Julio Cesar Chavez Portrait - Photos by Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing/DAZN - 10/22/19
When I first started this boxing photo journey I hadn't thought about my photo or portrait showing up on a promotional piece. I was just excited to be doing what I loved. A few weeks ago I was asked to take Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's portrait for his bout versus Daniel Jacobs in December. I've take multiple portraits (including boxer portraits for Matchroom/DAZN), but not one specifically meant for a promo banner. The biggest difference taking this portrait was that this time I would be doing everything alone.
Right after the Logan Paul media workout, which took place at Wildcard Boxing in Los Angeles, I spoke with the owners about a spot to set up and take portraits of Chavez Jr., who happens to be one of the boxers they're training. After lugging all the equipment (I only emphasize this because with sandbags it wasn't light by any means) up the stairs I set the backdrop and lighting equipment as quickly as possible. I asked another boxer to be a stand-in for my test shot. A couple minutes later Chavez Jr. showed up. He had been working out at the gym and almost forgot he had to take the portrait. He asked how long the portrait session was going to take. Even though he seemed to be pressed on time he was kind enough to switch back into his trunks for the portrait and was patient the whole session. It took me three minutes to get the portraits I needed.
I attribute my quick session to assisting professionals like Leonard Ortiz (Orange County Register) and Ed Mulholland (HBO Boxing and Matchroom Boxing), who has been a great mentor to me in boxing. Between these two I learned professionalism and efficiency, which helped me get ready for my first solo boxer portrait session.
Looking back I would change two things. 1) A wider backdrop. The backdrop I brought was narrow, 53" inches. For the most part worked perfectly until I asked him to pose with fists on hips on each side as I had seen on another promo. Fortunately this pose was not asked of, but I wanted to get different poses in addition to the norm. 2) Although it gets photoshopped out that crease in the backdrop drives me crazy. It wasn't there when I took the photo of my test subject. I didn't want to mess with it and use up more time with Chavez Jr. Knowing it would be photoshopped I left it as is.
I'm grateful for the time Chavez Jr. gave me and Wildcard Boxing Club for being so accommodating. Also grateful to Matchroom and DAZN for the opportunity.
Portraits taken on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at WIldcard Boxing in Los Angeles, California.
Below are the two portraits used to make the composition portrait in the promo banner.
Shoutout to Javier "La Flare" Santiago for being my stand-in.
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