Revis Island - One Man's Private Spot

By Barbara Goldman

This past summer advertising sports and celebrity photographer Blair Bunting received a call from Maxim magazine to shoot a spread for their September 2010 issue featuring "Revis Island." Bunting readily admits his knowledge on geography and cartography may be a bit lacking, when he asked the Maxim editors "what's that?" He found out he was even more remiss in the sports arena, especially with the NFL, when Maxim replied, "No, it's a person, and a talented football player at that."

But Maxim was not interested in Bunting's sports knowledge. What they did like and what they wanted was his expertise in photographing such celebrity players. Bunting had to shoot Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, widely considered to be the best cornerback of the NFL. Revis's spot on the field is nicknamed "Revis Island" for his ability to play one-on-one with opposing receivers. And there lies the kernel of the concept for the shoot of a private island that is known as Revis Island.

Bunting was called in for the project by MaximPhoto Editor Mary Clancy-Pace after she had seen his site from a word of-mouth reference. "While working on a tight budget for our Darrelle Revis portrait, myself and our director of photography, Toby Kaufmann, turned to PhotoServe to find a local photographer. We were impressed with Blair's work and assigned him the story," says Clancy-Pace.

Bunting's impact on the photography and advertising communities has been immense. He is widely recognized for his vibrant and unique imagery and lighting and his advertising clientele which includes Pepsi, General Motors, Adidas, Discovery Networks, British Petroleum, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship series. He has worked with numerous movie and television personalities, professional athletes and high profile politicians and his editorial and portraiture work has appeared in countless national and international newspapers and magazines such as the The New York Times, Business Week, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine.

Maxim's concept for Revis on his own private island was to make this aggressive athlete look relaxed, and Bunting was certainly the right guy for the job. His biggest challenge on the shoot was just how much sand does it take to create an island for Darrelle Revis? Three to four tons to be exact. "As for working with Revis, it doesn¹t get any easier. He was soft spoken and laid back, which really sold the shot," adds Bunting.

The final image was a full-page in the September issue of Maxim and ran as a lead up to the NFL season. "The results were exactly what we were going for," says Clancy-Pace.

Bunting loves his work and whether he is shooting sports cars in Europe, or famous actors and athletes around the world, he manages to tell a unique story. He may not always be familiar with his subject at first, but clients and audience alike always come away with more and get the big picture from his work. See more of Blair Bunting and read his blog at


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