This week’s Profiles in Photography takes us Down Under with sports photographer Adam Pretty. Pretty got his start in photography with The Sydney Morning Herald where he worked as a news photographer, moving into sports photography as part of that in 1997. In 1998, Pretty joined Getty Images as one of their sports photographers for many years before turning his focus on advertising photography for popular sports brands in 2007. His current clients include Adidas, Nike, L’Oreal, BMW, General Motors, Li Ning, Anta, Amway, and Wrigleys. During his stint as a sports photographer, he traveled widely and captured images of the Summer Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2012 as well as the Winter Olympics in 2002. He has lived and worked in Australia, Europe, China, and currently resides in Japan where he works on both sports and advertising photography, expanding his portfolio as well as his horizons.
Though he no longer focuses on sports photography solely, Pretty is one of the most well-known and award-winning sports photographers of recent years. His shots of athletes in the midst of competing at the Olympics have graced the covers of many magazines and his individual and team portraits often focus on getting the action inherent in the sport itself. He makes excellent use of lighting to bring out the colors in team uniforms and the courts. When photographing swimmers, he frequently gets in and under the water, using natural and artificial lighting to give an impression of both depth and energy. Finally, he uses the athletes themselves, posing them in ways that make them look intimidating and vital instead of relying on the more tried-and-true methods of group line-ups.
Pretty’s photography style is definitely unique and sets him apart from other sports photographers. His passion for both sports and photography is clear in every photo he publishes. It is no wonder that he has been the recipient of so many prestigious awards over the course of his career.
— da Bird