Posted on: 6 August 2012 by FKOTB | Photography
The German (but New York based) photographer Martin Schoeller has been traveling the United States to capture some the the rising stars of the 2012 Olympic Games. Schoeller, who used to work as an assistant for Annie Leibovitz between 1993 and 1996, is now well known for his portraits for magazines such as The New Yorker, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Vogue.
The portraits of three U.S. team members - swimmer Ryan Lochte, gymnast Gabby Douglas and field athlete Lolo Jones - are on three simultaneous covers of TIME Magazine's special olympic issue.
Confident swimmer Ryan Lochte was shot in Florida, May this year. Interesting fact about this photo is that Schoeller had only one hour and a half to shoot the photo and had to use professional divers to lay a black sheet and lights at the bottom of the pool.
Young Gabrielle Douglas (only 16 years old) is shown in the house of her host family in a full split against her family's refrigerator (which apparently is something she does on a daily base). And with success, on August 2nd Gabby won the gold medal in the individual all-around, becoming the first African-American woman and first woman of color to win the event.
Field athlete Lolo Jones was shot in Baton Rouge, L.A. Schoeller said Lolo made him realize how much pressure is on these athletes. In 2008 (Beijing) she finished on the (disappointing) 7th place in the 100-meter race.
A little less surprising are the images he made of field sprint athlete Allyson Felix (also known as 'Chicken Legs') and swimmer Natalie Coughlin. Natsia Liukin was less lucky, since she fell during a qualifying round and did not make it to the games.
ESPN Magazine Body Issue
Beautiful and intriguing is the shoot Schoeller did for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue. It shows paralympics-rower Oksana Masters. Oksana, born in Ukraine, was exposed to a nuclear power plant near her village and had to get her severe deformed legs amputated. How incredibly brave is it for her to show her body without prosthetic in this shoot and show the world her sex appeal.