Athlete in Action: Briony Mattocks

GRP_1500-EditSo my personal project of shooting athletes doing what they love doing continues and as you can see by the above photo this next athlete that spent the morning on the trails with me is quite a colourful personality.  Briony Mattocks is quite new to the racing scene but with some great results in 2014 she has her goals set to join the elites in MTB for 2015 where I am sure she will be seen atop the podium at least once.

Briony entered cycling after being prescribed cycling to help combat ailments from the jarring and rough sport of soccer, not uncommon and also not uncommon that she fell in love with the sport like so many others.  Using the bike to commute to the city was a great way to build some regular training in and the trails have helped her build skills along the way.  Briony had a mishap last year with an accident seeing her shoulder the victim and reconstruction surgery needed but that did not deter her getting back into racing this May and she has not looked back.

15 Races, a win in a 7hour Solo event, 3rd at NSW state CX champs were some accomplishments in this same year of her return but the Maverick Series Open category win and age category win at the 24Hr Solo Nationals topped the list giving her great confidence in her ability for 2015.

The images had to reflect Briony’s unique personality and this led us to a location not known as one of Sydney’s regular mountain bike jaunts but if have been here once you will recognize the spot easily.  Like past shoots, the chance to shoot “non-race mode” portraits were important as this will be something for Briony to look back to in years to come.  Three light setups and large light modifiers provided some softer light to match the cloudy and sometimes drizzling rain combined with Nikon speedlights were the go on the day.   What was the biggest challenge for this shoot was how to use the unusual items found littered around the course as again this was not your usual high bermed or flowy rollercoaster tracks you find at well known tracks.

Briony brought both her MTB and CX bikes so we wanted to play on the idea of a shot she liked, usually found in road bike images, with rider straddled on bike standing on one foot.  I explained how this shot created a feeling of a rider “contemplating life” in my head and together we thought it was perfect with her on the cyclocross bike, chin on hand in bushland which matched this feeling well.  As for the panoramic socks-only shot this idea came to me while driving to meet Briony on the morning of the shoot.  I knew she liked to post photos of her new bling additions and I wanted to capture this in one shot which also captures her interest in the three disciplines of Road, CX and MTB.

Another great shoot and some more ideas played around with and more emerging for future shoots which I have planned in the coming months some in totally different sports that I am use to so that should prove interesting.  But as Briony put it about commuting as part of her training its great to watch the sunrise, show up covered in mud crossing the Harbour Bridge and have a laugh over coffee with good mates, all before the day begins for many.  Much like our shoot that day.

Great fun Briony thanks for your time and check out her blog The Briony if want to know more about her.

Cheers Gil.