, build, height and probably the only one willing to get half naked. I shrugged my shoulders and thought why the hell not. You only to get one chance! So the kit was off and the shorts and gloves (and make-up…thanks Piero) were on.
Stepping in the ring, was to say the least, a bit daunting. I didn’t even get a chance to warm up. Dudds was in training and having watched him demolish a punch bag, I wanted to throw the towel in there and then. I didn’t even get to throw my first punch and I was already on the ground knocked out…..well actually I was instructed by Andy as the first shot he wanted was of the losing boxer KO’ed! That bit was easy…just lie there and try not to smile/laugh.
The next shot was an action shot. I was up for a bit of gentle sparring, but the production manager, for health and safety reasons (or the certainty that I would have been hospitalised) was having none of it. So we repeated the same move over and over until Andy was happy with the shot. The full article can be read here.
It was a great day and we got to do it all again the next day in the London Palladium for a different story, but that’s for another post.
Big thanks go to Andy Barnham, Rosco Productions, Lee Martland, Piero, Esther Quek and her assistants, NEXT Models, Eden Cai and Duds.
Hope you enjoy the video and the photographs! (All Photographs © Andy Barnham | Video courtesy of Eden Cai.)