Austin Trotman - Darkhorse - 2016 Olympic Hopeful

Last year I got to do a portrait session with my good friend Austin Trotman.

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Austin and I wrestled together during our undergraduate campaigns at Appalachian State University.  

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He now wrestles for Team USA and trains with world champion and olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs.

austin_trotman_portrait_photography

In 2012, Austin defeated the #1, #2 and #3 nationally ranked wrestlers at the NCAA D1 wrestling tournament in St. Louis, Missouri.  

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During my graduate program at Appalachian State University I chose him my subject for a year long documentary project I did.

This was by far the most extensive project that I have done with the exception of my self portrait project.  I remember struggling through the processes of creating a documentary as well as knowing nothing about video, editing, lighting or story-telling.   

I also remember the feeling of finishing the video, sharing it and seeing the huge impact it had on the community of "wrestling".  

I had no idea that Austin's story (or the way I told it) would create an emotional reaction like it did in people.  

To this day when I am at wrestling events I meet people who thank me for making this piece. At the time I thought it was because of my "amazing documentary video skills".  

Not so (as you will see when you watch it). 

It was actually because it gave people a small amount of hope.  

LESSON LEARNED:  My inability to make perfect art is not important. It's how humans react to it that is important.  

Mark Maya

Mark Maya Photography, Durham, NC, 27707, United States

Mark Maya is a photographer and educator from Durham, NC.

Mark Maya is a wedding photographer and educator from Durham, NC.