My first love, I must admit was not photography. As a teen my first true passion was gymnastics and at 15 I began working as an assistant coach and choreographer for a local team. It was all consuming, at the time I lived and breathed it. In turn, I was drawn to photography as a mere tool to capture the visuals that I was so captivated by. Eventually, the tool would become the passion. I found these two early images while going through a box my Mom had saved. I believe they were in my first portfolio which I used to apply to Art Center.
By shooting a subject I loved and shooting a lot, I began to look beyond the subject and became entranced by the process. So not unlike writing, in looking for subjects, it is good to focus on what you know. The gymnast in these was one of the girls I coached, Sheryl Fitt, then about 12 years old. She was one of the most gifted girls I ever worked with, both strong and flexible, with beautiful long legs and a ton of natural talent.
A couple of years later, I invited her up to my school to photograph her in one of the studios for a series I was shooting on teenagers. Working with a Hasselbald and tungsten lights which I find in retrospect, pretty amazing. Having a strong knowledge of the skills, made it easier for me to capture the peak moment on film. I scanned these from the actual finished project, a book, I printed by hand. It was a grueling process to print three images on one sheet of paper, which makes me appreciate the ease of Photoshop all the more.
all photos & content © Lara Rossignol