The Sochi Olympics came to a close on Sunday, but seven months before the games even began, portrait shooter Dylan Coulter was hosting a group of American Olympic athletes representing an array of sports for a Citibank Winter Olympic campaign entitled “Sochi Olympiad” (he’s done similar shoots in the past called “London Olympiad” and “Beijing Olympiad“).
The Brooklyn-based photographer opened his studio for four days to eight athletes: figure skater Evan Lysacek, Nordic Combined skier Billy Demong, speed skater Dan Jensen, Alpine skier Ted Ligety (who won Gold at Sochi this year), ice hockey player Julie Chu (whose team won Silver), Alpine skier Picabo Street, paralympian sled hockey player Rico Roman and luger Erin Hamlin (who won Bronze this year, as the first American luger to medal at a singles competition and the first American female luger to medal at the Winter Olympics at large).
Each athlete got the close-up treatment, some with the American flag wrapped around them, but Coulter also photographed them in action (so to speak) in some incredibly creative multi-exposure shots. He used a wide variety of equipment to put this series of photos together: the portraits were taken with a Hasselblad H5D and a Phase One IQ180 Digital, while the action shots were captured with a Nikon D800. The cinegrams were shot with a Canon 5D, and the crew relied on Kino Flo and Broncolor lighting equipment with a Briese head for various shoots.
A wall banner of Chu’s slapshot can be spotted at the Columbus Circle subway stop in New York City, and Ligety’s “downhill” turn got a full spread in The New Yorker. Get the behind-the-scenes look with the video above, created by Andrew Beardsworth and edited by Alison Mao.