Stephen Matera: Topo Athletic


Claire McHale

Stephen Matera recently finished up a trail and fitness shoot for Boston based Topo Athletic shoe company. This two day fitness shoot took place in two different locations with the first day at a gym in Seattle and the second in the North Cascades for trail running. 

As an outdoor sports and lifestyle photographer, the trail running part of the shoot was right in my sweet spot, and in my backyard here in the Northwest. The gym fitness part of the shoot was a little outside of my comfort zone but I had a good working relationship with the client and they had confidence in my ability to get some creative indoor fitness images for them as well.

One of the biggest challenges Stephen faced in executing the shoot was logistically putting together back-to-back days of shooting in completely different locations. Most of the time in preproduction was spent coordinating with the client on locations, models, and the creative look and style of the gym fitness shoot.

 I had to find models, find a facility that had the look the client wanted and was within their budget, scout locations, plan for different weather conditions for the trail running day of the shoot.

He knew that shooting indoors meant using strobes, but the client still wanted a natural look without the lighting being too overbearing. So it meant Stephen had to find a gym that had just the right aesthetics. Stephen had a similar trail shoot for them before and they were looking to continue the creative look and style that he had shot previously. On the trail running shoot the weather changed quickly and Stephen and his team had to adapt on the fly.

 It meant setting up a shot and waiting around until we had a short 30 second window of light then shooting like mad until we lost the light.

In the end the client licensed more images than they had planned and Stephen is hopeful to work with them again.

To see more of Stephen's work visit

This article was originally published Dec 15, 2015 on the Wonderful Machine Blog