Hublot began building ties with football in 2006, initially sponsoring the Swiss national team and then gradually expanded its ties with major competitions with the Euro in 2008, the World Cup in 2014 and since 2015, the Champions League. In 2015 Hublot started their exclusive partnership with Chelsea Football Club that saw Hublot’s striking clocks prominently displayed at the club’s Stamford Bridge stadium. The watchmaker is currently on it’s third limited edition watch created in partnership with the football club.
My aim with the portrait of Ricardo Guadalupe was to try and the two key elements of Stamford Bridge, the pitch and the stadium. This was more challenging than it sounds due to the restriction we weren’t allowed to take any photography on the pitch. In an ideal world I would have placed Ricardo on or around the centre circle and potentially have included it in the composition, however I was limited to positioning him just on the grass, next to the touchline. Various angles of Ricardo by the side of the pitch showed the name ‘Chelsea’ spelt out in the seating behind him but also resulted in the green grass covering more than 50% of the composition which was not only distracting in regards to the colour but also dead space. Having Ricardo by the side hoarding showed the Hublot branding but meant not including the pitch. So by a process of elimination the only location to show Ricardo and both the pitch and elements of the stadium was to position him in the seats close to pitch side.
While being in an empty stadium is eerie it was great to have the run of the location which allowed me to try various locations and build up the composition to my satisfaction. To have had either the stadium (or just seating) or the pitch would not have conveyed adequate situation context that is shown in the final image.