It’s time for something different.
As you evolve and grow as a photographer, the more you learn about yourself and the more your work becomes a reflection of who you are. In this digital age we live in, there was a void I discovered that needing filling. There was a thirst for something new, which would eventually become my most creative challenge so far in my career.
Growing up, I would collect newspapers. Some of my most cherished possessions growing up are the newspapers of special moments that I’ve kept along the way. Whether it’d be monumental moments in sports, mornings that I would be in the newspaper, or those days that changed the course of history. I would keep them in a time capsule that I called “The Vault”. There’s something special about these newspapers. They’re timeless.
What spawned from a casual conversation with a client turned into a vision that wouldn’t escape me. It’s called “Glory”. A newspaper experience that I created, produced and designed to send to the people. Those who support my work, have supported me along the way, and those who inspire. Rather than something to scroll past, I sought to create a page that my viewer can turn.
is a photo series that tells the story of one of the most recognized sports symbols in the world, Manchester United Football Club®. Printed on newspaper, the series uses all three kits of the 2019 season in three different scenes to illustrate this story. The concept was carefully designed to create a perfect storm of brands, fashion, and of course, sports.
Every season, Manchester United partnered with Adidas release their three designs with their own colors and own story. As a supporter of the club, it was the first time a while that I really liked all three colors, designs, and the story behind the design. From there I decided to produce three separate photoshoots for each individual kit (jersey) design. Instead of shooting in my hometown, I decided to shoot these concepts around the globe with the help of a great team.
The shooting and design process took place on-and-off from October 2018 to May 2019. The series features images shot in Manchester, Miami, Tampa, Fiji, and Tonga.
Short for Mancunian. Shot in Manchester, England.
It was a very touch and go experience. It wasn't until a month prior that I found out that this was an actual possibility and booked the flight. With that time crunch, I had limited time to source sold-out fashion pieces by scouring the internet, finding the perfect model, and actually planning the shoot.
Fast forward to shoot day, everything (somehow) worked out. We jumped off the train and shot with our model on Sir Matt Busby Way, just outside Old Trafford, one of the most historic grounds in European football. Full of cafes and vendors draped in black and red, the way was a perfect setting to photograph the club's home colors.
The weather was thankfully overcast, which kept it authentic to a typical day in Manchester.
WHEN SKIES AREN’T GREY
Shot in Miami, FL.
When Skies Aren't Grey is a play on words from a famous United chant "You Are My Solskjaer" where you can find the lyrics "you make me happy, when skies are grey". In Miami, the skies are anything but.
Representing the pink away kit for Manchester United, South Beach was a no-brainer to pair. It also happened to be the final leg of the US pre-season tour for the club. The shoot consisted of a mixture of South Beach rooftops, sidewalks with modern backdrops, and the sandy beaches of Biscayne.
Paired with the pink kit was the Kith Flamingos. Similar to the Kith Cobras, is a fictional team based in Flamingo Park, Miami that features the colors navy, sky blue, and pink. The perfect match for Manchester United's away kit.
This shoot was the exact opposite of Manchester, in the sense that we were constantly playing games with the hard light. Opposed to overcast skies, hard light is less forgiving and you need to be very careful how the model is shaped from that light source. Luckily with the model, Brandon, his hair sometimes would act as a shield from hard light on his face.
Shot in Fiji, Tonga, and the Gulf of Mexico. W was by far the most ambitious shoot of three and tells a special story. The third kit for Manchester United is navy blue, but what it's made out of is very unique.
Parley For The Oceans™ is a brand that encourages artists, scientists, authors, filmmakers, etc. to use their craft to raise awareness for marine pollution. Adidas and Manchester United teamed up with Parley to create the third kit. The shirt is made completely of recycled plastic. To tell this story, the shoot absolutely had to take place in the ocean.
The shoot took some time to plan, we finally arranged the perfect model willing to dip into cold, 55-degree water, a boat, and most importantly a vision of what we're looking to shoot. We planned to shoot a surfer in the ocean wearing nothing but a wet suit and the shirt.
Shooting in the morning, there was a thick fog, a very thick fog. We couldn't see 10 yards in front of us. At first, I was disappointed that we didn't have sun. But after embracing the fog, I fell in love with the eerie and minimal feeling it gave the photographs.
We hit a minor problem at the beginning, the surfboard would sink easily. So with some quick thinking, we tied life jackets underneath the board with fishing line to make it more buoyant. It worked like a charm and we were smooth sailing from there.
You're probably wondering when Fiji and Tonga come into the equation. A great friend of mine, Frank Iannazzo-Simmons, is a travel photographer that collaborated photographs from his recent Oceania trip. While diving with humpback whales, Simmons was able to capture these fantastic photographs to complemented our shoot perfectly.
Glory: A Photo Experience
You may be thinking to yourself, experience? It's just a newspaper print. It's much more than that. There are elements of surprise, packaging design, the piece itself, and bridging the gap between traditional and digital media.
Friends, family, and supporters received their packages much to their surprise, on May 27th, 2019. The first business day after the 20th anniversary of Manchester United's Treble season. Arguably the best season in their history.
Before seeing the newspaper, they were greeted with special, custom packaging giving them quick context of what they're about to open. The top side stated: "Nick Pecori Presents". On the backside was recreated newspaper headlines of Manchester United highest and lowest points in the club's history.
Once opened, each package contains a personalized, handwritten note thanking them for their support among other things.
The newspaper was printed digitally on a 24-page tabloid layout. There are only 150 copies in existence.
The newspaper cover features a portrait shot during the Manc. series in Manchester. Once opened, you're greeted with blurbs on what the viewer is about to see and why it was produced.
On the last page, the viewer is shown a couple of QR codes that lead them to exclusive behind-the-scenes content on how the project was produced including blogs, videos, and photos that didn't make the cut.
Why DID I CREATE GLORY?
A year or two ago, I wrote a very controversial article. The emphasis was to create your own magazine, tell your own story, and tell it the way you want it to be told. Because the only person who truly understands it is you. That's what this newspaper is about. I discovered a void and was rather unsatisfied how people viewed my work. Instead of double-tapping and scrolling in mere seconds, I sought to create a piece that my viewer could touch, feel, and look at.
It’s not about how many view my work, but who values it.