I’ve been mates with Stevan and Greg from Attaquer for ages. Back in the day we had a weekly ride around the same time I was starting up Beardy McBeard. I'd send them regular Instagram pics that we tagged “Beardy of the day”.
When the guys asked me if I would shoot the 2017 Spring Summer collection in Queenstown New Zealand I was stoked. Straightaway, Stevan (Attaquer Co-Founder) and I began emailing each other epic images of Queenstown climbs, envisioning what could possibly be one of the best shooting and riding locations in the southern hemisphere.
Dropping through the clouds into a soggy Queenstown airport wasn’t quite the scene we expected to be greeted with. We grabbed our luggage, hopped in the rental and sent off to scout locations. The rain kept bucketing down during the day and continued all through the night. I'm pretty sure Stevan didn't sleep a wink the entire night.
By the next morning the rain had eased and we packed into the van and headed to the first location. It was freezing. Hardly ideal conditions for shooting lightweight summer kits. The riders looked as though they were heading to a day spa, we rugged them up in bathrobes we borrowed from the accommodation. They didn't light up with enthusiasm when I busted opened the sliding door of the van letting in an icy blast of mountain air. The temperature was hovering around 6 degrees celsius for most of the morning.
After riding behind the van up and down the hill with me hanging out the back clicking away, temperatures rose and so did the vibe as I yelled to Stevan to up the tempo. Soon enough, jerseys started flapping in the wind and we had what we came for. The rain came back and we decided to take a break for lunch.
The afternoon brought with it better conditions and multiple hill repeats for the riders. As the light started to drop off it was time to get some dinner. By day's end we'd already shot over 4000 frames.
It's amazing how the worst conditions often create the best images, just as long as you can keep everyone warm and happy to ride.
Fortuitously, we'd assembled a crack team of hardcore riders including Dan Bonello: cycling model extraordinaire and no stranger to stripping down to base layers to get the shot. Crit Dog and the newly crowned King of Heffron Park: Alex Nazarewicz. As well as Lydia Rippon and Georgia Catterick who ride for the Roxsolt Attaquer Racing Team. Thankfully the girls, both being Kiwis, weren't afraid of a bit of precipitation and cooler temps.
The next morning we went back to capture a couple of spots that eluded us due to cloud cover the previous day. The day was clearer but that also meant it was even colder than the day before. As we came to a stop, it was difficult to see if we were in the right location, the windows were completely fogged up by the snoozing talent. The thermometer read 4 degrees, so I knew we didn't have long to get the job done. I managed to bag a couple of killer shots just as the clouds rolled in again.
Queenstown was an incredible location and I'm looking forward to returning for some quality riding. The combination of rain and low temperatures really pushed the riders to the limit, but no one complained and we soon had the shoot wrapped. The results speak for themselves with some fantastic images I'm very proud of. Hope you enjoy this selection of some of my favourite images from the shoot.