Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will and when you’re given the task of shooting three stories of the U.S. Soccer Team for Sports Illustrated in a very short amount of time, inevitably Murphy’s Law will come into play.
When Alexis Cuarezma was asked to photograph the cover of the USMNT issue of the publication, he tried not to get too excited. He had much work ahead of him. The magazine wanted 3 different looks:
- Photograph Captain America/Clint Dempsey for the Cover – time with Clint for the cover 10-15 minutes
- Meet Team USA, do portraits of the 23 man roster – about 1 minute with each player
- Do a group portrait of all the German players that play for the USMNT – 10 minutes
Total time for the shoot: less than 50 minutes.
Alexis rented well over $100,000 worth of lighting gear which included Profoto B4 packs. He decided on using the Canon 1D X paired with the Canon 24-105mm F4.0L IS lens for the first set, a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 24-70mm 2.8L lens for the second set and a combination of both for the cover shot with Clint Dempsey.
With 3 sets and 20 lights to set up, Alexis and crew only had less than two hours to get everything up before the players got there at 9am. The day of the shoot, of course, the triggers for the light setups wouldn’t work, the players showed up a half hour early, a power pack blew and not all the players were cooperative.
Alexis was able to get all the shots needed for the cover and the subsequent 6 page spread in the SSI USMNT issue. Alexis explains the entire shoot, including the challenges and the extensive lighting setup in the behind the scenes video below.
Clint Dempsey & Team USA – Sports Illustrated World Cup Preview Issue