Indiana Pacers and Motorola

Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship

The NBA season is about to get underway, so I thought it time to finally share this shoot from last season.  The Indiana Pacers hired me to document the inaugural game for their partnership with Motorola.  I was brought in to capture some pre-game shots in the locker room and game action photos that highlighted the new patch.

It was a fun challenge to highlight a 2.5″ patch within the context of game action. I used a Canon 1DX camera body and 400mm f/2.8 lens. This allowed me to get very close up with the shots I was taking and the patch stood out as a result.

Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship

Changing Angles

I always like to see what other angles will yield. Getting higher up in the stands and shooting downwards with a super telephoto lens places the court as the background and really isolates the subject. I really like the scoreboard in the shot below as a visual element.

Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship

High & Low

The two images below show different angles on a similar play. The image on the left was taken in the stands, the right side from the floor.

I like the cleaner background on the right image, but I also like the perspective of being at eye-level on the left photo.

However, shooting from the stands runs the risk of interlopers getting in your frame. That blur on the left image is a cotton candy vendor who wandered into the frame with less-than-ideal timing.

Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship

Get Close

My style of photography involves getting as close as I can. Typically that means I like to move physically close to the subject.

However, that’s obviously not possible with professional sports, so I enlisted the aid of a Canon 400mm f/2.8 lens. This beast weights about 8.5 pounds and the glass at the widest is about 6.5″ in diameter. Not something I want to use every day, but for getting super-close, sharp images with great background blur, it was perfect.

Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship
Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship
Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship


One of the perks of working for the Indiana Pacers and not a media outlet is the special access.

Getting close to the bench during a timeout allowed me to get some unique angles that aren’t afforded most photographers. Also, shooting some images in the locker room before the game was a unique experience.

Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship
Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship
Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship
Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship

Always on the Lookout

Even when I have a very specific task (like getting shots highlighting the sponsor patch), I make sure to get other good shots when I see them. These could have other uses for the client.

Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship
Indiana Pacers and Motorola US sponsorship

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Related Content

We definitely have lots of sports stuff to peruse. Here are a few more posts…

Angola Wire

made in america industrial welding and manufacturing

Earlier this year I headed up to northern Indiana to visit Angola Wire, a company that makes wire displays for retail use and custom wire parts. Shooting photos of industrial work and heavy machinery is always a fun task. And when sparks are flying, it makes for some cool images.

I spent a half-day wandering the floor on foot or riding in lifts for a high-angle perspective of people and robots working side-by-side. I was happy with the variety of images I was able to capture in a short amount of time. To give some perspective of how much I shot in 5 hours, this post contains only about 20% of the final images I turned over to the client.

Contact me today to find out more about how my documentary approach to would work for your business.

made in america industrial welding and manufacturing
made in america industrial welding and manufacturing
made in america industrial welding and manufacturing
made in america industrial welding and manufacturing
made in america industrial welding and manufacturing
made in america industrial welding and manufacturing
made in america industrial welding and manufacturing
angola wire manufacturing indiana
angola wire manufacturing indiana

Related Content

Here’s some more people making, building, cutting, assembling and whatnot.

Indiana Pacers Premium Experiences

In October I was commissioned to document the Indiana Pacers premium experiences.  They want to give fans looking to purchase tickets a sense of the available spaces during a game.  It was fun to get a first-hand view of all the awesome areas throughout Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

In this post, I’ll talk about how I find good subjects, use available light, and layer images.  These are three aspects I take into account in order to be able to tell a client’s story. 

Indiana Pacers Party Suites

Finding Good Subjects

Another of the Indiana Pacers premium experiences are the Party Suites (above). This photo (and every photo from this shoot) was completely un-staged and un-rehearsed.  These are real fans enjoying a Pacers game.

While shooting, I look for a combination of factors to be able to get this type of shot candidly.  Good natural light and a location that give sense of place is typically where I start.  Then I look for subjects who seem engaged.  At a sporting event, this is usually people who are cheering, laughing and/or talking with friends.  


In the above photo, select fans have the opportunity to line up as the players enter the court for high fives.  For this image, I focus on one person to show their experience.  I chose this kid for a couple reasons. One, his smaller size is a nice contrast to the larger players. Secondly, he seems to be in awe of the moment.  Because of the low angle, the viewer can see things on the kid’s level, including how large the player’s hand is in comparison to his own.  The other hands in the image provide depth of field and form a frame around the kid, drawing the viewers eye to him.  Yes, these are all things I’m thinking in the moment I’m taking the photo.

Using Available Light

The Lightbound Cafe (above, left) is an Indiana Pacers premium experience that’s a courtside club: a full-scale bar with plenty of draft beers and pub food.  For most shoots (including all photos in this post), I work only with available light.  This serves two functions.  First, it allows me to document a scene without disturbing the subjects.  Secondly, it retains the atmosphere and ambiance of a location.  The images better reflect what it’s actually like to be in the space.

Indiana Pacers fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse


The theater boxes in the Lexus Loft (below) are super spacious with all-inclusive gourmet food and drinks.  My goal with the shot below is to use layering to show the space of the theater boxes themselves while placing them in the context of the arena as a whole.  That way you can experience the view you have while seated in this space.

