I saw the story of 80-year-old body builder Ray Moon on a tabloid type current affairs TV programme in August. The segment said he was in training for the Victorian Bodybuilding Championships in September, taking place in Melbourne. I thought to myself, what a crazy story!
I got hold of the manager of the gym where Ray trains and he put me in touch. I explained to Ray that I wanted to spend a few days with him and the kind of pictures I wanted to shoot – Ray at home, training, having the famous body builder’s spray-on tan and then competing.
Ray was not having any of it. He said ‘No’ to all of my ideas, except the competition shots, saying my presence would spoil his concentration in the lead-up to the event. ‘No problem’ was my answer, as I felt the story would still be strong enough without the other pictures.
I passed his contact details onto my Sydney-based text colleague Pauline Askin, who would write the story, and off I trudged on September 14th to shoot the pictures.
When I came face-to-face with Ray he was wearing a short terry-towelling bath robe and slippers, sporting coiffed white hair and one of the most remarkable spray-on tans I have ever seen. This is going to be interesting I thought. I asked if I could shoot some shots of him warming-up and he agreed.