Created in 2002 as an extension of its successful French office, Abaca USA has grown from a one man operation to a full fledge office representing hundreds of photographers, covering news, sports, entertainment and politics. In 2008, Press Association, the UK newswire agency, invested heavily in Abaca USA, becoming a full 50% partner. Today, with its headquarters in New York and ran by its CEO, Jean Michel Psaïla, Abaca USA has become a major player in publications worldwide, providing some of the most refreshing reportage this side of the Atlantic.
Olivier Douliery is a young White House pool accredited Washington DC based photographer with numerous awards who has been on staff with Abaca USA almost since its inception. Besides covering US politics, he excel in sports, entertainment and portraits. He is one of the old school magazine photographer who cannot be categorize as he will, whatever the conditions, come out with great images.
The photo essay presented here was shot on assignment from French sport magazine, L’equipe. They wanted to do a story on how cadets at West Point learn and play Rugby, a usually more European sport. To cover the story, Olivier lived, slept, played, talked, for 5 days with the officers in training, never leaving their path, to the point that they forgot he even was photographing them. The result is an impressive insight in the lives of these future generals of the US Army as they train and learn to play rugby.