Bodybuilders (2008) – Joachim Ladefoged

Ladefoged took a mixture of black and white and colour photography at the Danish Bodybuilding Championship in 2001 and similar events in the ensuing years, underexposing the subjects to make them appear darker still. The resulting snaps are assembled in a book, Mirror (the title a nod to his models’ narcissism) published in 2008. The Independent.

“For me, personally, these people are all strangely photogenic,” he says. “Bodybuilding is like theatre in many ways. The tan -which they use to cast shadows across their muscles, so they can be picked out easily on stage- makes them look haunting, or like they are from another planet. This is the case with the women especially, whose fake breasts are, funnily enough, the only way you can tell them apart from the men”.

“I thought their eyes told a story”

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