I wanted to write this post last week when it was National Running Day but got busy and never got around to it. The timing would seem better this week for various reasons. I had a photo shot for a new website that is producing women's only events. They have a race coming up and just yesterday April, the site and event founder was on the local radio show to promote the next event and talk about triathlon training with one of the show hosts who is part of the CNN Fit Nation.
I've known April for a couple years now. She was my swim coach at the Atlanta Triathlon Club. April is a professional triathlete and coaches for CNN Fit Nation. If you're not familiar with the CNN Fit Nation Lucky 7, check out the website. 7 participants were selected to train for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The website documents their progress and the 7 members regularly blog about their progress as well as the challenges they have to overcome as they're on this journey. One of the participants is Jeff Dauler, part of morning radio team in Atlanta, The Bert Show. On yesterday's show April was on the air to talk about Jeff's progress as well as to promote SheMoves ATL. If you missed the show or you don't live in the Atlanta area, here's the link to the show recap as well as the actual audio segment from the show.
SheMoves ATL's mission statement is fairly simple:
"Shemoves looks to empower women by providing the support and events necessary to engage in an active, healthy, balanced lifestyle."
Three years ago I found myself with a career that ended and a lot of time on my hands. I decided to use that free time to change my lifestyle by becoming more active and living healthier. I joined the Atlanta Triathlon Club and I feel I have achieved what I wanted and I'm now changing my goals to improve performance. However, this may not be a path for everyone. Triathlon can be intimidating. We have this mental image of what these athletes look like and the same goes for running(those perceptions are not entirely accurate, just so you know). Shemoves is providing a fun and female only environment for women that may be intimidated by normal running events. The events will be fun and catered to women. The site is up an running and already providing articles on nutrition and training suggestions/recommendations. They are already holding group runs leading up to their first 5k event.
When April contacted me, she told me about the mission statement and that she wanted the photos to be fun. She wanted to show women running, having fun and looking confident. We chose to shoot in Piedmont Park. The weather was perfect although cold, it was February after all, which is why the grass isn't green. As this is still a start up, we didn't have a budget for models. Instead we used April and her sister. By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, April's favorite color is pink.
We started off with some simple shots of them running towards the camera. I positioned 2 strobes to the left for fill lighting. Sun was coming in from the left and I needed a bit of fill on the right.
We also needed some promotional shots with the logo. April had the logo printed on foamboard which worked great as a prop. Lighting was also 2 strobes for fill. Backdrop of the Atlanta mid-town skyline worked out nice as well.
We also wanted a more fun shot as well.
We also needed some head shots for the website. I tried some different type of setups to do something out of the ordinary. I thought of shooting from above and since April had brought Pink Gerber Daisies, that I would use them in these shots.
We setup in some shade and there was a picnic table nearby. April laid under the table while I shot above her. I used a strobe with a 60" reflective umbrella for lighting.
I then went with a traditional type of head shot. We dressed up the background. We used the pink Gerber Daisies and placed them in the bush in the background for a little color and April held the rest.
Lighting was handled by one strobe in a 28" Wescott Apollo softbox. This was also shot in the shade.
Although we were done with the shoot, I wanted to get some different shots that could potentially be used as backgrounds or elements for the website. I went with some detail shots with a shallow depth of field using my 50mm ƒ/1.8 lens.
Lighting was all ambient light in the shade.
I think what April is doing with SheMoves ATL is really great and I hope she's able to encourage more women to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. It's a great message and it's not only for women, but for every gender and age. If you're in the Atlanta area, I highly encourage women to participate in this next 5k and men, encourage the women in your life to participate. Men you can volunteer at the event. Once again, check out the website. You can register for the Suwannee 5k or Piedmont Park 5k through Active.com or locally at any of the 6 Big Peach Running Co. locations. If April can do an Ironman, the women in your life can run/walk a 5k to a healthier and active lifestyle.
I look forward to working with April again. We had a really fun time and I enjoyed this assignment. This is the kind of work I completely love doing.