Action Sport Photography with Red Bull Photographer Corey Rich

Lesson 32/50 - Building a Rapport with the Athlete: BMX Rider


Action Sport Photography with Red Bull Photographer Corey Rich


Lesson Info

Building a Rapport with the Athlete: BMX Rider

And I can tell you this, straight away we're starting with natural light and as I look at the window light pouring in you know, I'm seeing it come and go but as a photographer I can't help but look at this light and think I want to figure out what Corey can do in these rectangles of light because it's really, really cool looking. Hey Corey when you're ready maybe roll over and we'll introduce you to Cameron. Figure out what we're doing. It's very rare that I get to work with another Corey. Hey man thanks for coming out yeah it's really a treat. So Corey I was just explaining to everyone that's watching online that this is not my wheelhouse. I'm not a guy, you know years ago I did one multi day BMX shoot for Sport Illustrated and it was with one of the greats in the BMX world, Dave Mira who sadly is- Oh God, yeah a legend. Who is no longer with us. Rest in peace. But I learned a ton on that shoot. I mean I watched him, I sort of went in totally naive and he sort of educated me a...

nd schooled me on what's possible and what's cool and but it's been a few years and now I'm gonna rely on you to kind of explain the same thing. Hopefully you don't have the same expectation levels. Aw come on, give me a break. Maybe one thing you can explain is and I'm sort of doing this dialogue one because I need to know but two I think it's important for anyone that's watching. You know all ideally Corey and I would have met up yesterday and had coffee or drinks or dinner and we would have actually sat and talked for a few hours where I get to understand who he is, he understands who I am and what we're trying to accomplish. And part of that is just it's just the comfort of the more time you spend with anyone the more comfortable you both become. Absolutely and that's totally true because you spend time with your photographers you know, throughout my career I've gotten a lot more comfortable with certain people that go on certain trips versus a new photographer coming on a trip and you're like, a little eerie about shooting something versus like I know this guy's gonna get it. I'm zoned in, I'm confident you know? And I think you make a really great point. In my world you know, turns out many of the athletes I've grown up with we've become best of friends and we've traveled the globe together repeatedly and it's that mutual comfort. You know as a photographer your responsibility is you better bring back the goods. Bring back the pictures or it doesn't matter how nice you are but if you can bring back the goods and the athlete likes you and there's a relationship it's sort of the winning combination. It's sort of you want to work with the people that you enjoy. Guarantee to get more work. For sure. Yeah partnership. So tell me, give me the top level view. You specialize in BMX street which means? Correct. I guess like technically that's what I'm labeled as as like a professional street rider. I grew up riding a lot of ramp stuff. Mostly smaller things like this and transferred into all street kind of thing roughly like eight years ago. That's just been my niche since then. I have a passion for filming so when I go out with friends and teams generally just collect footage and work on video projects and then we have a photographer along the way as well to capture the moments and behind the scenes and portraits and things like that. So normally I don't ride stuff like this but I enjoy riding it. Got it. You're sort of the normal days you're out in an urban environment and you're looking for cool features, man made features or natural features combined with man made features and figuring out what you can do, what's possible. Yeah like you know, what's possible. Correct. So for me, it's like I'm a street rider so I generally look for specific setups with handrails, stairs, wall rides, if you go to Europe a lot times you look at the architect there they just build things completely different. A lot of transitions. So I don't ride tranny that much to whatever compete and all that but I do enjoy riding a nice transition setup if you find one particular for you that you can be creative with. That's kind of what I do. I like to do that stuff but just rails, ledges I have fun on all that stuff even more urban street stuff. Cool. That's great.

Class Description

Being an action sports photographer is about more than getting freeze frames of famous athletes. It’s about documenting the experience of people for whom the line between passion and work is blurred. At his or her best, the action photographer tells compelling stories that show us at our most daring, fearless, and adventurous.

Corey Rich is one of the world's leading outdoor adventure and action sports photographers, adept at distilling the essence of extreme action sports and adventure travel and lifestyle.  In addition to documenting extreme sports for Red Bull, Corey has worked for many of the biggest brands in the world.  This is your opportunity to follow Corey as he prepares for a shoot on location, and learn how he evokes powerful brand stories like those he has made for Red Bull. 

Join us for this live class, and you will learn:

  • How to work with a client, and shoot with their brand in mind
  • How to prepare yourself and your gear for a shoot in an extreme environment
  • How to take photos of extreme sports pros, and work with variable light conditions

This class will stream live from the location of the shoot in Lake Tahoe. Corey will be shooting Red Bull athletes as they perform at Ski Mountain Terrain Park and at a nearby BMX park. There will also be a live session from a Tahoe cabin to discuss photo theory and Corey’s experience of building his photo practice and working for Red Bull. 


1Class Introduction 2What Makes A Great Action Photo 3Conceptualize the Shoot 4Research Location / Wardrobe / Props for Action Shoot 5Safety Tips for Action Photographers 6What Gear Do I Need? Packing and Prep 7Workflow and Asset Management 8Ingesting and Organizing Files 9Editing Down Your Selects 10Post Processing Overview 11Working with Clients to Select Finals 12Retouching & Post Processing: Image 1 13Retouching & Post Processing: Image 2 14Retouching & Post Processing: Image 3 15Final Client Delivery 16Introduction to Snow Athletes 17Setting up the Shot: Using Natural Light 18Getting that First Action Shot: Snow Park 19Scouting Location for Action Shot: Snow Park 20Capturing Variation of Snow Park Action Shot 21Refining the Snow Park Action Shot 22Action Shot with Strobes Overview 23Shoot: Action Shot with Strobes 24How to Light Using Strobes 25Action Shoot: Snow Park with Strobes 26Refining the Snow Park Action Shoot: Using Strobes 27Capturing Variation with Snow Park Athletes 28Capturing Portraits: Snowboarder 29Capturing Portrait: Skier 30Shoot: Feature Jump Action Shot Afternoon Natural Light 31Introduction to Today's Shoot 32Building a Rapport with the Athlete: BMX Rider 33Scouting Location for Action Shot: Indoor BMX Park & Natural Light 34Getting the First Action Shot: BMX 35Conceptualizing the Action Shot: BMX 36Prepping Gear & Refining the Action Shot: BMX 37Action Shoot: BMX Athlete with Natural Light 38Setting up Remote Cameras 39Capturing BMX Action Shots: Remote Cameras 40Conceptualizing the Shot: Using Strobes in Indoor BMX Park 41Lighting with Strobes: Indoor BMX Park 42Action Shoot: BMX Athlete with Strobes 43Capturing Variations of BMX Athlete 44Shoot High Angle Action Shot: BMX Rider 45Directing an Athlete Portrait: Indoors 46Lighting a Portrait: Indoor BMX Athlete 47Portrait Demo: Indoors BMX Athlete 48Portrait Demo: Adding Atmosphere 49Transmitting Live from the Field 50Panel Q&A


a Creativelive Student

If you're looking to learn from one of the greats of action photography who also happens to be an incredible instructor, look no further! Corey Rich and his fantastic team will show you every facet of being a great action photographer and they share all of their insights from A to Z. Their instruction is heartfelt and they laid it all out there for everyone's benefit. A huge thank you to Creative Live and Red Bull Photography for bringing this to the world. This is a must have class in your library!


One of the best photographic purchases I've made. Big fan of Corey Rich's work and getting a behind the scenes look at how he works and thinks was thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening. Corey and the others also provided a great amount of insight into the business world behind action sports photography.