ROLLING INSPIRATION has partnered with the South African Society of Photographers with Disability (SASPD). Its members are now the official photographers for the magazine, and their work will be published in the upcoming editions of ROLLING INSPIRATION.
“We are thrilled to be working with such skilled photographers. We are grateful for their willingness to assist us in our quest to further improve ROLLING INSPIRATION. We’re very proud of the magazine and we’re passionate about producing a publication that our readers will enjoy. Top-notch images make the world of a difference to any magazine, so we are really thrilled about this collaboration,” says Charleen Clarke, editor of ROLLING INSPIRATION.
One of the society members, Johan Meintjes, had the opportunity to take photographs at Loftus Versfeld earlier this year when the Bulls played a Super Rugby match against the Crusaders. Meintjes is a teacher at a primary school in Pretoria and a photographer with a unique perspective, both literally and figuratively.
A spinal cord injury in a gymnastics competition 35 years ago cost Meintjes the use of his arms and legs and ended his participation in sports. Because of his love for sport, he reconnected with his passion for gymnastics, athletics and rugby, but this time from behind a photographer’s lens.
Meintjes has 10 years of photographic experience. He also offers photography as an extracurricular activity to students, where he teaches learners about composition and focusing. He has a special stand on his wheelchair that acts as a tripod.
Meintjes was the first photographer with a disability to receive accreditation to photograph at Loftus Versfeld . Thanks to a sponsorship from Ludwig’s Photography, Meintjes was able to acquire the equipment needed for sports photography.
“Accessibility on a rugby field is quite challenging. Pushing your chair on the grass of a rugby field and taking photos is not easy. Loftus Versfeld officials Shanil Mangaroo and Roxanne Kambule made it so easy for me. They even organised to send my lunch onto the field so that I didn’t have to go all the way up to the media room,” Meintjes notes about the experience.
He will be photographing the women interviewed for ROLLING INSPIRATION’s feature on women for Women’s Month this August. Learn more about the SASPD members via their Facebook page and look out for their amazing photographs and story in the next issue of ROLLING INSPIRATION.