I’ve known Julz Adeniran since university. We were both heavily involved in sport at Birmingham, Julz as a champion 110m hurdler and the student head of sport and myself as the photographer. I photographed one of his training sessions at Loughborough back in 2012 and also interviewed him for the student radio station.
Julz is a superb sprint hurdler but what perhaps struck me most back at university was the way he articulated his passion and drive for hurdling. I was naturally drawn to Julz, as I often am to quality sportsmen and women, due to his incredible talent. However, I was more drawn in by his attitude to training and his life as an athlete which I found utterly inspiring.
It was great to get the opportunity to work with him again. I met Julz at Lee Valley Athletics Centre just north of London. He was incredibly welcoming, introducing me to his coach Tony Jarrett, a top hurdler himself.
I photographed the session and then we moved onto the portraits which were my priority. I’ve had a lot of practice at doing portraits of sportsmen/women for national papers so it was pretty straight forward on the surface but I really wanted these portraits to stand out.
I returned to Lee Valley two days later to photograph Julz training outside.
This time I did want a good action shot. I do love good shaping in an image.
Training conditions were tough : five degrees and very windy. Of course, Julz worked hard throughout the session.
We went back inside and did a final few portraits. I tried to make these completely different from the previous images. The mirror worked well.
I’m real pleased with the photos, as is Julz, so job well done! Was great to see my old friend too!
Also did a video – getting to grips with the Go Pro well!
Here is Julz’s website – loads of info about him on there. Check it out!