Joggers by Sacha Goldberger

I spotted photographer Sacha Goldberger’s body of work Joggers a little while ago and wrote this post, which I’ve only just rediscovered! So here it is for you now…

Sacha Goldberger created the first of these diptych portraits in the Parisian park of Bois de Boulogne, where he stopped runners and asked them to sprint for him. It is in the split seconds post sprint that he takes their photograph – in an ad hoc outdoor studio, and captures the intense expressions that are shown here.

Goldberger then asked the same runners to return to his studio exactly one week later to recapture the image, using the same studio equipment and lighting, but this time in their everyday attire and without having just sprinted across the park.

Despite the matching pose, the images are entirely different, and shamed as I am to say it - I think the reason that I didn’t post this initially is because the subjects all look pretty ropey and I didn’t want to discourage people from running!

In retrospect, looking back on the images, I actually think it’s the intensity and sincerity of their expressions that makes the pictures so incredible. Instead of looking ugly, to me they look animated and interesting.

I remember one day during a hard marathon training session, I was on the running machine at the gym and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror –and I remember thinking that I looked entirely mad. My face was pretty close to puce, veins bulging, hair frizzing all around my face and I had a steady stream of sweat running down the entirety of my top. But what was interesting – to me anyway, was that in this packed out gym (full of fairly attractive men) I didn’t care how unattractive (or borderline insane) I looked, and I also didn’t have the energy to do anything about it.

I was exhausted and giving all my energy to that run, and for me it was a very liberating feeling. When you allow yourself to be overtaken like that, you show your real self. As Goldberger says, "I wanted to show the difference between our natural and brute side versus how we represent ourselves to society".

I really like these images, and I hope you do too.