I recently had the privilege of photographing Faith Van Duin at her home gym here in Mount Maunganui; Gym 101. Until recently, Faith was a relatively unknown mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter with only one fight (a win) under her belt. When I photographed her, she had just come home from Australia after winning three back-to-back fights in the same night at Storm MMA’s ‘Storm Damage 3’ in Canberra. This put Faith on a 4-fight winning streak and gave her an unbeaten record of 4-0. It also boosted her ranking to 4th female featherweight in the world.
I photographed Faith at Gym 101, where she is trained by UK trainer Alan Orr. The lighting gear I had planned to use for the shoot didn’t show up thanks to a hiccup with the couriers, so I had to make the best of a bad situation and shoot Faith with three speedlights and one umbrella. Not ideal, but we made it work. Sometimes you just have to go with what you’ve got. I set up and shot the two main fighter profile shots and came up with these two images:
Faith “The Immortal” Van Duin at Gym 101
Faith with her championship belts.
After that we moved onto the mats inside the octagon (technically only half a cage), and set up a few shots of Faith handing out an ass-whooping to her team-mates Ben Koubaridis and Beni Hafoka. This was where the extra gear I was planning for would’ve come in very useful, but again, we made do with what we had.
Faith obviously hasn’t failed to impress, as she has since been inked by Invicta FC, the top women’s MMA organisation in the US. This signing makes her New Zealand’s first pro female mixed martial artist. Not bad for a mum of two from Tauranga. Best of luck for the future, Faith. I look forward to photographing you with a few more belts next time!
*If you or one of your fighters would like to talk to me about fighter profile shots, please feel free to get in touch HERE*
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