Peter Hurley Returns to Sailing Roots with Spontaneous Portraits of Oracle Team USA [RF Video of the Week]

June 17, 2016

By RF Staff

Most people know Peter Hurley as the photographer who's revolutionized the art of the headshot. His squinching method went viral a few years ago (even some of our staffers got in on the squinching action!), and he's dedicated himself to educating other photographers on his headshot techniques, most recently giving us ten tips on shooting female faces.

But what you may not know about Hurley is that before he picked up a camera, he was a serious sailer who trained for the 1996 and 2000 Olympic games. Imagine, then, how meaningful it was for the athlete-turned-photographer to find himself shooting portraits of Oracle Team USA after taking a serendipitous tour of their Bermuda compound as the team trained to defend its America's Cup title in 2017.

"This has been amazing," Hurley says, "I just took a portrait of Jimmy Spithill, which probably, right now, I have to say today is my favorite portrait I've ever taken." As you'll see in the video below, it wasn't the portrait Hurley had envisioned, but as the photographer was reminded, sometimes you stumble into something better than expected.

"It's a really good lesson: if you work hard at whatever it is that you're doing, and you put your nose to the grindstone and you put your time in, maybe you're not looking one way for something," he says. "Something's going to just jump out at you."

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