Kickboxing Photography – Klerksdorp Kickboxing Club

Earlier this month I was contracted by WOW Magazine ( to do photography at the Klerksdorp Kickboxing Club for an article celebrating their 10th year and an advertisement. I realised that this was going to be a challenge since they wanted the real feel of action during a normal training session. Nothing would be staged and all the shots I took would be of real training.

I decided to take a long two wireless flashes to cover the lighting effects as I knew that the indoor venue had high ceilings and lights, but not nearly enough. To get a fast enough shutter speed for the action without causing motion while not under-exposing the images you need more light!

Kickboxing ActionAt the venue I had a brief chat with Sensei Charl Pretorius who informed me I had open ground and could move anywhere during the training. I also explained a couple of idea of what he wanted. I set up my wireless flashes on two stands and started following the action.

Kickboxing is very fast! Getting a shot was not the issue as I could simply slap a flash on the camera and aim straight at the trainees, but that would result in flat and boring photos, so I moved my wireless flashes back and forth, around them and changed the hight. The trainees never stay in the same position so timing and luck have to come together with the correct light position for a good result.

In the ends I had quite a number of photos that looked interesting and different to that which you would just grab with a normal camera. What is the art in taking a photo anyone would be able to capture?

Klerksdorp Kickboxing ClubFor the main advertising photo we opted for a staged photo which turned into a tricky exercise of its own. Two of the kick boxers resting their feet in a kick position on the shoulder of others with a centre pose. Besides the wide lighting positions the kickboxers were tired after training and balance was tricky. I needed a couple of seconds between shots to set up focus and composition, and for a few shots this seemed impossible as the setup would fall apart. It is a lot harder keeping your leg in that kick position than many could imagine, especially after an hours gruelling practice! Some of the shots seems perfect, but then I would have one of them with closed or semi-closed eyes, and such a photo could not be used in an advertisement!

Sensei Charl PretoriusIn the end we managed to get enough of the right shots to put the article and advertisement together. The article and photos can be seen in the February issue of the WOW Magazine (


If you are interested in Kickboxing in Klerrksdorp you can contact Sensei Charl Pretorius on 084 511 2779

Klerksdorp Kickboxing Club is affiliated with MASA, SAAKA and WAKA.

Kickboxing at the club is open to any person from age 8.


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