ASICS: Vive La France

One of the other jobs we were working on in June and July was the ASICS European championships campaign. It’s a mix of Advertising, POS for their stores, and some editorial PR for magazine coverage.

I was commissioned to shoot some of the athletes from the French squad in Paris and Aix Les Bains which is in the south east of the country.

Our first shoot was in Paris. Leo, Keiran and myself drove over the day before we were due to photograph the athletes and checked out the Charlety stadium and shot the plates which would later be used to create the stadium background for the imagery we would shoot with Christophe LeMaitre in Aix Les Bains.

It was a Sunday night, so finding a good restaurant seemed tricky at first, but the concierge directed us to an area with a whole street of places that were open. We all tucked into Fillet de Beouf and Red Wine. I think it was French, it had been a very long day. I awoke the next morning €300 lighter after Leo and Keiran took all the cash and apparently managed to spend it all in a karaoke bar.

Anyway, I shot with a continuous set up with equipment from Direct Photographic’s Paris office, a few 4k’s & a couple of 6k’s.

The athletes we photographed were Floria Guei – 400 metres, Harold Correa – triple jump and heptathlete Antoinette Djimou.

The brief was to capture them in action, with great visiblity of branding and apparel.

It was a scorching day, although my assistants almost flew back over the channel after erecting a 20x20ft screen in a pretty strong gust of wind.

But after averting near death we enjoyed a pretty decent shoot, and captured some great action.

We zoomed back that same evening, enjoying steak frites at a service station on the A16

A couple of weeks later myself and Keiran flew to Geneva for the LeMaitre shoot with a couple of Profoto B3 packs, and control.

The only hiccup was when LeMaitre was about to leave his flat to join us when the anti doping people arrived for a random test! So we were held up for a couple of hours. Once he was with us though he put in a great shift. Loads of starts, bend sprints, and finish line dips.


Meals on Aix Les Bains trip:

Heathrow T1 1700: Cheeseburger and 2 corona’s at Giraffe

Aix Les Bains 22.30: Steak Frites and 2 bottles of St Emillion (shared)

Hotel breakfast 0700: Cold cuts, Baguette, Cheese, 6 glasses of orange juice & coffee

Coca Cola and Evian to tie us over before and during the shoot

Geneva Airport 1430: Another Cheeseburger, but with Fanta this time

Evening meal at home 1900: Indian Take Away 🙂















About Gray Hughes photographer

Gray Hughes grew up in southwest London but has always had strong connections to the USA. He has spent many summers on road trips, visiting family in California. In his early twenties he moved to New York and assisted various fashion photographers before returning to London to shoot editorial sports and lifestyle. He soon graduated into shooting commercially for brands including Coca-Cola, Asics, Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Powerade. Gray has always loved film and music – his mother exposed him to Hitchcock at an inappropriately young age. As a young teen he used to record music demos on a four track recorder. Then in 2001 he took a break from photography to pursue a career in music, remixing dance music for four years before returning to his first love, photography. Gray’s personal projects have taken him to cowboy country in Montana, USA as well as Rio de Janeiro and more recently, around the grassroots rugby clubs of Britain. His film, ‘Heartland’ was a finalist in the 2015 AOP awards, with the accompanying photographs featured in the Sunday Times Magazine. He directed his first commercial for Glamorgan Brewing Company in 2015 and then subsequently joined Ridley Scott Associates where he was added to the photgraphy and moving image roster, he is on an indenpendent arrangement while he grows his show-reel so is free to collaborate with other production companies. So far this year he has directed films for Reebok and Standard Life and has shot a global advertising campaign for Vodafone.

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