UPDATE: I previously shared that my Respect The Shooter photography exhibition at Camaradas would run through Wednesday, January 14th. The exhibition will actually run through the month of January and we will be hosting a closing party for the exhibition on Wednesday, January 28th beginning at 6 p.m. I hope you can make it!
In any given year things tend to move so fast that I seldom have an opportunity to pause and digest the minute or the incredible moments as they happen. While I am always cognizant of what's going on, it's only in hindsight that I really have an opportunity to fully appreciate the road I've been traveling. In this final part of my personal look back at 2014 I share a behind the lens look into the FIBA Basketball World Cup, my adventures with Nike and the Elite Youth Basketball League as well as its elite camps including that of LeBron James, my role in an upcoming documentary film coming to a theater near you in 2015, and more of the amazingness that was 2014.
FIBA held its Basketball World Cup in Spain in 2014 and joining their team of super talented photographers from around the world was one of my most memorable experiences of the year. I wrote about the trip in an earlier post that you can check out by clicking here. Transcending the photography aspect of the trip, I was able to forge meaningful relationships with my new friends from Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, and Romania. I learned more about photography and creative vision on this trip than any other. And, shooting basketball at the Olympic level was a transcendent experience on all levels.
In 2015 world famous DJs and radio personalities Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia will celebrate 25 years since the start of their iconic radio show (at Columbia University’s WKCR). The Source Magazine called it, “The best hip hop radio show of all time.” In 2014 the creators of the radio show that featured burgeoning hip hop icons such as the Notorious BIG, Nas, Big L, Jay-Z, Fat Joe, Killa Cam, and a host of other contemporary artists, decided to produce a documentary to commemorate the show.
I was truly humbled to be welcomed as a member of the team that is producing the film set to be released in 2015. Through the experience I’ve been fortunate to film and photograph artists such as Fat Joe, Rosie Perez, and Q-Tip to name a few. I can’t think of a project I’ve been a part of that was more fun and exhilarating than this one. The anecdotes and freestyles I’ve heard first-hand took me on a trip down memory lane, pleasantly back into the 90s—perhaps the most exciting era of hip hop history. Visit the film's website at stretchandbobbito.com for more information and exclusive clips from the show.
The Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) is the defacto high school basketball circuit for college coaches to recruit from in the spring and summer each year. The EYBL is a 40-team league that features the vast majority of the top high school basketball players in America and Canada.
Their list of alumni consists of numerous NBA all-stars, champions, and MVPs. In 2014 I was blessed with the opportunity to create my shots from the sidelines of the EYBL, the Ones and Bigs Camp, Elite 100 Camp, KD Camp, LeBron James Camp, and the world class Peach Jam. This was an incredible experience to say the least. As an avid fan of the game, a former player, a coach, and—of course—a sports photographer this was tantamount to hopping in Marty McFly’s DeLorean DMC-12 and traveling into the future of basketball at its most elite level.
If you follow me on social media or keep up with my blog right here, you may know that in December of 2014 I launched my first photography exhibition. Of all of my experiences with photography and creativity in 2014, my Respect The Shooter photography exhibition was probably the one I was emotionally attached to most.
Choosing a limited selection of images that embody the marriage of my passion for the game to my lust for creating impactful pictures was exhilarating, stressful, stimulating, and even painful all at once. On December 1st, the opening of the exhibition, which I shared with my friend Alex and his Exhibit A, it all came together. As I mentioned in an earlier post, which you can see by clicking here, I was blown away by the love and support that poured in from friends, family, and the basketball community. Click here to see what Slam Magazine had to say about the opening night. The exhibition will continue to run through the month of January and on Wednesday, January 14th we will host an exhibition closing party, so there’s still time to check it out if you’re in NYC. Just visit Camaradas at 2241 1st Avenue on 115th Street (you can take the 6 train to 116th Street and take a short walk from there).
The single greatest highlight of 2014 for me was when I proposed to Alexa, my girlfriend of nearly six years at the time, and she said, “Yes!” I’ve reached many milestones in 2014, none greater than getting engaged.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate all of the relationships I’ve been fortunate to make through my amazing adventure as an image maker. The road was not always paved nor was it always easy to travel, but I am thrilled with the journey and look forward to continue creating my shots in 2015. I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year! Feel free to leave your 2014 highlights in the comments below.