Disclaimer: Shooting Victims is a portrait series by Benjamin Reed. No subjects were harmed in the making of this photograph.
Mariel Zagunis is a badass. After making history at the Athens Olympics becoming the first American fencer in a century to win a gold medal (which is also in the history books as the first for women’s saber), she won gold again in Beijing…add that to her 7 world titles and, like I said, she is a badass. Her list of achievements is scary.
I expected to meet a type A aggressive when we met up for our initial interview. I was way off. She was a sweetheart. Extrememly kind. Very calm. She went out of her way to make sure I was taken care of.
We sat down to chat and I immediately thought of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. The scene where Thurman destroys 88 swordsmen single handedly. I ran the idea by her and she was in. We did some location scouting and at the end of the day I watched the film again to try and adapt what I saw to my style of portraiture…and this is what the team came up with.
We called a wrap after 3 hours of shooting. Mariel smiled and lowered her saber. "That was awesome!" she said.
Hair and Make-up: Amy Gilespy
Lighting: Jeremy Kelty
Extras: Maggie DeSantis, Thom Stevens, Krisin Anderson, Matt Brush, Erica Heidrick, Nebedon and Kathleen Grebe.