Photographing a Downhill Mountain Bike Rider - Ryan Cowan - Photographer

Photographing Downhill Mountain Bike Rider Samuel Morris.

Rider: Samuel Morris

Sam Morris is a talented rider with an obvious love for speed and catching air from any lump of dirt large enough to launch himself from.

We had great fun creating some images together in Badbury hill-side forest.

Action Sports​ Photographer in the UK

Aside from having to walk up and down the hillside with all my gear, this was a fairly easy shoot to carry out.


I prefer not to pose people in stationary positions but rather catch them in motion, concentrating on their own efforts rather than the camera. This way I´m also able to see both their muscles and their minds engaged in the activity which to me is far more authentic.

That said, the subject does need to be fit and skilled enough to perform confidently. 

The last thing you want is to put your talent under pressure to keep performing, opening them up to mistakes or accidents because they´re tired.


In this case, the talent ( Sam ) was proficiently skilled and physically fit. There few shots that don´t require several attempts to line up and practice timing, so he had to have enough strength and energy to hit the run repeatedly.

Fortunately, this was fun for Sam.


Action Sports​ Photographer in the UK
Rider: Samuel Morris

What I hadn´t considered was my own physical exertion!

Now I´m a pretty active and fit person, but lugging even one lighting stand, camera and backpack up/down & across a hillside for a few hours took a lot more out of me than I had anticipated.

It wasn´t a health risk, but damn was I desperate for my car seat and a bottle of water when I got back to the car.

If you´re planning to do a shoot like this yourself, I hope this serves as a reminder to pace yourself and take some water with you.


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