"Outex was in part inspired by my Olympic swimming background and experiences. And watching the games is exciting enough for the inspiring, jaw-dropping performances by the athletes themselves. As you can imagine many of my old friends and acquaintances have become coaches, administrators, or now have kids competing at that level. Some of my coaches are coaching today's top athletes still. And now, adding the photography dimension has been increasingly rewarding, as the number of Outex-related sports photographers lending their skills to the Olympic story-telling continues to grow. Their perspective makes it that much more fun to watch - specially in a year without spectators. I can't get enough." (Outex co-founder JR deSouza)
Several sports photographers have become Outex friends over the years. Some work for top publications in various countries around the world in both sports and photojournalism; swimming, diving, sailing, triathlon, athletics, newspapers, blogs, and sports. Examples include Jonne Roriz, Olivier Morin, Bryan Keane, Satiro Sodre, Jack Spitzer, and Mike Lewis, representing various countries like Brazil, France, Ireland, and the United States. We're lucky to count on their input, feedback, and constructive criticism over the years. And some of this feedback makes its way into our innovation and patented design. You can visit their profiles in our Ambassadors pages, with links to their profiles and social media.
Like many of the athletes, many of these professionals have fascinating stories themselves. Varied backgrounds and paths that lead them into where they are today. Interestingly, some of them began their careers as athletes themselves. Jack Spitzer was a collegiate swimmer, and Bryan Keane competed as a triathlete for Ireland at the Rio Olympics before switching sides behind the camera.
@ Bryan Keane
@ Bryan Keane
In addition to profiles, we have featured some of these stories in our Blog
and Outdoor Photo Series
(OPS). You can watch a 45 minute interview with Bryan Keane on our OPS page to hear about his path from athletics into story-telling and photojournalism. As he tells it, some of the distinct advantages of a former athlete turned photographer includes
- An inherent trust from past relationships with current competitors and coaching staff
- Insight and access to backstories and behind the scenes details
- Foresight into points of interest, routines, or races that may result in dramatic, game-changing, or decisive stages of the event in question
And those perspectives often carry into additional sports as well, in both obvious and sometimes less obvious ways. For example, a triathlete will obviously have above-average instincts for swimming, biking, and running, which carries into multiple other sports. But they can also appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears that have paved the way to most competitors at this level in any event.
Reversely, the same characteristics that may give former athletes insights, can work as biases or blind-spots to the beauty and the agony of summer Olympic sports from a spectator's perspective. The most memorable images often need no context, explanation, or even backstory, precisely because the capture the essence of the summer games spirit.
Many of the iconic images I recollect from the last 2 weeks in Tokyo tell a story on their own. They celebrate the dignity, humanity, struggle, agony, and conquest with which the word Olympics is synonymous.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as we do.