The Olympics is almost here, and I had an amazing opportunity back in November to photograph one of our Paralympic athletes, Karen Darke.
Karen was paralysed from her chest down when she was 21 in a rock climbing accident. Now she is going for gold handcycling in London 2012. But if that’s not enough, she is also planning to become the first person too sit-ski to the South Pole in 2013 to raise £1 million for the Back Up Trust.
The Back Up Trust help people like Karen with spinal cord injuries teaching them wheelchair skills, running mentoring programs and effectively changing their life forever. Along with BNI Putney I’ve been fund raising, selling raffle tickets and racing dragon boats for the last 5 years to support them.
Riverside Creatives is a group formed by a few members of BNI Putney offering various creative services, and together we took on this project to tell Karen’s story for The Back Up Trust. The team consisted of Andy Paterson-Jones of New England (art direction and design), Karen Toms of Tyrell Marketing (strategy), Jonathan Crane from Perpetual Films (videography) and me MLR PHOTO (photography).
Jonathan and his crew had been up to Inverness the week before and produced this compelling video ‘The Karen Darke Story’, so the pressure was on to create something equally good! Unfortunately the weather changed dramatically and we started off the day wet, cold and dark. Thankfully, the horrible weather was soon forgotten when the beautiful scenery of the highlands opened up before us and Karen got into highgear. What a kick! Karen whizzed past grazing cows, bleating sheep and foggy lochs. Even in the car, we struggled to keep up with her!
Meeting Karen makes me realise that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. The obstacles are in your mind, not in your body. I can’t wait to see her compete this autumn, and I’ll definitely be there to cheer her on.
To book Marte send her an e-mail or call 02073867078.
Athlete: Karen Darke
Charity: The Back Up Trust
Strategy: Karen Toms, Tyrrell Marketing
Video: Jonathan Crane, Perpetual Films
Art Direction, Design and Behind the scenes photography: Andy Paterson-Jones, NEW ENGLAND
Photography of the magazine Transform: Karla Simpson, MLR PHOTO
Photography of Karen Darke: Marte Lundby Rekaa, MLR PHOTO