Behind the Scenes: The Essence of an Ironman

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My BTS videos are always FREE, but be sure to enroll in the course for a one-time fee and get access to:

  • Gear List – see what I used to get the shot!
  • Image Gallery – see the final results of the BTS video!
  • Lighting Diagrams (PDF) – See EXACTLY how I lit, composed, and captured the images including light placements, modifier selections, and camera settings!
  • Pro Tips – Get exclusive insights from me on how I approach, light, compose, and capture my images.


The Essence of an Ironman project was a collaboration between longtime friend and Ironman Champion Matt Hanson. Matt is incredibly cerebral, and that intelligence translates into how he mentally prepares for and approaches a grueling sport like the Ironman triathlon. I wanted to focus on that mental toughness and the thought process that accompanies each phase of the swim, bike, and run individually. So much of triathlon photography is focused on the athlete in some crazy environment and the locations becomes as much a part of the story as the athletes themselves. To contrast this starkly, I wanted to strip the location away entirely and focus only on the athlete. The mental preparation and the actual activity of engaging in swimming, cycling, and running. To do this, I used my two light, all white setup that I’ve used many times before in different ways along with getting creative with the morning sun in a pool and using some white background paper where necessary. But, all of these looks were accomplished simply to create a seamless, tied together experience for the viewer of the project. It was also photographed over the course of a few hours one morning and all of these techniques are easy to replicate by YOU!



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