In 1972, the landmark civil rights law Title IX was passed in the United States, barring gender discrimination in education, and opening many doors for women. The most notable impact of Title IX has been on high school and collegiate athletics, with many attributing the growth of women’s sports around the world to the legislation. Title IX was also the inspiration behind the women’s athletic clothing line Title Nine, a brand that’s “evangelical” about women participating in sports and fitness activities. Sharing similar views and photographic styles, New York-based sports photographer Laura Barisonzi recently reached out to Title Nine about working together. Not long after, Laura found herself headed to Moab for a Title Nine fitness shoot.
Title Nine’s focus is on highlighting real, athletic women participating in activities they’re competent and comfortable in—which is what they hired Laura to capture for their fall catalog. Laura was excited to work for the brand she felt she was such a good fit for. The only issue with the shoot was the fact that it needed to be completed in spring while still appearing as fall-like as possible; but Laura knew she could make it work.
So to achieve a fall feel, Laura took production from her home base all the way out to the deserts of Moab, Utah. She knew the red rocks would make for a perfectly autumn backdrop. However, putting together a shoot so far from home meant casting the models from thousands of miles away.
I cast the subjects from afar, which was a big challenge. Of course, the benefit of using real people who actually do the sports is that they’re able to provide some location knowledge as well as some supplemental propping.
For the shoot, Laura and the team spent three days in Moab photographing women kayaking, trail running, mountain biking, bouldering, camping, hiking and more. The crew braved sandy windstorms and 100 degree plus heat to get the shots. Laura adds,
We worked very long shoot days, focusing on dawn and dusk with shoot breaks in the middle of the day for naps in the air conditioning. Call times were 4:30 am so that I could take advantage of nice, soft dawn light.
It was all worth it though, with the final shots making Laura and the client very happy. The images are now being used in Title Nine’s fall catalog, on their website and in-store posters.