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The idea for the Redskins portraits grew out of another project of mine, “Faces of NASCAR,” a series of portraits and essays on America’s fastest-growing sport, which was published as a coffee table book last year. I wanted to take the style of photography I had used in Faces—a style rich with detail—and adapt it to a new sport. I live inside the Beltway, and the Redskins seemed a natural. But getting pictures of sweaty and tired football players was not as easy as it might seem.
We set up a mini-studio next to the huge tub where the players sit in an ice bath to cool down from their preseason workouts at Redskins Park in Ashburn. They were weary, they were hot, and the air-conditioned locker room was only a few feet away. But to my surprise, almost every player I asked was willing to step before my camera, delaying that air-conditioned bliss and an all-important shower. The pictures you see here capture that moment in time, a hint of the season yet to come.
You can see a glimpse of Faces of NASCAR on my book Web site, facesofracing.com, and other work—including my series of portraits of soldiers returning to duty in Iraq—at my regular web site, scottrobinsonphoto.com.