After knocking on the University of South Carolina’s door for almost three years (his knuckles must hurt!), Columbia, S.C.-based commercial and advertising photographer James Quantz Jr finally got his first S.C. gig last year. Since then, he’s opened the university’s eyes to new and exciting styles of photography, by bringing the culture of commercial productions to their marketing. He adds that the school had “been making do with bare-bones photoshoots and action photos cut from game files prior to working with me. With my style of capture and post-production, I’ve shown them that we can recreate big-game moments and have complete control over the process.” James has now become their go-to shooter for SC’s more creative assignments.
Recently, SC asked James to shoot a campaign for their upcoming 2013 football season. He had shot last year’s campaign, and the images were so well-liked that the university was hoping he could bring the magic again. James was more than happy to do so, especially since he’s a big fan of the team. He also remarked that it was a thrill to shoot for a team with such an enthusiastic fan base. “I normally put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver the best images possible,” he says, “but trying to impress a fan base takes it to a new level!”
After the creative direction for the shoot was determined, James found himself on set with a gaggle of SC football players. He enthusiastically explains that the shoot was “rockin’!” adding that “this being the second year doing the images for the football campaign the players were much more motivated. They now know I’m not there to just take the same boring photos they’ve seen for years. It was a lot of fun to see them show up fully taped, pads on, eye black, etc.”
One of the more entertaining aspects of the shoot was seeing the players’ reactions to their photos on the screen. “One of my favorites was Bruce Ellington,” James elaborates, “who’s featured jumping at the end of the video. After one of his jumps, we really had some cool images on the computer and I brought him over to view them. I pointed at the screen and said, ‘Bruce are you ready to see this on billboards all over town?’ And he replied with a big smile, ‘Let’s do it again!’”
See behind the scenes of the shoot.
The photos have now been released and James has heard a lot of great feedback, especially from fans. He concludes that “it’s really about the fan base—if they don’t like something you’ll definitely hear it! Thankfully, I’ve only had positive experiences with them so far.”