Photographer Andy Day learned how to use a camera through photographing Parkour. Parkour is the sport of moving through an environment as quickly and efficiently as possible through climbing, running, jumping and even acrobatic moves. He began documenting the experience in 2003 and has gathered countless photos of the sport ever since.
“The ability to move without restriction is something we associate with superheroes. This feeling of limitations being removed is quite liberating and empowering. I guess these are strong, positive associations for brands,” Day said. After more than a decade of photographing a sport, Day says that he has become more attuned to capturing photos at the right time and from the right angle. Some jumps are easier than others, so the athletes (called traceurs) are willing to go again and repeat the move, but others are more difficult and thus, have to be captured perfectly on the first try.
Aside from timing and angle, another challenge parkour photographers face is access. He advises photographers to familiarize themselves with when and where parkour photography is allowed to avoid any confusion with authorities.
He shares his thoughts on his work on his website:
My work focuses on the built environment and social interaction, primarily through the emerging art of ‘parkour’ – a method of moving around the city through new and efficient means. Regarded by some as an extreme sport, practitioners challenge both their mind and body to create a complete freedom of movement that is inspirational and produces a beautiful encounter with architecture. The paths defined by city planners are erased and an Escher-like playground is established, presenting and re-presenting unique ways of using our living, social and commercial spaces. In addition, parkour produces a physicality that at first seems completely new but is simply an extension of childhood games and a basic desire to use our bodies.
Andy Day is based in the UK and is a parkour and freerunning photographer. You can find a portfolio of his photography and a blog about his work at Andy Day’s website.
His photographs have been used by Adidas, Canon, Native Instruments, Toyota, Stern Magazine, Yota. Andy works closely with Parkour Generations.