Standing at 5’6” tall, I’m not a tall man. Definitely below average height. Somehow, I grew up loving the game of basketball. What I lacked in height, I made up in for with hustle and hops. I could jump pretty high. I could get up enough to dunk a tennis ball and hang on the rim. Not bad for a little guy, I guess.
I grew up in Boston as a little kid and I remember my dad taking me to the (original) Boston Garden to see Larry Bird play against Michael Jordan when I was 9 years old. Pretty amazing looking back on that. I had a lot of posters and ripped out pages from magazine with photos of basketball players on the walls of my room. Looking back on that now, I am just so humbled and thankful to have these recent opportunities to shoot for SLAM magazine with some amazing up and coming basketball players. So to be asked to shoot the cover of SLAM issue No. 216 is just mind boggling.
I was commissioned to fly to Phoenix, AZ to shoot the 7’2” tall potential #1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Deandre Ayton. For the cover, SLAM had a T-Shirt made that read, “The Future.” The magazine wanted me to photograph Deandre on a black seamless background while he was showing off the shirt along with letting his personality pop through. Deandre killed it on the shoot. I guess it is hard to be shy when your over 7 feet tall. His energy was through the roof and he gave me so much to work with. It was a great collaboration. After we were certain we had solid images for cover, we decided to rip through the background paper, since I wouldn’t be shipping it back to Florida, and then hit some editorial shots around the 360 Advocacy gym for the article.
SLAM made an awesome animation of the cover for use on social media. Check out the photos below and let me know what you think.
And here is the SLAM Cover video, shot by Jakob Owens of BuffNerds, where you can see some clips from behind the scenes of the shoot.