While playing baseball at the age of 21, an ill-advised slide into third base cost Loren Worthington the use of his limbs. 30 years later, he’s now a talented sports photographer whose work earned him a job capturing adaptive sports at the Rio Paralympics.
In this inspirational profile by Great Big Story, we get to meet Loren, see him in action, and learn a bit about what it’s like shooting sports from the confines of a wheelchair.
Worthington’s injury left him a C5/6 quadriplegic, meaning he has no use of his legs and limited mobility in his upper body. But whatever challenges his disability has placed in his way, he’s managed to overcome them all.
“Adapting the camera is kind of an extension of learning how to deal with a disability,” says Worthington, explaining just one of the ways in which he has adjusted his technique. “I cannot use my right fingers; what I figured out is that I can use an external shutter control with my mouth and take the photograph [that way].”
As a sports photographer, he’s focused his lens on adaptive sports, capturing disabled athletes who have learned to adapt in their own ways. “I felt my best photographs were of people with disabilities,” explains Worthington, “because they saw in me somebody that they could open up to.”
His career finally reached its zenith earlier this year when, after nearly a decade behind the camera, he was tapped to capture the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
You can hear Loren’s whole story and see some of the amazing action shots he’s captured in the video at the top. If this doesn’t inspire you to pick up your camera and pursue your passion this week, not much will.
(via ISO 1200)