The story continues… with smiles, laughs, reflection, family, and a bear of a dog.
Now, we pause for a station identification (for those of you who are old enough to remember what that is!). Originally, I wanted to capture all facets of the gym beyond the “9-ish” wave: the 5 a.m.’ers (but who am I kidding, getting up that early is definitely going to get in the way of my lifestyle); the afternoon crew; the evening people; the middle-school lifters and the school sports teams that train at WSC. But summer came, and my kids got out of school, and the beaches called my name.
We will return to these programs for pictures in the winter.
No matter what time you come in, though, and no matter who you are, it is guaranteed that you will see more smiles and laughter at WSC than in any other gym. The atmosphere is one of dedication, hard work, and resilience, but it is also comfortable and somehow calming. There are gatherings, parties, special events, charity functions, and — so help me God Almighty– I have seen pictures of people eating cake while working out supported, I suppose, by the motto: “If you want cake, work harder and eat that cake.”
Maybe it is the kids running around on a concrete floor, lifting with moms and dads and pushing the sled, or the Bryant’s dog, Stella, chilling (literally) under your feet and signalling you to slow down and take it easy in between heavy lifts that make it feel more like a home than a gym. Maybe it is because the people at WSC have a goal and a sense of purpose, a desire to be better than they were the day before one lift at a time.
I am not a fan of blogging, but I am certainly a fan of stories. Those of you who know me know I love to talk, and that is an understatement. We start this story with my joining Westminster Strength and Conditioning (WSC) in December of 2017 to rehab a torn bicep after a surgery in November after an ACL surgery just 8 months prior. I knew several people who went to Beau and Angie’s gym and who were prophets, and so I took the leap; a leap that led to me to a very cool place. This story is not about me, though, but about WSC and a gym environment unlike anything that I have experienced before (after a lifetime in gyms). It is at this point in the story that I stop calling WSC a “gym,” because what it really is, honestly, is a community. WSC is a community of like-minded people, who, for the most part, are just trying to make themselves better using weights– lots and lots of weights. Whether you are a 25 year old athlete or a 70 year old person trying to walk up and down steps after a hip replacement, the common goal is to get and be better using strength training. The physical structure that houses this community of people has no mirrors, no air conditioning, barely any heat, and has rooms that look like something out of SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. Seriously. But it is in these stripped down spaces that a community comes together every day to lift again and again under the guidance of the leader, the tone-setter, the beating heart behind the enterprise, and the voice behind the beard, Beau Bryant, who not only believes in making people better, but lives it.
I am a storyteller. You might know me as the guy behind the camera at WSC.
First and foremost, thank you to everyone that came out and sat for me for this fun-filled, freezing project. Was it cold?
Thank you Molly, Gailynn, Brianna, Erica, and Kenzie for returning to let me photograph you again and thank you first timers, Stephanie, Rebecca, and Abby for taking a chance and believing in my insane ideas.
I love the collection and had a fabulous time.
Now that the formalities are out of the way…
When it is really, really cold out, how do you shoot? Simple answer: Dress like we live in Maine, stop your crying and let’s roll. The best temperature over 10 days was 45 degrees. It also snowed one day and for two of the shoot days the temps in the sun were 11 and 12 degrees with -2 and -4 degree wind chills. It was fingers falling off from holding the camera freezing — and yet we prevailed.
Keep in mind this is not a boutique set up. Everyone did their own hair and make-up; they brought their own clothes; and the results for run-and-gun sessions (in the spirit of last year’s Gentleman of Jiu Jitsu sessions) are unreal. Seriously, look at the pictures…
Where are you going with this?
Enjoy the pictures and take a look at the website. I think that you will agree that the quality of these photos is right up there with pricier photographers. You can see my education in film and the caliber of my equipment in the results.
If I can do this in Antarctica-type temperatures, imagine what can be done when you are not freezing to death! 🙂 Give us a like on Facebook or a follow on Instagram.
Have a great 2018!
What initially was intended was to capture Molly in the fall time foliage up at Mount St. Mary’s U. with Molly as the subject… but we were about a week or two to early. Either way it turned into a fun practice day with her roommates. Posing and capturing multiple people can always be tricky. Thanks, Molly and friends!