In much the same way that the first day of school marks the start of a new school year, media day marks the beginning of the preseason. It’s where teams convene for official photos before sitting down for individual press conferences with media members.
Atlanta-based portraiture photographer Scott Areman was hired by Bolt Entertainment to tip off the NBA season for the Atlanta Hawks on media day by setting up a studio at PC&E — a large production facility in Atlanta. The NBPA used the images on all of its channels as a way to support the players and promote the organization.
One of the assignments I excel at is shooting portraits in the studio. I love working in that controlled space and seeing what comes out of the connection with people I’m shooting. Whether its pro athletes, celebrities, or a law firm looking to rebrand, I often get hired to create striking portraits that are unique and show people’s personalities.
Scott was responsible for organizing and renting equipment for the Hawks’ interviews, stills, and video. His extensive experience capturing editorial-style portraits in a studio setting, coupled with his ability to work well with a video crew, made him a great candidate for the project. ESPN, Fox, NBA, NBA Europe, and the NBPA were all present as part of the season-opening celebration.
As basketballs bounced, cameras flashed, and players showed off their smiles, there was plenty going on. In the midst of all the action, Scott was impressed to see what a media machine the NBA is.
In addition to me there was the client from the NBPA, Bryce Hall the producer from Bolt Entertainment, and crew. The Atlanta Hawks players were shuttled around the studio from set to set. It was fun and well coordinated, like working with a well oiled machine. I had only about 5-10 minutes with each player, so I made sure to be organized and efficient.
In preparation for the shoot, Scott put together samples of poses that the client provided from previous NBA media day shoots. He stored the best images in a gallery on his phone so he could refer to them on the day of the shoot.
When I’d get Trae Young or one of the other players on set I’d quickly show them one or two of the photos and use that as a starting point. That made it easy to show them what I was going for creatively and also helped to make a connection with them.
Scott was limited on space which forced him to use the same backdrop for video and stills, so he used Aputure LED video lights for quick crew changes.
It was the first time I’d shot a project this big with LED’s. I was impressed with the quality of the light. I don’t usually shoot with hot lights.
Connecting with people and creating art out of those connections is a big part of what makes this profession so fulfilling for Scott.
One of the Hawks, Tyson Etienne likes photography. He asked me about my camera and lens. I was shooting with a Canon 5D MKIV and 70-200 zoom. So I handed him the camera and switched places with him. We immediately bonded and I have some nice portraits he shot of me.
See more of Scott’s work on his website.
Read more about Scott on our Published blog.
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