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The Finish Line Portrait Project

The Finish Line Portrait Project began in 2004. I saw a unique opportunity to make photos where none had before. Typical running photos are photojournalism, "Patagonia Pictorialism" (which they do very well), and casual snapshots.

I make the portraits in a mobile studio. I shoot black and white, using a near-vintage medium format Hasselblad 500C. My experiences as a 100-mile finisher are essential, and knowledge of the sport's conventions and customs are critical. I make the shot, usually in less than 60 seconds.

My photo reference points are RIchard Avedon, Diane Arbus, August Sander, Gary Winogrand, and a little Helmut Newton.

In my ultra-years, ! finished nine 100-mile races between 1991-1998, three of them at the Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Run.

This project is purely voluntary. The eventual goal is a book, with gallery shows in between. If you like what you've seen, please sign a standard model release form. Then mail it back to me. If you know your bib number, and remember who you're standing with, write it on the back of the form.

Thanks again to the ultrarunning community—the runners, the race directors who let me set up at the finish lines, and the friends who have all given freely of time, advice and technical expertise to make all this possible.

andy jones-wilkins, angeles crest 100 2004

Andy Jones-WIlkins (center) flanked by pacers Bruce Hoff & Andy Roth.

Jones- Wilkins had just finished 3rd in the 2004 Angeles Crest 100. He was less than an hour from checking into a critical-care unit with an extreme case of rhabdomyolysis. He made a full recovery within two weeks. His wife was not happy with the CCU detour, but was glad to get him back.

Shooting Ultras:
The Finish Line Portrait Project & Runner Photos

Hundred-Mile Races are events with considerable drama and emotion. The unexpected is a regular occurrence. The sure thing isn't—for the frontrunner or the last runner just ahead of the final cut-off.

anntrason Ann Trason with pacer Carl Anderson at the 2001 Angeles Crest 100, at ShortCut Saddle (59 miles). Ann led the race for almost 55 miles when she developed severe foot problems. She dropped 16 miles later at Chantry Flats, opening the way for Jennifer Johnston to win the women's race.
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