of motorcycles they ride, as well as by age, race and class. “They all go to different kinds of
rallies,” Leroy says, and he wanted portraits of all types.
He decided not to photograph bikers against a white backdrop, a la Richard Avedon: “Too
cliché,” he says. Instead he photographed his subjects inside a white 10 x 10-foot pop-up tent
of the type photographers often use on location for craft service and gear storage. “It’s like
you’re inside a softbox. With the sun at the back of the tent, it’s exquisite, luminescent light
inside,” Leroy says.
In addition to the sunlight diffusing through the tent walls, Leroy used “just a bare bulb”
strobe light powered by a Profoto Pro 7b power pack.
“The sun gave me f/8, and a half stop under that I put [in] the fill light,” he says, explaining
that the hard light of the flash made the bikers’ leather, buckles and tattoos pop out.
He shot fast, moving subjects in and out of the tent within a few minutes. Not only do bikers
lack patience, he says, but he was trying to capture whatever persona they presented naturally to
a stranger before the self-consciousness of being in front of a camera had time to set in.
At first, he says, bikers and rally organizers were skeptical about his project. But once
they started seeing the pictures, Leroy had no
trouble finding willing subjects. Many posed for
individual portraits, but couples and a few groups
posed as well.
Leroy self-published his book using MagCloud
(which recently merged with Blurb). His first print
run was 30 copies, at $17 each. He’s since ordered
two additional print runs, he says. He’s been
showing them along with his portfolio, and the
response has been positive.
Oropallo asked him to bid for a print and web
video campaign for Lenovo computer tablets.
Agency art directors wanted visual consistency
across the entire campaign, and they wanted
Leroy’s Rally Bikers style.
“It was [a case of being in] the right place, at the
right time, with the right work,” Leroy says.
The brief called for a campaign that appealed to
millennials by looking as if the pictures had been
TOP: A print ad from Lenovo’s “For those who do” campaign. ABOVE: An outtake from the same campaign. Leroy
street-cast the shoot and shot the talent quickly, with minimal direction, in order to capture natural-looking
gestures and poses.