Josh Jackson - Prolific Prep
Headed over to Napa for a USA Today special assignment to take a few portraits of top ranked basketball recruit, Prolific Prep's 6'8" guard Josh Jackson from Detroit Michigan. The assignment was to have him in full uniform for a headshot, and something in the gym or around campus with a clean background.
Since Prolific Prep is an elite-athlete academy which academically partners with Justin Sienna Catholic High School in Napa, but athletically they play for a mascot-less Prolific Prep, this ruled out the option for an on campus mural. So instead I showed up to their practice gym at nearby Grace Cathedral.
A beautiful gym with an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, beautiful wood beams - I walked in and thought to myself "YES!" Gyms tend to be dark, yellow and generally ugly, and here I was going to get beautiful natural lighting! I even did what I like to call "the poor man's light meter" or the "McGiver light meter" and I was excited to blow out the background and try to make something pretty.
But as Josh arrived, realized he forgot his jersey at his host house. So instead, his advisor coordinated for him to grab it and us instead shoot at Solano Community College's gym near his house. Noooooooo. I played badminton at Solano College as part of my training to become Monticello Empire League doubles champions with my high school partner Allison (you know!!) and I knew what that gym looked like... and it wasn't pretty.
Turns out - it's totally been redone, had a beautiful American flag I was able to incorporate in some photos
And a nice little edgy wall to take some of those "intentionally harsh shadows" photos.
Josh was easy to work with and let me get my "check mark" photos before allowing me to get a little creative, be it shadows, reflections, you name it.
It's interesting to compare the images I was proud of versus the images that ran with the article, but I guess everyone has their own eye. Also, for those curious this is the difference a reflector makes :)
Good luck to young Mr. Jackson as he decides between Arizona, Kansas, and Michigan State.
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