Photography for me is about so much more than the click of the shutter. At its best it is ultimately about taking risks, building relationships and finding new and unique ways to tell a story. Last year I had the privilege of attending the Adventure Photography Workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (I wrote about that here.) During that experience I got to meet and draw inspiration from one of the most accomplished photographers out there today, the incomparable Corey Rich. I find daily inspiration by reading the blogs of many visual storytellers and Corey’s blog is one of them. In one of his recent posts Corey writes: “I hope you are inspired to get out and enjoy your own personal project.” I was. It so happens that a new CrossFit gym just relocated to my area; being that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and because I have spent the past couple of years studying lighting without putting that study to practice nearly as much as I would like, I decided to approach the owners and ask if they would be interested in a shoot similar to the one Corey recently undertook.
We scheduled for a Saturday and they agreed to close the gym early so we would be able to make the most of the space. I worked from an initial shot list and lighting setup that I had planned out using three Alien Bees B800 flash units, an ABR800 Ringflash unit and two Alien Bees Vagabond Mini Lithium power supplies. I used two Westcott Apollo Strips, an Alien Bees White Beauty Dish and a couple of reflectors with 20 and 30 degree grids. I also brought my fog machine. While I had a somewhat well defined starting point, things quickly evolved from there. I showed the team what I was going for and asked for their advice as to what shots they thought would work best for them. By keeping an open mind and improvising upon my original plan I think we were able to accomplish some great shots. We spent about five hours shooting and I can honestly say I didn’t leave anything on the table. As a matter of fact, after the shoot was over I felt like I had just been through a CrossFit workout myself!
This experience helped me in many ways; I got to meet some great new people, added a few shots to my portfolio and found my own vision through working from a defined starting place and listening to my subjects as we progressed through the day. It was a really great experience and I am looking forward to building on what I learned in future projects.
I would especially like to thank all the folks at CrossFit 860 for this opportunity, especially Jeff Wallace, Danielle Bernier, AJ Channey and Adam Durand. Thanks also to Corey Rich for the inspiration. You can check out all the images from the shoot in my archive.