I seem to be building up a portfolio of Belgian sporting heros. Back in April I photographed Yanina Wickmayer, the Belgian tennis player ranked 17 in the world.
We met at the Flemish national training ground, unfortunately she didn't have a lot of time so I couldn't take shots with her on the court but luckily managed to get some decent shots in a gym full of children.
Then in May I had the chance to meet Jean-Marie Pfaff and Eddy Merckx for lunch on two separate days. I accompanied journalist
who writes for Time and The Bulletin amongst others.
Pfaff is an ex-Belgian goalie, known for his time with Bayern Munich and his part in Belgian's relative success in the world cup of the 80's. He's a reality star in Belgium and Holland now, where his reality show 'De Pfaffs' attracts a big dutch speaking audience. He was thoroughly charming, very gregarious and personable. I had a nice slot of time with him and at the end photographed his beautiful ginormous goalie hands.
Eddy Merckx, the famous cyclist, was a different kettle of fish. Merckx is probably Belgium's biggest sporting hero, known for his amazing determination and will power. This determination saw him named champion of the Tour de France numerous times in the 60's. He was more sober and introspective person than Pfaff and I thought he a great distinguished face which lent itself to a black and white portrait. The restaurant we were in was pretty dim and even with my lights didn't photograph well, so I ask Merckx outside where there was a nice stark white brick wall with I thought would set off his features well.