70 basketball portraits in in two days

by Dustin Snipes on  July 6, 2008 |

Last month I went to Tucson AZ for the Arizona Cactus Classic. It is a tournament for all the top high school basketball players in the country, we are talking next Lebron and kobe here. My job was to get portraits of all the players.

I was first set up (by the tournament people) in a room with very little to work with. About three feet of shooting space, seriously. So I scouted around the arena and found a loading dock to take all the photos in. It was great because it a had a very gritty feel to it and I could get three differnt looks in a very short amount of time, which was good because I got between 1-5 minutes with each of the players. I was seriously grabbing them as they were walking into the gym to play.

The light set up was pretty  simple. I wanted to create a very dramatic light to go with the gritty-ness so I used to back lights (alien bees b800) with no modifiers, just reflectors for rim lights a small soft octa-box in the front for fill and another light hitting the background (on some shots).

I used a nikon D3 for all the shots with a 24-70mm.


Here are some shots from the event.

Remember to click on the photos for larger sizes.

(Wanted to mention these are best viewed in Firefox for some reason. Safari makes them look distorted when clicked on.)

Please feel free to ask questions.