The challenge? Suspend a subject 36 floors up a building face using a harness. To make matters more complicated, his subjects were everyday people—not acrobats or stunt people.
Von Wong’s master plan was to create a 20 foot scaffolding with a metal pole running down the middle and a rope attached to an electric car wench. He would then hang from the scaffolding and try out different harnesses. Not exactly the sort of credentials you need to be a photographer. By his own admission, it was painful.
For the models, this was going to be even more difficult. He had a doctor, a business entrepreneur, and social activists—people who had very little experience in what they were about to get into.
Those who said they were scared of heights were only asked to drop off a seven story building. Those who were not scared of heights were asked to hang outside a 30 story building.
“Like most things in life, the hardest part was making a commitment. It was that first step to hang over the edge that was really the most difficult.”
However, once they finally conquered that initial fear, they were free to practically run on air. And that’s exactly what came through in the final images.
It wasn’t easy, especially with a heavy bike as a prop. Mistakes were made and lessons were learned.
While a single image from the shoot may not be that impactful, the shoot itself serves to motivate the community and inspire the next wave of achievers.
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