Cycling Team Photography for Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

Last Friday, I drove up to meet the Rio Grande Cycling Team in Fort Collins, Colorado at none other than the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant in downtown FoCo.  First order of business were rider head shots in front of an iconic painting in the restaurant.  I was after that Fast Company look that’s pretty popular right now, with the background lit in the center and fading as the light moves outwards.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, just look at any cover of Fast Company, they’re all shot in the same exact style.

Once setup was finished, which was made slightly difficult due to the height of the painting off the ground, it was quick work moving through the 8 riders’ portraits.  I had the camera on a tripod on top of one of the 4-top tables and the riders had each of their feet on a chair.  The riders were shot with an elinchrom deep octa softbox and the background was lit with an SB-26 nikon flash.

Then I was requested to shoot a quick (really quick) shot of the whole gang at the bar in team kits with the Rio Grande’s world famous margaritas in hand.  15 minutes for setup and shoot before the restaurant is slated to open at 11?  No problem!  Actually very much a rush, but with some assertive positioning of the riders to ensure we could see all their faces and all of the margaritas AND the team logos – voila!  Lifestyle shot in the can, and it turned out great if I do say so myself.

Grab all the grip equipment and the strobes to clear out of the restaurant in time and we’re off across the street for outdoor team shots against an old wall in town.  Gale force winds turn softboxes into great sails/weapons-of-mass-destruction, so I was very lucky to have Scott Glasscock (Rio Cycling Team Manager) and Ashley Hairgrove (Rio Grande Restaurants, Marketing) as my uber strong light stand holders…not to mention cyclist wranglers, gear haulers and creative assistants!  But the shoot wasn’t over yet – we were packing in as much as possible with 8 riders and 4 hours as we could.  City Park was the next destination, where you’ll notice the freshly trimmed grass (perfect timing Fort Collins, thanks!) and the overhead setup with the Rio Chevy Truck and team car from Ed Carroll VW.

Big thanks to all the guys for hanging out in their cycling kits in the wind and cold and to Ashley and Scott who helped make the day possible.  And of course, to the team for having me as their photographer!  Send them positive vibes as they race the SRAM Tour of The Gila in Silver City, NM this week.