SpoFit Opens – Adaptive Sports Center for People with Disabilities

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  I nshot both with Nikon’s D300 which was really an outdated camera even at the time.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.