I had the chance to photograph one of my favorite athletes on Friday, Anthony Mundine! It didn’t come without an interesting story though haha.
My friend who lined the shoot up for me told me to get a taxi to Mundine’s gym in “The Block” located in Redfern. I was catching one from Newtown, so I waved down a cab & got in “hey mate, heading to the Block in Redfern, where the big Aboriginal flag on the wall is” The taxi driver turned and looked at me with the death stare replying with “You’ve got to be kidding me, there is no way in hell I’m taking you there”. I was shocked with his response & thought he was joking at first. The taxi driver went on to say “Mate you will be lucky to make it out of there alive. In my 10 years of driving taxis nobody has ever asked to take them to the Block”. As you can imagine at this stage I start freaking out so I took my watch off, put my money down my sock, put my fake ray bans in my bag & start preparing for more than a photo shoot with Mundine. The taxi driver refused to take me anywhere near the block & dropped me off at the Redfern police station. He left with “Good luck mate, I’ll leave you here, see if the cops can drive you in”.
I called my friend who lined the shoot up telling her the situation & asking if she forgot to mention how dangerous this area is. She started laughing & was like “Rush, just walk over, you will be fine”. I told her there’s no way I’m walking into the block by myself after the taxi driver’s response. I waited until she picked me up so she could drive me to Mundine’s gym. As we make our way into “The Block” I see a bunch of kids playing soccer, others playing on the swings, green grass, blue skies & all smiles. I even saw another white guy who looked similar to me strolling around like life was all gravy. At this stage I relaised the taxi driver was going off old stories from the area & didn’t understand times had changed. We pulled up out the front of the gym asking for Choc & was told he was still training. The gym is owned by Tony Mundine & was so damm cool! Full of character making it the perfect setting for a shoot. I had a good 15 – 20 mins shooting Anthony Mundine & knocked out a few rolls of b&w film. Hopefully some classic images!
Big thanks again to Mundine for his time & the cab driver for an eventful day!