SpoFit opened in November, 2011. New Mobility editor, Tim Gilmer attended the grand opening. He must have liked it as he asked I shoot a photo for their cover story. We talked about it quite a bit and I struggle to get a concept. I knew I wanted to include Phil Pangrazio, ABIL’s CEO and President as the story was in large part a story about how he got the thing built. I finally settled on an interior photo for the background and yes, the cover ended up being a composite.
This was the first, but by no means the last time I’d ask a person in a wheelchair to pose with their leg crossed. In Phil’s case I think it accurately depicts his confidants and relaxed demeanor we all saw throughout the building process of a $13 million facility. It was a risky and ambitious project. SpoFit is only the 2nd facility of its kind in the US.
Early on, I knew I had a strong photo of Phil. But I was never happy with any background image. I was playing around with the shot shown here with little enthusiasm. I tried some type of photoshop edit and boom, it was perfect. But I definitely stressed over this shot for many many hours.
I believe we used a 64″ octo-softbox and an Einstein above Phil. The background is a 5-shot bracket with considerable enhancements. I nshot both with Nikon’s D300 which was really an outdated camera even at the time. Never again.