Photographer Precariously Rides Alongside Athletes in this BTS Shoot

Commercial sport and portrait photographer Payton Ruddock recently shared a behind-the-scenes video demonstrating how he photographs incredible action shots. A triathlete and snowboarder himself, Ruddock is very familiar with his athletic subjects and is able to capture them at their best…by dangling himself out of a moving flatbed truck.

Ruddock mentions in his blog that his shooting style is a dangerous one that he’s been doing for many years, it should not be imitated without a firm understanding of the risks involved. To put things into perspective, he precariously hovers 1 – 2 inches from the ground by clamping his legs around the tailgate of a truck moving at 20 miles per hour.

The rider also needs to coast fairly close to the truck for Ruddock to hit the Profoto strobe light hooked up to the back of the truck. The heroic angles seen in his photos are effectively pulled off because Ruddock is able to move about freely inside the vehicle. “From there it’s a balancing act of power to background and fill light, creating the right composition, and getting it all in focus” he says.

Unlike other ’back of the truck’ photographers, Ruddock wanted to capture the speed and passion of his subjects without compromising on production value. In the end, his solution was to create a moving studio setup in the back of his truck!