On Seeing, A Journal. #270
“The Shape of the NFL”

August 28, 2018

 

I continue to invite National Football League players to the studio to get “under the armor,” revealing how their remarkable physiques make them uniquely suited to the positions they play. Alan Rashaan Evans is a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, a former University of Alabama All-American who was a first round draft pick last year.

He is 6’ 3” and weighs 231 lbs.

Of all the defensive positions in football, linebackers have the most complex requirements: The strength of linemen and the quickness of pass defenders combined with rapid, lateral movement and extreme agility.

These requirements need a combination of muscularity and leanness, perfectly exemplified by Evans’s powerful form.

For our studio session, I did four things: I had him take both a standing pose and a “ready” position, as if moving from a reset between plays,  prepared to take on a runner, sack a quarterback, or knock down a short pass. Then, I had him move as if a play were occurring and he had to change direction. Next, I did a study of his body with the help of his brother and a studio assistant Rob Weber. And, finally I made a pensive formal portrait.

The players who come to my studio really commit to working with me in what can be, in its own way, a demanding role requiring real cooperation between the athlete and photographer. Perhaps it’s the result of many years of being coached, that makes this project a happy and intriguing challenge for me, as well.


Standing.


Ready.


Movement, changing direction as dictated by the offense and the football.


A study of muscularity, accomplished by having Evans pulling up on the bands while jumping.


Portraiture.


Rashaan and his younger brother, Alex.