It’s wonderful to catch a glimpse of people who live unusual lives. Boston-based lifestyle and sports photographer Adam Glanzman spent four days in Nosara, Costa Rica profiling the singular life of professional golfer Morgan Hoffman, an athlete with a difficult and inspiring story, for an editorial in Golf Digest.
Morgan Hoffman had been the world’s top-ranked amateur golfer when he received the life-changing diagnosis of muscular dystrophy. Frustrated with western medicine slamming the door in his face, so to speak, he looked to healing practices elsewhere. This journey led him to Nosara, where residents, on average, live longer than most other places on earth. In this setting, Morgan has been able to learn how to intuitively heal himself by way of meditation, exercise, and changes in diet.
Adam and writer Dan Rapaport ventured there to reveal to the curious golf community how his health and life overall were faring.
I have been fortunate enough to work for Golf Digest a handful of times before this assignment, but never for a large-scale travel shoot.
Ahead of the trip, Adam met with Dan and Golf Digest’s visuals editor Ben Walton to discuss the intention of the editorial. It was important to tell Morgan’s story in a respectful, but meaningful way.
Ben and I also discussed how I would incorporate some motion and create a few GIFS out of the photos while I was there. The plan was to have a full feature article in print, while also using the digital assets to tell the story online as well.
Logistically, there was very little planning in terms of what they would be doing and where they would be going. Adam and Dan spoke with Morgan only one time before going to Costa Rica, just to touch base and get an idea of who he is and how he spends his time. The essential task was to document Morgan’s life as he lives it each day. Although vague plans were made, Adam had to be adaptable to Morgan’s spontaneous approach to life.
We would leave in the morning with him and return to our hotel late at night. Therefore I didn’t necessarily know what gear to bring with me each day, while being careful not to bring too much gear as I had to carry it.
Adam’s ability to be flexible and work under any circumstances is part of why Golf Digest chose him, in addition to his stylistic use of color that would lend itself well to capturing the beauty of Costa Rica.
We knew that a lot of the variables for this project may be unpredictable, and I believe that the editors had confidence I would be able to figure out how to get the job done even if some things were out of our control.
Adam brought lighting equipment to Costa Rica, for example, but ended up not using it at all, feeling that the nature of the story would lend itself better to natural light.
The whole experience was very moving, shadowing the routine of this thoughtful, kind man who had changed his entire life to heal himself. Adam especially loved waking up at sunrise to photograph Morgan’s morning routine, that included meditation and surfing.
It was a very special project that I was thankful to be part of. Morgan really opened up his life to us and didn’t hold back when he was photographed and interviewed.
See more of Adam’s work on his Instagram.