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Everything is Energy

Helen Mildmay-White: Team London Fashion and Portrait

Team led by Sharon O’Neill and John Wright

Project Essay:

This series of images depict how the human body manifests energy. I chose to photograph boxers due to the very physical nature of the sport and the fact that, to me, boxers seem like a coiled spring, about to release a burst of energy in the form of a series of punches.

The subjects of my images are all amateur boxers from London boxing gyms, who compete regularly in competitions throughout the UK. Several different weight classes of boxers are represented in these images from light welterweight to heavyweight. These subjects show how the different weight classes of boxing manifest energy differently, by their physique and their presence.

Creative Brief (presented at the start of the project as a mood board with images):

I would like to do a studio-based shoot, exploring the idea of physical energy as expressed by athletes, sportsmen and dancers.

I plan to use quite hard lighting to show off the muscles and contours of these athletes. This will also pick up the sweat on the athletes’ bodies, adding to the sense of physicality and energy. I will possibly also experiment with using slower shutter speeds to give a sense of movement and energy.

Poses will depend on the sport that the athlete is representing, and will be quite specific to that sport. I think it would work best to have the athletes as close to nude as possible, so that clothing doesn’t get in the way of the natural lines of their body. I will use little or no make-up on the athletes, but perhaps some water or glycerine spray to mimic sweat if needed

To find the subjects I need for this project, I will have to contact them through the places where they train. I think that boxers would work well, and there are a couple if gyms I could approach, All Stars Gym in west London and Ringtone in Euston are two that I know of. To find dancers, I thought I could approach dance studios such as Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden.

I think that the images would work best in black and white, or perhaps very de-saturated, as this will focus the viewer’s attention on the poses and physicality of the subjects rather than unnecessary distractions of color and so on. For this reason, I will probably shoot the subjects against quite a neutral grey background.

“Karol Ozimkowski, light-middleweight”
All images in this article © Helen Mildmay-White

“James Woodward, light welterweight”

“Karol Ozimkowski, light-middleweight”

“Jermaine Kelly, heavyweight”

For more about Helen Mildmay-White and her photography, visit her Web site: