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

Access

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…

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.  

indiana-pacers-high-five

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

Layering

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.