Boston-based Photographer Ronnie Orlando didn’t envision he’d ever get to work with a team USA track and field Paralympian, but when he was contacted to work on a project for L’Oreal Paris, the opportunity arose. Ronnie’s images of Noelle Lambert, a Paralympian and founder of the Born To Run Foundation, are a wonderful portrayal of the strong and inspiring woman who aids in providing prosthetics to help young amputees lead active lives.
For this shoot, Ronnie was contacted by Craft Worldwide, an NYC-based production company, to work on a project for L’Oreal Paris that they could use to promote their annual Women of Worth initiative. The campaign, which recognizes female leaders of grassroots nonprofit organizations who are actively making a difference in their communities, would feature their 2020 honoree, Noelle Lambert.
I was fortunate enough to shoot their national honoree, Noelle Lambert. When Noelle lost her leg in a moped accident, she started a nonprofit that would help young amputee athletes obtain blades that allow them to function in athletic settings. She is also a Paralympian and is competing in Tokyo this summer.
The client wanted captivating images of Noelle to use for their website and social media, and they liked Ronnie’s strong portraiture style. He had never worked with the agency or with the client before, so it was a great learning experience. Ultimately, it was Ronnie’s portrait portfolio and negotiation skills that landed him the gig.
This was a great negotiation experience for me. I think that every time working with a new client you learn something new.
Ronnie photographed Noelle on-location in Manchester, New Hampshire. First at her home, and then at a track field where she often trains. During the shoot, Ronnie’s assistant kept in touch with the producer and client remotely, sending test shots to them in real-time to allow for feedback.
It was interesting to correspond with the producer of the shoot remotely. I didn’t have anyone on-site to view the images in real-time due to covid-19, so I had my assistant send over some test shots for each look throughout the shoot.
Ronnie enjoyed meeting Noelle and capturing her in action. They encountered a little wind, which can be hard to work around with equipment, but overall the shoot went smoothly. It’s not every day that you get to be in the presence of such an inspiring individual, but they developed a good rapport, and everything went off without a hitch.
I could not have asked for a better day. With the exception of the wind, everything was fantastic.
At the time of the shoot, Noelle had been nominated for the “Women of Worth” initiative, but it had not yet been announced that she would be named the National Honoree for the program. The announcement came later, and Ronnie watched Noelle’s reaction live when they aired the ceremony on television.
This year they televised their ceremony to announce the honorees. It was produced and aired on NBC — Viola Davis was the one to introduce Noelle and narrate her story while Helen Mirren broke the news that she would be the National Honoree.
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