AD4803 Studio – FIGHT! Magazine Research

For the main task of 4 portraits in this module, I am proposing to take pictures of Brett Johns, an MMA fighter. I decided to do this as Brett has recently been accepted into the UFC and is one of 2 Welsh fighters (and he was the first ever Welsh fighter to be accepted). This is historic in Welsh MMA and I wanted to document this. As well as this, I know Brett well and I thought he would be willing to have a photo shoot. Equally, I know the gym he trains in well which will enable me to plan the shoot before I go, in turn saving time while shooting. Because of the subject of the portraits being a fighter, I thought it would be appropriate to shoot the portraits for a fighting specific magazine, or a magazine with a heavily male audience. Although this may be considered stereotypical, audiences interested in fighting (particularly MMA) tend to be male.

FIGHT! Magazine

FIGHT! Magazine website

FIGHT! Magazine showcases the elite athletes of varying martial arts types. These include MMA, boxing, Muai Thai and more. Therefore, I think this publication would be suitable for a story on recently signed MMA fighter Brett Johns.


A lot of the images within FIGHT! magazine are shot in the studio. Generally the backgrounds are dark and lighting is used to emphasise the subjects’ physique. This makes sense as usually readers of the magazine are men who aspire to be like the subjects within the magazine. The image above is a good example of this. The subject also appears to be sweating which is emphasised by the lighting.

The lighting is usually very specific in this magazine as it is positioned to make the subjects look as lean and muscly as possible.In this image, there appears to be 3 sources of lighting. Firstly, a soft box flash has been positioned on the back right (subjects POV) of him. This is evident through the hot spots on the subjects right shoulder, bicep and the right side of his face. A large flash has also been positioned above the subject which is creating dark shadows on his face and abs, emphasising his frowning facial expression. This effect was to make the subject seem more tough and threatening. Finally, there seems to be a light behind the subject which is illuminating the background, making the subject appear separate from the backdrop.

FIGHT! Magazine isn’t widely available. Although some stores sell it, generally readers of the magazine have subscriptions.Individually, the magazine sells for £4.99 or you can subscribe and get 12 copies for £82.44. This suggests that the audience for this magazine have some sort of disposable income suggesting that they may be in the A, B, C1 or C2 category of people in media terms:


As well as that, the magazine being so niche in its genre suggests that the audience has a disposable income and a very specific interest in martial arts.

Advertisements in this magazine tend to be aimed at fighters and men 18-45. I think this age group because these ages are still fit enough to fight and train. Although older people could buy, read and enjoy this magazine, as a lot of the information in it is techniques to use in fighting, I think this is it’s primary target audience in terms of age. Adverts featured in the magazine include adverts for kit, protein powders and upcoming events. Similar adverts are posted on their Facebook page (FIGHT! Magazine Facebook).


As well as this, colour schemes within this magazine tend to be red, black and white. This makes images and text easy to read, with the red reiterating the idea of danger and threat which is usually linked to fighting. The colours are again suggesting a more masculine audience as opposed to a magazine like Women’s health which have a much more stereo typically feminine colour scheme:


I think the style and genre of this magazine would work well with my subject. However, as a rule the magazine focuses more on technique and doesn’t usually have an athlete profile, and when they do, it’s for a bigger star who will more than likely feature on the cover of the magazine (like Eddie Wineland in the cover above) . For this reason, I don’t think this magazine would be appropriate for my portraits.


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