My alarm goes off at 5:05am in the morning… The streets are clear, the sun is still hours away from peeking through the skyscrapers… “where in the hell am I?” were the first words out of my mouth. Then a few groggy milliseconds later I remembered I had to get up early to do a group shoot for the Bahati Foundation pro cycling team. More specifically the Bahati Foundation is a program that helps inspire youth in inner-city and underserved communities.
With a little help from my friend Joshua Chan, facebook, and luck, I was assigned the team photographer for a team that boasts such names as Rahsaan Bahati, Floyd Landis, Nathan O’Neill, and Hilton Clarke. A list of names any avid cyclist should recognize to say the least.
Close up: Floyd Landis (left) – Rahsaan Bahati (right)
Close up: Nathan O’Neill (left) – Hilton Clarke (right)
Rahsaan is the most accomplished African American cyclist in the world today, from an unlikely upbringing; Compton, CA. Coming from a tough and troubled youth, he stumbled upon the sport of cycling by chance, and is what we call a natural. Now he is giving back to his community through the Bahati Foundation. Watch the very inspiring video below for more on his story:
Joshua (left) and Billy (right) helped GREATLY during the shoot. Not to mention (as usual) my assistant Lauren. She was a little camera shy this morning.
For the group shots I kept the camera on the tripod so I could easily mask faces in from other pictures if someone from the large group had their eyes closed or made a goofy face… which was quite common
When the crowd grew thinner, I was able to take the camera off the tripod and find some more dramatic angles. Getting low for huge group shots is near impossible since everyone’s face needs to be visible… Oh ya it was St. Patrick’s Day, hence the screaming green attire
The team was fashionably late, which unfortunately cut the shooting time down to just 1 hour. i was able to snap off 11 different types of group shots (not all shown here). We started at 8am, and my watch showed 9am when the last shot was snapped. The team were already on their way out for an intense training session. Not a bad way to spend the morning.
I’ll end this blog post with some snaps from a team ride I covered. An odd venture for me since it didn’t involve power packs, softboxes, or strobes.