Sunday, November 04, 2007

Basketball preview: Part 1

"Towson University forward, Junior Hairston sits with one of his two sons Malachi, four months, in the Towson Center where he will start for the Tigers this season. A transfer from the College of Charleston last season, Hairston said raising his child and being there for his fiancée are atop of his priorities."

The past two days I've been compiling basketball images, action and portraits, for the annual Towerlight basketball preview. I figured I'd post up a portrait before posting the cover on Monday.

I really enjoy putting together images for any sports preview. However, I always have a hard time with basketball. I don't know what it is about shooting portraits of basketball players. Maybe it's because I am not a huge fan of basketball, the fact that they are hard to schedule, or the confinement of a gym. Nonetheless, I feel as I am always producing the same sort of portraits over and over.

So I had to change things up this time around. Last year we ran with this as cover and this portrait of Gary Neal along side action images.

My original plan was to get the players out of the gym, maybe off campus, but once I got the actual stories on them, I had to revert to plan B.

For cover, which I'll post on Monday, I kept simple. This will probably give it away in this test shot of Kris. I'll discuss that more later.

As for the above portrait, I had a totally different idea for him. But once I found out his story was more about his life and his son, I pulled an idea out day of. I wanted to show that his kid is more important than basketball. For what I had to work with, I think it tells the reader exactly that.

I had fun putting up all those chairs in the stadium, too. Probably could have put another row up. Oh, well.

For the second portrait, I again had to come up with an idea off the top of my head.

The girl is roughly 5 feet 5, the smallest on team. She also has a "swagger like Allen Iverson" according the writer, in which the story would loosely be surrounded on. My idea, have her standing between to of her tallest teammates, but cropping at the top of her head to show her height, and her sporting a cool, tough swagger like Iverson.

Two problems. She liked smiling in images for cover and there were no other players around.

I end up keeping it simple with this since I had a couple minutes before she had to jet over to practice.

Overall, I think the images turned out well. I am excited for the cover. Hopefully it looks as I planned in print.


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