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Throughout my travels to CrossFit gyms, competitions, and throwdowns all over the Western United States, I’ve come to the conclusion that CrossFitters are comprised of a rather unique set of casts and characters. As the Creative Director and sole Photographer responsible for many of the images you’ve grown accustomed to from Tabata Times, I’ve interacted with these individuals first-hand and came away with a better understanding of just what makes these folks tick.
The long and short of it is, CrossFitters have spunk! To take part in this challenging regiment, an athlete must set aside their inhibitions and certainly get out of their comfort zone. Regardless of your background, CrossFit has the ability to instill a sense of passion and confidence in an athlete that is seemingly unparalleled in the world of fitness. Of course this feeling of accomplishment can be achieved doing anything you set your mind to, but rarely does an aspiring athlete have the guidance and support of an entire community continuously validating your efforts and aiding you in reaching personal goals.
That being said, CrossFitters take any opportunity available to express themselves…and one easy way to do so is through tee-shirts that can be as inspiring as the workouts themselves. With the CrossFit industry’s exponential growth over the years, there has likewise been a steady influx of apparel and accessories intended to fuel an athlete’s fire during these challenging movements. These tees can be oriented to appeal to emotion, get you fired up, or simply make you smile through the use of clever puns – with common movements like the snatch and jerk, you can see where I’m going with this. Whatever gets your blood boiling, there is certainly a tee-shirt out there that can give you the extra oomph necessary to get through a tough WOD.
It is rather common during the several photo shoots we’ve completed thus far, that I get perplexed looks and blank stares by athletes I’m photographing – as I climb onto a box or crawl on my knees to frame a shot. Most probably speculate that I’m looking to expose flaws in their movements, or perhaps I take my craft too seriously. Why do I go to such lengths to capture an image that would seemingly be easier to shoot straight on? As an artist, my goal is to allow the viewer to feel like a fly on the wall of the venue I’m documenting; to capture a single moment in time where an athlete dug deep to finish a rep, or went out of their way to motivate a fellow team member. This is much more difficult to achieve in my personal photography in that my subjects aren’t typically wearing clothing that speaks to the objective of the image…but CrossFitters make the task of conveying a complex message, much more attainable.
So keep on keeping on CrossFitters! You can certainly expect that Tabata Times will be paying you a visit in the near future, to share your inspiring story with the global CrossFit community…one slogan tee-shirt at a time.