In my view, there are three different layers in this photo. For one layer, the focus is on the court, which is your focus when you sit in these seats.  The second layer is the crowd as a whole.  I shot wide here to show the full size of the arena and give a sense of the entire fieldhouse.  The third layer is the theater box in the foreground.  The wide perspective and my close proximity to the box highlight its size and space.  As a result of these layers, a more complete story is told in one image.

For aspiring photographers, read my post about how to improve your sports photography.  If you’re a sports fan, you can check out more action at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in these posts about high school basketball and wrestling state finals.

Choose Your Own Indiana Pacers Premium Experiences

After checking out all the Indiana Pacers premium experiences, I’d have a hard time choosing one for me, personally.  While courtside has amazing action, the food available in the suites and clubs is definitely a draw.

Click here to see the Indiana Pacers premium experiences website with my photos.*

*Note: Not ALL the photos on the Indiana Pacers premium experience site are mine, but based on what you see in this post, I’m sure you’ll recognize the images I shot.

Happy Birthday, America!

One of the things I enjoy most about shooting this time of year is the diversity of people that come out to celebrate America’s independence.  It’s a great reminder that we all love this country and we all are welcome here.

Here’s a slideshow of some of our favorite images celebrating America…

A handful of these images are available to order as prints on our online shop. 20% of proceeds will benefit Exodus Refugee Immigration in Indianapolis.

For more patriotic inspiration, check these out:

Refugees in Indiana


Industrial and Warehousing Photography

Morales Group is a leading staffing agency in Indianapolis.  The Morales Group attributes their growth to their commitment to serve: their clients, associates, staff and the community at large.

Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate with them on a new photography catalog to be used on their new website and marketing materials.  I photographed their real employees, without the use of models or staging, working in their actual jobs.

The first few sets of images are screen shots from the website (designed by Willow Marketing) followed by the original images.  As an advertising photographer, I always have to be sure to shoot with space to provide room for type and to fit a digital layout. Utilizing my documentary photography approach makes this a unique challenge.

Indianapolis staffing - Morales Group - documentary commercial photography


If you’ve made it this far, you’re liking what you see.  You should probably sign up for our newsletter to be the first to see new images. Click here to be added to the list.


This past weekend was the grand opening of the Carmel Christkindlmarkt.  I stopped by on Sunday evening to check out the scene.  It’s a beautiful setup with the Palladium in the background.  The iceskating is affordable, and there are special deals on Wednesday and Thursday, so be sure to check out the website for details:

Here a few shots from my brief visit.  I’ll be back soon to do a full shoot for Hamilton County Tourism, so I’ll be sure share those later this winter.

The woodworker is Christian Werner, a master craftsman from the small town of Seiffen, Germany. He travelled to Carmel for the opening weekend in 2017 to demonstrate how he creates animal figurines.

Carmel Indiana Christkindlmarkt Ice Skating

If you’re looking for more recent images from Carmel Christkindlmarkt, you’ll want to join our mailing list because we shared an exclusive view of the gorgeous Glühwein Pyramid, added in 2018, and a mouth watering image of a Raclette with our newsletter and we’ll be sure to let you know when those images go live in the future.

2018 Holiday Events

As legendary Hoosier Michael Jackson once said, “Don’t stop ’til you get enough.”  So by all means, please enjoy our other Indianapolis holiday events posts from 2018.  Click the image below.

indianapolis holiday photography

15 Hours of Mountain Biking


When a client needs enough photos for a two-day shoot, but day 1 gets rained out completely, it means a 15-hour, sunrise to sunset shoot.  Add to that carrying 20 pounds of gear over miles of trails, up and down hills and rocky terrain, and you have one hard-core day of shooting.

I was up for the challenge, and the resulting images shot for the Brown County CVB’s mountain biking guide were well received.  In the “thank you” section of the guide the CVB’s agency and producer of the shoot, Three Sixty Group wrote…

“Thanks to our skilled photographer Zach Dobson (who managed to capture amazing shots of the trails and the mountain bikers while perching on precarious rocks, lying in the mud and risking poison ivy).”

In the end, there was no poison ivy.  Just a bruised ego from a fall in the mud and a set of images I could truly feel proud of.

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Pork Chomps!


Recently I had the opportunity to work with The Plaid Agency on a spot for Pork Chomps, a raw-hide free dog chew, with everyone’s favorite animal expert Jack Hanna.

Taking stills on a video shoot is always an interesting endeavor.  First off, the crew is always much larger than on a still shoot.  There’s a lot more navigating tight spaces.

Having grips present to light the whole scene takes some of the pressure off finding the best lighting, but there are other tasks that become more challenging.  Communication on these shoots is key.


I speak with the Creative Director of the ad agency to get info on how the images will complement the video, along with where they’ll be used and what they need to convey.

I talk to the director to see what angles they’re shooting with which lenses and whether I’ll need to shoot simultaneously with the video, or jump in between takes to get the stills separately.

If I do need to jump in between scenes, I always have to pay close attention and speak up when it’s my turn because the video crew is on a tight schedule and they’re not thinking about what I need.  Understandably.  That’s my job, not theirs.  They have enough to manage.

I also communicate with the sound guy to see when critical audio is being recorded and whether the shutter click on the camera might interfere.


I’ve worked with Richmarc Productions a number of times over the years.  Rick and Joyce are always friendly and professional, getting the job done quickly and efficiently while always maintaining a high level of quality.  It’s always enjoyable to see the final cut.  Here is a link to their 30-second spot on YouTube.