Capturing the Sporting Life
For close to four decades, Sporting Life has reigned as being one of Canada’s top sporting goods’ retailers, offering the quality and luxury that can only be attained through a carefully-curated product catalogue and expertly-handled corporate image.
It was July, and the retailer had been on my mind and in the news, with the much anticipated flagship store set to open in Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto in just a few short months. Hence, when the call came through S-Media confirming there was an opportunity to take part in a fashion-photography shoot for the brand, I jumped at it.
Although I had done extensive work photographing athletes in their element, the Sporting Life shoot, whose final images would be used in magazines, billboards and in-store displays, was my first foray into the world of commercial fashion.
Shooting beauty in Saas Fee
Many companies would try to mimic the look of outdoors using green-screens in the studio, we were going to one of the most beautiful natural environments on earth – the Swiss Alps. The Saas Fee ski resort is one of the few places in the world where you can ski, virtually year-round. The aptly named “Pearl of the Alps” reaches elevations well over 11,000 feet and offered some unique challenges to the crew.
Because the village is car free, and the locations where we were to shoot were so high, commutes to get to location required early wake-ups, gondola rides, and trains with equipment in tow. The size of the crew was also significant. In addition to the models, there was a producer, wardrobe stylists, art director and make-up artist. Each person had a vision of the final product we were trying to achieve, and so, teamwork, respect for one another and collaboration towards a shared vision were imperative.
In my element among the elements
Despite the long days, I found myself completely at home and at ease on the Saas Fee shoot. Capturing active living in the outdoors with a company that aligned so closely to my own values of creating and offering a beautiful, high-quality product was a complete pleasure.
I, along with the S-Media crew, am so excited to see the results of this project now entering the public domain. I look forward to the Sporting Life flagship-store opening this month, and even more, to further opportunities to work for this incredible brand in the future.
Content director and contributor: Jennie Hoekstra