James Morrison … the footballer, NOT the singer!


30th August 2012


With the Premiership football season just a mere throw in away, Dermot – one of the Sports Editors at The Sunday Times – requested that I head over to West Bromwich Albion’s training ground to undertake a portrait of James Morrison, an up and coming star of the game – an eye catching midfield attacker.

I’ve photographed several times at The Baggies’ training facilities before and it rather resembles a municiple building amongst playing fields, tucked away down a narrow lane just off junction 6 of the M6 … i.e., there isn’t much there to enhance the picture!

However, the club’s PR John Simpson is super helpful and always helps you with your requests to set things up. Ensuring James was available when I was ready for the shoot was down to John’s assistance.

Once on site I looked for a suitable location and found a walled kick-about area close to the main building. It was the best I could do and at least it allowed me to get James away from his teammates, so he could concentrate on looking good for the camera!

My chosen location. James Morrison

My chosen location

I set two lights, fired by radio triggers. One as a key (main) light and the other as a snooted back light.

Lighting James Morrison

Two lights set. Note the rear light will be hidden behind the wall to avoid the spill of light onto my lens.

Once set up, John stood in for a trial shot and then James arrived shortly afterwards.

Footballers are always keen to head off after training … usually to Harvey Nics’ to pick up that elusive £300 leather belt! … but James gave me time to play with a few bracketed exposures and soon the hazy sun popped out to add an extra level of hazy light, which lifted everything (with the added flashes). It was a great result!

James Morrison - Scottish international footballer | West Bromwich Albion

Framed and lit, with a hazy level of sun to lift the ambient light.

A few hours later I was home editing the shoot. I ran the images through PhotoMechanic to edit, caption, rename and re-save them. This edit was then run through Photoshop to adjust each image individually and save at a high resolution.

Pleased with my efforts the final images were sent to The Sunday Times via secure FTP link.

My thanks to Dermot for the shift … to James for being a great subject to shoot – and to West Brom for their help as ever.