I was hired to style some of the more notable summer Olympic athletes for ESPN Magazine awhile back. One of the best things about this assignment was all the athletes selected were female (how often does that happen?). We also got to fly all over the country and shoot each athlete at her training facility - how often do you get to go to Shawn Johnson's gymnastics gym and spend the entire day?
I also had to figure out how to take elements that each athlete competes with (a basketball, chalk for the gymnast, etc) and make them "gold" for the photos.
I used everything from spray paint, to tee shirt paint to poster paint and even sharpies to get the job done. Some surfaces would not work with one method but would with another (the swim goggles were the hardest as when stretched the paint would crack) - it was all trial and error.. But I think it all turned out pretty great and the athletes loved it!
Definitely one of the most creative, intense and fun jobs I have worked on for the Olympics!
Client: ESPN Magazine
Photographer: Patrick Giardino
Stylist: Cindy Whitehead