See the full series here: http://www.dylanleeder.com/couriers/
So rad! Got great recognition off these images and behind the scenes!
First was NOW Magazine who did a little Q&A with the couriers:
ISO 1200 also did a little feature with the BTS video:
And my good friends, Dandyhorse, did a Q&A with me! Can't lie...Feels cool to be interviewed:
I've been interested in photographing couriers for a while now. I've always admired their cycling skills and overall stamina to be able to work such a demanding job. Beyond seeing them around the streets I've only had a few glimpses into their world, but from my outsider's perspective I've grown to be quite intrigued. These guys ride hard all day, no matter the conditions, and seem to have created an extremely tight community in which everyone knows and supports everyone else.
I knew I wanted to highlight the fast paced and risky way they maneuver the streets, so I thought it would be best to let them do their thing and photograph it as it happens. I could have built a small setup to have them bike through but I thought photographing them on the go would be more authentic and exciting.
I chose to light the subjects to have them pop against the potentially busy backgrounds of the streets and also provide a gritty, edgy look that could be associated with their lifestyle. To do this I brought along Broncolor's Move kit and threw a head up in the front seat of the car with a P65 reflector to give a nice, directional/contrasty look. This pack is a workhorse for environmental shooting. Being small, I was able to throw it in the back seat and I knew it's insane flash duration (1/8500 sec) would be able to freeze all the moving parts, including the slush and water.
The whole shoot was pretty last minute but luckily I was able to find Henry, the owner of Send It Couriers, to jump on. To my pleasant surprise he was also able to bring along three friends/fellow couriers - I literally found out I was shooting 4 subjects (rather than just 1) five minutes before we hit the streets. The whole shoot ran just over an hour but I'm quite happy with the results.
Enough of boring text. Check out the behind the scenes video:
And THAT is my first behind the scenes video. HUGE thanks to Elie for stepping up super last minute to shoot the video. Also, excuse the raw editing - I'm still extremely inexperienced with Final Cut but I believe it gets the idea across. Expect more BTS video in the future!
Also, big thanks to...
Henry and his Send It Courier crew for taking the time and allowing me to photograph them.
Elie Dahdouh for the video work.
Anthea Mislan for assisting in the 'snowy Toronto' day.
Andrew Cottingham for driving and not hitting my subjects.