When Loren was 21, he had his sights set on playing baseball professionally. But as he slid into 3rd base and collided with another player, Loren’s baseball dreams were sidelined. He became a C5/C6 quadriplegic from his injury.
“After I got hurt, it was painful to sit on the sidelines and watch other people play sports and participate, and not be involved."
And it wasn’t until 20 years later that Loren would once again discover a love for sports. But not as a player. Loren became interested photographing athletes – athletes with disabilities in particular. “It was an opportunity to get back into sports again,” he says.
Loren doesn’t have movement in his right fingers, so he’s developed an adapted way of taking photographs. “What I figured out is that I can use an external shutter control with my mouth and take the photograph,” he says. “Adapting the camera is kind of an extension of learning how to deal with a disability.”
Loren says he has a special connection with the athletes he captures. “I felt my best photographs were of people with disabilities because they saw in me somebody that they could open up to.” And for Loren, the heart of his work is capturing the fire that burns within each competitor.
“When I take photos of athletes, I want to show them as somebody who works hard, who competes hard, and who wants to win. It really shows more about the athlete than the disability.”
Loren says that once he became serious about adapted sports photography, he set a goal for himself: to one day photograph athletes at the paralympic games. And in 2016, that goal became a reality when Loren traveled to Rio de Janeiro as an official paralympic photographer.
Have you switched up your dreams like Loren following an injury? Tell us about how you found your new path, and you could be featured on AbleThrive!