this week i had opportunity to photograph chris lieto for the cover of the april issue of triathlete magazine. chris is a world class athlete, 3x ironman champion and someone who never gives up. at the ironman world championships in kona hawaii last year chris finished 2nd! he is a force to be reckoned with!
even more, chris is one of my closest friends. in fact, a number of years ago chris saved my life while we were rock climbing... then later, at another time in life when i had to use a wheel chair for a couple of years and didn't think i would run, bike, surf again... chris was a brother throughout that time and he played a key role in my recovery and revitalization. needless to say, chris is someone i value, admire and respect very deeply.
the shoot was epic! we had some intense rain but that didn't stop chris cycling up gibraltar rd (one of lance armstrong's favorite rides). while chris rode i hung out of the back of a truck snapping pics or sometimes i would jump out and run alongside him to get some shots. the photo above was captured on gibraltar by the photo editor of the magazine nils nilsen, a top quality photographer and all around cool guy.
we also shot at the beach, up on some rocks, around town and we did some work in the studio (photo below captured by one of my assistants, i'm not sure which... either way thanks a ton mattia, miles and lara!). in sum, we had a ton of fun and i can't wait to see what photo the editors pick to put on the cover.
in closing, it was unreal to blend many of my passions - friendship, athletics, weather, outdoors and photography. and for me photography has always been about more than the picture. it is about getting more out of life and that is definitely the case anytime i spend time with chris. for more than anyone i know, chris' words, actions and life remind me of the truth of what he often says, "anyone can accomplish anything if you never give up."
if you'd like to learn more about chris lieto - click here to view his website or even better click here to watch this recent trek commercial!