Much needed downtime

After a whirlwind tour over the last few weeks, I’ve finally hit a patch of downtime. I’ll be home for a little more than 2 weeks solid before I have to head back out on the road.

I had a great time in Houston for UFC 136, despite getting sick, and I really enjoyed working for the first time with photographer Nick Laham. I believe the collective effort of all our photographers produced one of the best nights we’ve had for photography. Big thanks to Mike Roach and Kari Hubert for a solid set of backstage and atmospheric images. Mike fell in love with the new Canon 8-15mm fish-eye and got some great shots with it.

As is typical these days, I was on the first flight out in the morning after the fights – 6:50 am to Los Angeles and then a two-hour connection before finally arriving back in San Luis Obispo with my wife and kids. We spent the afternoon doing a variety of family shoots at home and at the beach. It was a nice change of pace, and though I was dead tired, I think I came away with some good images. I can’t the majority of them at this time as I don’t want to spoil any potential greeting cards they may grace, but here’s a little teaser. The full gallery will go up at some point on my site.

UFC 136 Weigh In

Just finished up my edit for the UFC 136 weigh in. As usual, covered for UFC and Getty Images. I’m a little fried from the long day, so I’ll get right to the good stuff. All fighters made weight, though a couple had to drop their drawers and utilize the towel. Chael Sonnen looked ripped. Gray Maynard looked confident, if even a bit cocky. Jose Aldo was all smiles, as usual.

Below is a selection of my favorite shots.

UFC 136 weigh-in – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 136 Open Workouts

Another day covering UFC for Getty Images. Today featured the UFC 136 open workouts for 8 of the feature fighters on the card. We also got our first peak at the layout for the UFC Fan Expo as the workouts were held in the Octagon inside the George R. Brown Convention Center.

As is typical for open workouts, the available light was minimal. So, I took the opportunity to use my off-camera wireless flash unit which I secured to the top of the cage with a GorillaPod. This made for a highly stylized look that I think turned out great. Not much interesting usually happens at these open workouts. Fighters typically don’t do anything strenuous two days out from their fight, so anything you can do to create your own drama helps.

Some members of the Houston Dynamo soccer club were in attendance and came in the Octagon for a publicity stunt that saw featherweight opponents Kenny Florian and Jose Aldo battling each other in a “kick off”. Both guys were high level soccer players prior to their fighting careers, so it proved interesting. Though UFC PR guru Dave Sholler declared it a draw, I scored it a clear victory for Florian.

Below is a small selection of my favorite shots from the day.

UFC 136 Open Workouts – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 136 final presser

My first full day on the ground in Houston had me covering the UFC 136 pre-fight press conference for UFC and Getty Images. Even though it was an hour earlier than normal, it still wasn’t bad for me as the Toyota Center where the presser was hosted is across the street from my hotel. I love it when things work out like this, though it’s very rare.

Not much of note to report from the press conference. Chael Sonnen was rather somber and not talking much, if any, trash today. Quite a change for his usual presser behavior. Brian Stann was all class, as usual. Not much was asked of the four championship headliners on the dais – Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Jose Aldo, and Kenny Florian. The pace was pretty fast and before we knew it the guys were facing off. Maynard got right up in Frankie’s face, but Frankie didn’t back down at all. That made for a couple good shots.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the short shoot.

UFC 136 press conference – Images by Joshua Hedges