March 2021 // The Senior Edition

Creating Dramatic Athlete Portraits | Matt Hernandez

It’s rare that someone figures out what they are going to do for a living in middle school, but I did. Ever since I used to design Nike shoes in history class instead of paying attention to my teacher, I loved two things: art and sports. Luckily, I actually had some natural talent in one of those areas… and it wasn’t athletics. So, I picked the next best thing to playing, in my opinion anyway, and decided I wanted to be a graphic artist in the sports industry. After 7 years of doing that professionally, I moved back to my home town with hopes of starting my own business. At the time, I had no idea it would develop into a photography business and not the graphic design I thought it would be. It all started on a whim when I bought a Nikon D90 and took some action shots at a 7th grade football game. I fell in love immediately and here I am 10 years later still doing it! I love photography and will accept a job to take photos of just about anything (other than weddings!), but if you follow my work you can see my true passion still lies with photographing athletes. My love for sports gave me an advantage over shooting other types of photography because I was familiar with how athletes move and the nuances of different sports. I tend to carry myself in a somewhat serious manner, although it’s really unintentional, which is similar to an athlete’s demeanor around game time. I think this helps convey to my clients how I want them to perform during their shoot. It can be fun to show an athlete’s personality if they are a happy-go-lucky type of person, but more often than not, I gravitate to a more serious look with my athletes for a couple of reasons. One, it lends itself to my dramatic lighting style which tends to mimic stadium lighting. Two, I like to portray intensity in my images that lends itself to serious completion. When people hire me, they do it for a reason. 100% of the time it’s for that dark, dramatic, serious style I love using for my athletes. Here are some of the main tips I recommend if you ever want to try and shoot in a similar style.

Powered by