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Justise Winslow and Other Athletes Off the Court: Michael Starghill, Digging Through the Greats

Each week, Green Label invites a visionary photographer, filmmaker, designer or artist to dig through their folios and tell the story of their favorite works. This is: Michael Starghill.

Long story short? I wanted to shoot videos when I was in college. I went to take a class for video and film production, but I couldn’t enroll in the class until I took basic photography first. I didn’t really want to do it, but I wanted to take the video class, so I went through with it. One of my homework assignments in that class was to go to any photo gallery in D.C., so I picked one, and it happened to have work from Walter Iooss, one of the greatest sports photographers ever. That was the moment I knew I wanted to do sports photography.

8to8 started around the time of the 2008 presidential election. I was looking at all of this awesome photojournalism that was documenting the candidates, which inspired me. 8to8 is basically where I spend 12 hours with a person, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. I initially reached out to a few local politicians, did a ride-along with a police officer, and spent some time with a rapper who also was involved with an after school program with kids. I wanted to just spend some time with interesting people in my community, follow them around, and photograph them.

I’m a huge sports fan, which is why a lot of my work is sports-centric. What drives me in that realm is not just shooting a game, but also shooting all the stuff in between that you don’t see. I want to shoot people working to be great and document what they’re doing to get to the next level. The hard work these people are doing to reach their goals—that’s what I want to capture.

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