Posts tagged documentary photography
Austin \\ Durham, NC

My friend Austin Trotman dropped by Durham the day after he wrestled in the U.S. Olympic Trials in wrestling.  We got to enjoy a cup of Durham's finest coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon and make some portraits. 

I'm currently producing a documentary on Austin.  Support the film here

Austin Trotman - Darkhorse - 2016 Olympic Hopeful

Last year I got to do a portrait session with my good friend Austin Trotman.

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Austin and I wrestled together during our undergraduate campaigns at Appalachian State University.  

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He now wrestles for Team USA and trains with world champion and olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs.

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In 2012, Austin defeated the #1, #2 and #3 nationally ranked wrestlers at the NCAA D1 wrestling tournament in St. Louis, Missouri.  

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During my graduate program at Appalachian State University I chose him my subject for a year long documentary project I did.

This was by far the most extensive project that I have done with the exception of my self portrait project.  I remember struggling through the processes of creating a documentary as well as knowing nothing about video, editing, lighting or story-telling.   

I also remember the feeling of finishing the video, sharing it and seeing the huge impact it had on the community of "wrestling".  

I had no idea that Austin's story (or the way I told it) would create an emotional reaction like it did in people.  

To this day when I am at wrestling events I meet people who thank me for making this piece. At the time I thought it was because of my "amazing documentary video skills".  

Not so (as you will see when you watch it). 

It was actually because it gave people a small amount of hope.  

LESSON LEARNED:  My inability to make perfect art is not important. It's how humans react to it that is important.