While it is embarrassing that I haven’t posted in nearly a year… or that frequently before that I find it fitting that I am making my re-emergence with this post. I have been working professionally as a photographer now for 12 years and full time for nearly 7. Most artists try to continue to grow their skillset even as they enter the professional world because sometimes when your exchange your craft for money your passion takes the backseat… and no one likes a stagnate cranky artist 😉
The last several years I have focused immensely on upping my game in the lighting category. Lighting is basically the foundation of photography so mastering added and artificial lighting makes the world your oyster. 2017’s project was working on a new, harsher lighting. Most of my past lighting focus was for portrait work and so I needed a new and more challenging project so this year I decided to focus on fitness photography.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am the weirdo who can’t get enough of a good sweat session or the endorphin high after cranking out a new PR. So entering into this new line of photography was not only fun but it allowed me to combine some of my passion with my work. (winning!)
After I learned some of the lighting techniques I needed for fitness photography (a HUGE thank you to all of the fitness instructors I used as guinea pigs 🙂 I should do a post for them at some point!) I wanted to do more than just shoot professional athletes or fitness pros. My favorite part of my job is not capturing the ‘money shot’ or the 8×10 great grandma will hang on her mantle. My favorite part of what I do is working with families and people in such an vulnerable way that I capture ‘THE’ shot. The shot where a person can see themselves through my lens the way loved ones see them. Beautiful. Strong. Capable. Loved.
Our society puts so much pressure on all people to be a certain way, act a certain way and achieve certain goals and without completing this imaginary list of conquests we are told we are worth nothing. I hope that through my work (both hired and personal) people can treat themselves a little more kindly and see themselves in the light that other people view them. Which with that longwinded journal entry brings me to my project!
This project was birthed to show everyone of all fitness levels, interests and walks of life that there is an inner athlete in you. Everyone can be fit, strong and do amazing things. You don’t need to do cross fit, run marathons or be a zumba instructor. (though if you want to, more power to you!) Everyone has their own starting point and often times people have *multiple* starting points.
The main goal is to view your body as this amazing machine that enables you to do AWESOME things. So we should really love it instead of constantly hating it, criticizing it and worse; trying to starve it to mold it into something it isn’t meant to be. Fuel your body. Love your body.
As I finally delve into the ACUTAL post a huge, huge shout out to KIN Movement for hosting this event. They have an awesome space to help people from all fitness levels achieve their goals. Their mindset is unlike any I have found in a gym and their support through this project has been unparalleled. Also a HUGE thanks to the folks who showed up and were vulnerable enough to let me use them as my models. These are just regular people (NOT fitness models!) and I hope you give them a standing ovation for their awesomeness.
Bob: Triathlete and would be diplomat.
Always be ready to embrace the suck. May not be the fastest but always moving forward.
Cole: Manager/Specialist at Human Element and Single-Mom-Extraordinaire
Strives to be stronger and more fit to set an example for her son. Wishes she could be a travel writer to show him the world.
Hannah: Owner/CEO Metric MKTG
Loves the beach, her kiddos and kicking thyroid disease in the butt.
Favorite actress is Candace Cameron Bure and would be a professional singer in another life.
Holly: Mama of two sweet babes and part of University of Michigan’s Sea Grant (School for Environment and Sustainability)
Multi-sport competitor and Proud Canadian. Mama who nurses/pumps WHILE working full time (that is a marathon folks for those of you who have never done it!)
Jesse: Swim instructor and coach. University of Michigan student.
Would be professional gymnast. Favorite book is The Hurt Artist by Shane Neimeyer.
Katie: Mama and Manager of Health and Wellness of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Would love to travel to Greece and favorite color is yellow. Has a PhD but in another life would be a Labor/Delivery nurse.
Megan: Nurse Anesthetist, bad ass and dog mama.
Loves Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and would be a race car driver if being a nurse anesthetist didn’t work out.
Nikki: Mama to 3 littles and fitness lover.
She is a beach lover and Paul Walker fan. If she could tell her younger self anything it would be: To stop spending so much time caring what other people think because what matters is what YOU think!
Sam: Teacher for STEM Prep school in Nashville.
Runner and newly minted teacher from EMU. If she could live anywhere it would be to her newly relocated Nashville, living the dream! Favorite song is ‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood.
Stacey: Mom of two and Battle of Waterloo finisher
Loves making gains in the gym, pushing herself harder and being epic for her two sons. If she could tell her younger-self anything it would be “Don’t compare yourself to all these girls. Don’t change a thing about what makes you you. You and your life end up to be really amazing! ”
Susan: Fitness Guru and Marketing pro
In another life would be a photographer or a veterinarian. Miami transplant to Michigan and warm weather lover. If she could live anywhere it would be Brazil.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey! Posting this has taken a bit of vulnerability on my part as an artist because as we learn new crafts we see only the flaws in our projects… much like how we view our own body’s in the mirror. I hope through this journey of life we can all view ourselves a little more kindly and honestly give ourselves a pat on the back. Being a good human is no joke, so lets all be nice to each other, give each other high fives and encourage each other to be the best, strongest human ever.
run often, smile more!