Test shoot with Valentina @valentina.lyuche
Photographer: Gary McGillivray-Birnie @mcgillivraybirniephotography
Location: Atyrau, Kazakhstan
Lighting: 2 light setups. Using a Profoto medium-deep umbrella and beauty dish.
Abassia is a Swiss athlete, whose father is originally from Algeria, was born 1992 in Zurich and grew up in a small swiss village with her older brother. Ever since she was young she fulfilled her passion for sports with snowboarding, gymnastics, athletics and horse riding. At the age of 16 both her legs had to be amputated below the knee as a result of contraction with bacterial meningitis in 2009. Five years later she began with competitive Para athletics and celebrated her first medal at the Para European Championships 2016 in Grosseto. The second highlight of her young career followed shortly with the 4th place in the 200m final at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Besides athletics, the commerce graduate who's fluent in German, French and English used to work 70% in international sales up until July 2018 and then started her professional sports career besides studying. If you can’t find her on the track or at the gym there’s a high chance that she’s spending time with her friends and family, she likes music and concerts, action sports, good books and loves to travel the world. I am honoured to had the chance to capture this picture, showing her as a beauriful woman.
My Model and Wife Ena is actually not a patient photo model. The photo shootings with her are therefore usually rather short. During this photo shoot, however, we took the time to try a few things. This resulted in a cool series of photos in which she inflated a chewing gum. One of them is this one. I called it "Bubble gum!".
I used natural light only.
Ballet to me is the pure embodiment of elegance and grace. Shooting with a ballet dancer was therefore a long-desired wish that came true with Aleksandra, a young enthusiastic dancer from Zurich. Thanks for the nomination and special thanks to the make up artist @bucher1977 for the amazing styling, which gave this picture the final touch.
This photo was taken in the first rays of the Sun on an almost deserted beach, taking advantage of the sunlight to compose the scene between the model and the horse. Special thanks to model Ketherin for believing in our work and to Haras São Francisco, who provided us with such wonderful horses.
That's my girl and my quarantine model. Her name is Layla. During the Covid when everything is closed but you still want to create something, I decided to play with my dog in front of the camera. She is very addicted to food and this photo is proof of it. It was tough but playful. Now, I guess, she likes my studio space more because she was eating a lot of treats over there.
I love working with fabrics, making dresses, and creating flowing fabric looks with the help of a fan. This day we didn't have assistants to help so the model had to throw the fabrics herself and get her hands in position fast while looking calm and collected - she did an amazing job at it. It took us a few tries but this was the one I had envisioned all along.