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12 Jun 2016

Ford WEC Driver Launch

What better way to start a New Year than with a top secret shoot at Greatworth Park, home to Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. The secrecy was due to the four men I was here to shoot. The main 2016 line up for Fords new GT car and their big push to get a Le Mans title back after 50 years absence.

Our shoot took place the day before the big announcement and the place was buzzing with excitement, workmen were putting the finishing touches to the presentation area, engineers were putting the finishing touches to the car. Yes, THE car. Sitting at the back of the garage was a gleaming Ford GT race car. It is not hard to see what all the fuss is about, this is a real beauty and the beast combo.

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But as you can see, my skill in shooting cars leaves a lot to be desired! My skill in shooting people however is a little better, and that’s why I was here.

I was introduced to the drivers one by one and talked over the mood of the shoot with them. Ford wanted dark and moody black and white portraits to contrast with the usual shots of racing drivers looking happy and generally family friendly. We were aiming for a different audience.

Our working area was, well, it was a garage bay, that was in use. Constantly. But using my knowledge of light and how to manipulate it, we were able to replicate an invisible black background for the portraits. Having worked with racing drivers before I knew they all had a great game face. On command they each gave their best moody look to camera, and then usually cracked up afterwards. Not so much blue steel as black thunder!

That was six months ago. And now this weekend the photos are being displayed in the Le Mans hospitality area for all to see, introducing each of the drivers along with some of their racing stats. You can see a selection of them below and the full set over on the Ford GT campaign page.

  • Olivier Pla (FRA)
  • Stephan Mucke (GER)
  • Marino Franchitti (SCO)
  • Andy Priaulx (GBR)

neil

One comment

  1. […] for Ford to complete the set that we had started in the UK the week before, you can read about that here. (Turns out we didn’t *quite* complete the set… that would require a couple more trips […]

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