Portrait of The Great Mario Lemieux (Now in Stories)

Uploaded 20 Jan 2013 — 26 favorites
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© James Wiley
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Likes 9
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More of James Wiley’s Photos

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  • Portrait of The Great Mario Lemieux (Now in Stories)
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  • Ninety-Nine...AKA The Great Gretzky (Now in Stories)

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Shot for MVP Magazine, this portrait of Mario Lemieux was done in 1984 early during his rookie season with Pittsburgh. The hype he received was enormous, after being drafted number one and expected by many to be the next Gretzky. He told me he was embarrassed by it because he hadn't done anything yet. I tried to make the portrait capture that uncertainty he was feeling at the time.

Of course, his playing career now long over, he proved what he could do and is now recognized as one of the greatest ever to play the game.

In my 'Sports and Action' collection
In my 'Photojournalism' collection

In the NHL: Game On! photo essay.

25 responses

  • Jyri Vissak

    Jyri Vissak gave props (20 Jan 2013):

    Beautiful portrait here!

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (20 Jan 2013):

    He was indeed one of the greatest. I can imagine his uncertainty, and you captured that so perfectly! A very striking portrait!

  • JamesHarmon McQuilkin

    JamesHarmon McQuilkin   gave props (20 Jan 2013):

    a masterful capture--

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins (Deleted) gave props (20 Jan 2013):

    The folded hands and the look on his face seem to say that he is very worried. This is a great portrait and i am loving the bright color. Quite a change from you James!

  • Patrick Marella

    Patrick Marella gave props (21 Jan 2013):

    Awesome capture excellent Work !

  • Kelly Nichols

    Kelly Nichols gave props (21 Jan 2013):

    Love his reflective pose. An iconic sports photo.

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray gave props (21 Jan 2013):


  • Lynn E. Harvey

    Lynn E. Harvey gave props (21 Jan 2013):

    Masterful capture of the challenge he was moving toward and quite pensive! I agree with Donna, color looks amazing.

  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda (Deleted) gave props (21 Jan 2013):

    I remember all of that, great capture of him !

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (21 Jan 2013):

    Great portrait!!!

  • Kevin Kott

    Kevin Kott (Deleted) gave props (21 Jan 2013):

    He was One of The Best ever!!!!!!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (22 Jan 2013):

    Brilliant, James. I see and feel his uncertainty. Love the lighting and tones.

  • Lew Harford

    Lew Harford gave props (22 Jan 2013):

    Great thoughtful portrait.

  • Dennis Burlingham

    Dennis Burlingham gave props (23 Jan 2013):

    And now that sport seems to taken over by greed.

  • Ted Anderson

    Ted Anderson (Deleted) gave props (23 Jan 2013):

    Wonderful, poignant portait, and in Color!

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker   gave props (24 Jan 2013):

    love the light, contrast and texture!

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (25 Jan 2013):

    Wonderful chiarascurro lighting! Excellent portrait!

  • Leah Birkenbach

    Leah Birkenbach gave props (25 Jan 2013):

    Wow, this is really a beautiful portrait. Love the lighting and pose, so poetic. I had to immediately show my dad, who's a portrait photographer (for 30 years)!

  • Paperini Renato

    Paperini Renato gave props (26 Jan 2013):

    Beautiful light and excellent effect in diagonal

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (26 Jan 2013):

    WONDERFUL portrait, James!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (28 Jan 2013):

    An outstanding profile portrait and the lighting is perfect.!!!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (28 Jan 2013):

    Your portrait of him does show the uncertainty that he was feeling. Excellent work, James!

  • Mike Melnotte

    Mike Melnotte gave props (2 Feb 2013):

    Tremendous portrait of one of the greats.

  • Aaron Schwartz

    Aaron Schwartz gave props (4 Feb 2013):

    Wow, what a wonderful portrait!

  • kenneth boston

    kenneth boston gave props (1 Mar 2013):


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