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San Diego Photographer Shoots Madden NFL 11 Cover

For the second year in a row, the cover image for the insanely popular Madden NFL video game has been shot by San Diego photographer Tim Mantoani. This year, the Madden 11 cover features Superbowl MVP and New Orleans Saints quarterback (and former San Diego Charger), Drew Brees. The shoot took place at a studio in Kearny Mesa - check out the behind-the-scenes video of the shoot below.

I first discovered Mantoani's work through his "Behind Photographs Project," which features portraits of photographers holding an iconic image he or she produced. The series is shot with a 20x24 Polaroid camera - there are very few of these cameras left (not many people are shooting large format instant photography these days!) and it's a technically challenging camera to work with.

Mantoani's amazing series is meant to document the photographers who have influenced the craft of photography and the greater culture through their work. The series is executed beautifully, but I respond most to the concept.

We all know the image of Johnny Cash flipping off the camera, guitar slung to the side, embodying cool and rebellion so perfectly. Because of Mantoani's project, we now see Jim Marshall, the rock photographer who froze that moment in time for us. Marshall died in March - other subjects have also died this year - making the "Behind Photographs Project" an important archive of image makers.

In his life as a commercial photographer, Mantoani also shoots portraits of athletes. Since football season is upon us, I thought it appropriate to share some of his portraits of NFL players. But check out his portraits of other athletes as well - the ones of disabled athletes are incredible.

San Diego Shoot for Madden NFL 11 Cover

San Diego photographer Tim Mantoani shot New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for the cover of the Madden NFL video game. The shoot was here in San Diego.

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