Metromint Cycling member and Photographer Jay Ganaden was recently
awarded a cover assignment for VeloNews. Longtime friend and
VeloNews writer Neal Rogers contacted Jay with the assignment, and
finalized the details with Editor-in-Chief Ben Delaney.
Here is what Jay had to say about the shoot:
After chatting with Neal and Ben, I would learn that I would
photograph 5-6 professionals, including Tony Cruz, Ivan Dominguez,
Ben Jacques-Maynes, Andy Bajadali and Rory Sutherland. Tyler
Hamilton was also rumored to be in the mix, but was unable to make
the shoot unfortunately. The riders would headline VeloNews' annual
Domestic Road Season Preview issue, and the shoot would happen in the
days before the start of the Tour of California.
I scouted the hotel and the area around it where the bulk of the
riders would be staying in Palo Alto. After sharing some shot ideas
with VeloNews, we settled on a location across from the hotel on the
Stanford campus and an interesting location inside the hotel
elevator. The latter was pretty cool, but would prove to have less
impact than the outdoor shots, because we had such great weather on
shoot day. I would need an assistant, and I looked to Metromint's
Tony Bezsylko, who had some experience with lighting and grip. Also,
as a cycling, rather than photo guy, I knew he'd get a kick out of
being there too.
On shoot day, we were blessed with some truly stunning weather--
sunny and warm, with blue skies and light wind. We assembled the
shot and took a few test shots. When the riders arrived, we jumped
right into action. They kept reminding me that they'd each need
their massage/"rub down" before the buses would take them to the Team
dinner/parties in Sausalito that night. Ah, the life of a pro!! We
were a bit worried about Tony Cruz, who got caught in some notorious
Bay Area airport traffic, but he got dressed in his kit on the way
from the airport, and eventually made it just in time for shooting!
Our riders were actually really good sports, as they worked through
the shot ideas that I sketched out in my journal. All were very
cognizant of keeping their kits clean and giving their sponsors
optimal exposure. Moreover these guys were funny! "Ivan" I would
find out is pronounced "e-vahn" and not "I-vann". Rory was also
quite a character, and you can get a dose of this in his hilarious
Tour of CA journal, writing about the "peculiarities" of California
roads, iPhones and Aussie slang.
In the end, we had several shots to work with and the folks at
VeloNews had some trouble choosing which shot to run. Eventually
they would choose 2 images, one for the cover of course, and another
for the accompanying story. Neal also forwarded an email from Mark
Bissell himself (CEO of the namesake vacuum cleaner company, and
longtime pro cycling sponsor), thanking us for the quality exposure.
The issue is on newsstands now and till April 14th.
I have to say-- this assignment is the realization of a small dream I
had when I gave up a fairly respectable career in the tech business
for Photography. These days I shoot campaigns for GAP, Cost Plus
World Market, Sephora and Sharper Image. But as I look at this
printed cover of VeloNews-- the only magazine that's arrived in my
mailbox since the early nineties-- I couldn't be more proud.