In 2021, with COVID19 still a pandemic in Europe, Team Jumbo-Visma produced all content for its sponsors in-house. I was tasked with assembling a team of three photographers to produce this content during the January training stage in Alicante, Spain. Our extensive shot list included planned photoshoots, lifestyle moments and action photos taken during training rides.
Jumbo-Visma consists of three teams: the men’s World Tour team, the Development Team and the brand-new Ladies Team. Altogether, over 50 riders wear the team’s black and yellow jersey. A major challenge was making sure to capture some lifestyle and action moments of every single rider.
Expert skills this project called for:
content creation for sponsors, setting up commercial shots, working with top athletes,
shooting cycling action, building a studio on location
For these unposed photos of the riders, we joined them on their training ride. The 50 riders split up into four groups, with each of the four photographers joining one group. During training rides we can’t disturb the riders too much, so we need to work with the location and light as we encounter it.
The team’s marketing and sponsor coordinators created a detailed time schedule for the posed shoots. The day was planned down to five minutes, while allowing for some unforeseen events.
I compiled every single briefing for each photographer into a shotlist that they could easily work with. In addition, I briefed each photographer on every sponsor they would shoot for.
We scouted locations for every shoot beforehand. Having also pre-envisioned our photos meant we could produce the deliverables while taking up as little of the riders’ time as possible.
It’s been a huge advantage having an informal and longer term working relationship with many of these riders. I’m a familiar face for them, and they know I work as fast as I can. They also know I try my best to make them look good, and any accidental weird faces in photos won’t see the light of day. Knowing these riders also helps me communicate with them clearly and efficiently.
Briefings from sponsors can be anything from very specific down to individual shots, to a general request. It’s a nice challenge to come up with a style or concept in case of the latter. In all cases, it helps to have a bit of a commercially savvy view on photography. For instance, logos should be clearly visible and the product should of course look good.
Some images required a studio setup. I had my studio transported to Spain in the team’s truck, which I proceeded to use for several commercial shoots and to shoot portraits of every rider. These were composited into group photos by Joeri aka Footygraphic, showing the entire Jumbo-Visma family.