For Head On 2019 Andy Cheung focused on photographing tennis. We asked him some questions about his creative process.
Where did the idea of shooting tennis come from?
I started freelancing 10 years ago with a focus on sports. I keep getting tennis assignments from magazines and photo agencies. So I guess you can say it was Tennis who picks me. Having said that, I’m genuinely passionate about shooting professional tennis. What I love about tennis is its content-rich emotions and actions.
What influenced your style of photography?
As a professional photographer, you’ll need to keep re-inventing yourself. While the traditional journalistic style of capturing serving, forehand and backhand shots are still essential, over the years I have been experimenting with other elements like graphics, lines, shapes, forms, shadows, silhouette, etc.
Which image is the most memorable to you?
It was an image that took me 3 years and many attempts. Thanks to this image, I was awarded a multitude of national and international awards and trophies.
"When all planets line up (Featured)- This image of Serena Williams of USA tossing ball was captured at 5 minutes to six o'clock with the last ray of sunlight shining on the Rod Laver Arena. It is when the Sun, retractable roof, Serena and ball are all lined up, including the logo on the tossed ball).”
What do you want to convey to the audience with these shots?
Emotions. No matter it is for sports or portraiture, I’m passionate about capturing people’s emotions. Framing and background provide the aesthetic, but it is the emotion that tells the story. Emotion is also the most challenging to capture as it presents itself only in a split second. You miss it, you lose it!
Describe some interesting experiences you've had in your professional capacity as a photographer.
I’m lucky to be able to get up close and personal with tennis players. As an official photographer of tennis tournament, I’ll need to guide and direct tennis players during exclusive photoshoots on court as well as at some iconic locations around town. At Laver Cup in Prague, Czech Republic, I ran into Roger Federer right after his last match, near the photographer work area. In a joyous mood he asked “Do you have the time?”. “Where is your Rolex?” I answered. He smiled.