The series was shot at the Bloodline League Amateur K-1 Muay Thai Event in February 2020 at the City Academy in Hackney, London. “Spending a day shooting this personal series on Muay Thai fighters, my intention was to capture the raw emotion on show immediately after the intensity and power of a fight in the ring,” says Tom Campbell.
“It was a thrilling experience making these photographs, witnessing the fighters’ presence while they sat for me in my portable studio,” he continues. “Working slowly and calmly using a technical camera, my mindset was that both the fighter and myself had to be on the same empathetic wavelength for the duration of the shoot. My six-year-old son – assisting – would guide the fighters into position and I would only direct and instruct if I felt it was necessary.
“These pictures show human emotions at their most raw, revealing a quiet exhilaration and a sense of pride and self-respect. Seeing these fighters in the ring is one thing, seeing their tender and noble qualities both separately and together post-fight is another, and a very powerful experience.”