Like his dad Andy Leslie, Otago Rugby legend John Leslie is a product of New Zealand grass roots rugby. I’ve been working with John to create some video assets for LeslieRugby for some time – there’s already an earlier post about shooting stills for his coaching sessions. So when he asked me to do some shots for his new website, I couldn’t be more excited. From early on in the project, it was pretty clear that this was going to be about something bigger than selling team kit and gear like the LeslieRugby ball. This was about feeding dreams.
So in addition to shooting John’s team apparel on Dunedin’s top high school first fifteen players, we thought we’d push the creative envelope a little and make some art-driven pictures, presenting them in a more heroic light, against some grass roots and stadium rugby backgrounds, for use as banner images throughout John’s new website.
For economy, I had the same lighting setup for both product and hero looks: A stripbox and Octabox at each side and slightly to the rear providing rim light, and fill coming from a high softbox in front. Just the ratio changed, being more even for the clothing, but the fill coming down and letting the rim lights dominate for the hero look. That’s John in the green shirt below, wrangling product and players for me.
The studio portion done, it was just a job of finding the right backgrounds to place our heroes into. The players’ tunnel at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr stadium was a no-brainer, but I also found a great shot under the stand to use. Then several local team grounds served for the grass roots environments. Here and there I added some artificial lights and effects to help sell the final composites and cropped them for use as banners on the LeslieRugby site. Now that his new website has launched here, I can share the final results with you too. Meet some grass roots heroes:
It was a fantastic collaboration and an easy one. With John providing great kit and coaching expertise and me providing pictures that will hopefully engage and inspire, we’re both doing something great: feeding a dream.