Tag Archives: Rally Bikers

APA|NY Image Makers Lecture Series at Apple Soho

APA|NY Image Makers Lecture Series:

Michel Leroy:
Rally Bikers – Connecting to the Individual

Monday, July 16, 2012
SoHo Apple Store
72 Greene St
New York, NY 10012

8PM-9PM
Free Admission (seating is limited)
*no advance registration is required

Join us afterwards at a local bar to continue the conversation!

Lecture Brief:
Driving a mile past the bend of the main Boulder Route, after the pavement ends, is the log cabin where I grew up. Milk, eggs and butter came from the O’Shenko ranch just down the valley, meat came from our herd of Herefords, and vegetables came from the garden. Every month my parents would load up the Suburban and drive two and a half hours to the ranch supply store in Billings, Montana. What seemed like a journey across the world at the time was the beginning of a lifelong thirst for travel. From the end of that dirt road to my apartment in New York City, I have been driven by a passion for exploring new places and meeting new people.

The good fortune of my early career afforded the opportunity to travel the globe assisting magazines and companies with the common goal of photographing the people that define our time: from China’s leading industrialists in Shanghai to Nobel laureate economists in Paris to former President George W. Bush in Washington DC. Repeatedly, corporate clients including Nike, Intel, Pfizer, Lonza Biologics, Merck and Wal Mart have trusted me to connect their brands to customers through images with insight and humanity. My editorial work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, People Magazine and The Times (UK).

The nature of commercial assignment photography leads to new locations and people everyday, but often not much longer than a day. After years of shooting in this manner, I began to crave long-view projects with more depth and broader focus. To fulfill this professional need I began a two-month personal project to photograph motorcycle rally culture in America. The result was a portfolio of unrelenting black and white images revealing a personal connection and shared humanity previously unachieved in my work.

Rally Bikers comprise a spontaneous community of ordinary people defined by common interest. I attend motorcycle rallies and create portraits of riders ranging from 7-year-old kids on 90cc hill climbers, to middle-aged firemen on 1200cc road bikes, to sun-burned grandparents on 1800cc luxury touring marvels. The style is unrelenting black-and-white images that reveal texture and detail beyond the casual glance.

Meeting bikers on the street, in parking lots, or at a car wash, I photograph them in a portable studio to capture that initial moment, the point of simple truth while communal humanity remains in our eyes. The studio removes visual distractions and allows for a more intimate portrait, a brief shared moment to reveal the truth and the facade of identity.

Through portraits of Rally Bikers, I am looking for the significance of the individual in the community that defines them. Biker cliches, based on the notoriety of outlaw motorcycle clubs, do little to describe the other 99% of ordinary people who live for the freedom of open roads, camaraderie, and the love of bikes. The leather, the Kevlar and the tattoos are trappings of a lifestyle that riders have chosen as an alternative to the everyday obligations of a 9-to-5 weekday existence.

My task was to create a portfolio of images representing the diversity of biker rallies through the people who keep the spirit and legacy of the community alive. The goal is to bring greater attention and understanding to the lifestyles of individuals and their surrogate communities through exhibitions and published books.

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Rally Bikers travels to Esquire Magazine Russian Edition фотографии

Michel Leroy

Michel Leroy’s Rally Biker Photo Series travels to Esquire Magazine Russian Edition [...]

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aCurator Feature

Michel-Leroy-ImageI met curator Julie Grahame from aCurator.com a few months ago at the NYC Fotorworks Portfolio Reviews and she really responded to my Rally Biker series. This week they featured the project on aCurator. Julie has a great eye for projects with an emotional connection and depth (if I do say so myself). You can also follow aCurator on Facebook.

For more of the Rally Biker series, you can view the online gallery or buy a copy of the catalog at MagCloud.com

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Resource Magazine Profile – Rally Biker Lighting

Resource Magazine editors, Aurelie Jezequel & Alexandra Niki did a profile of my Rally Biker Series in the Summer 2011 Photo Deco-Page. You can buy the whole issue online if it’s not sold at your favorite book store. Have a look at the fresh layout. Thanks for the page play! You ladies ROCK!

To give a little behind the scenes preview and share some of the details of how I lit this portfolio of unrelenting Black and White portraits have a look at the lighting diagrams.

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RALLY BIKERS: spirit and legacy

Michel-Leroy_Rally-Bikers

Michel Leroy’s Rally Biker Portraits on display at Superfine, New York Photo Festival 2011 [...]

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New Issue of VENEER – Rally Bikers hits news stands

VENEER – Rally Bikers

This issue of VENEER represents the diversity of bikers through the people who keep the spirit and legacy of the community alive. The style is unrelenting black and white images that reveal texture and detail beyond the casual glance by Michel Leroy PHOTOGRAPHER.

Meeting Rally Bikers as we pass on the street, in a parking lot or at a car wash, I photograph riders in a portable studio to capture that moment just after we meet, that point of simple truth while the shared humanity is still in our eyes. The studio serves to remove visual distractions and allows pause for a more intimate portrait, a brief moment to reveal the truth and the veneer of identity.

See the Preview at MagCould.com

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