Sydney Mclaughlin

One major focus I’ve had over the past year+ has been to only collaborate with commercial clients that I have a real connection with. Whether that be because they make a product I use or their product/beliefs/brand are directly related to my own lifestyle. I personally think this is the way to have successful collaborations. If you’re not interested and you’re just there for the money, then it shows in the final images, and leads to sour relationships with the clients. Recently I was lucky to collaborate with New Balance on 3 different shoots in LA and Cleveland. I’m a late comer to the New Balance scene, only purchasing my first pair of their sneakers about 5 years ago. Ever since then though, I tell everybody that they are “a gift to your feet”. I’m lucky to do a good amount of traveling, and that travel always involves a LOT of walking. Usually 9-12 miles a day for a week or two straight. It’s fun and really the only way to truly explore/photograph whatever place you’re in. After my first trip in a pair of NB’s, I was totally hooked. They always left my feet feeling great at the end of the day, no matter how much we walked. On top of having a great product, I also like their style of branding, photography, and the athletes they choose to associate with. So it was an honor to collaborate with New Balance on these recent shoots. They were some solid days where the athletes, client, agency, and production company were all great to work with. Everybody had a lot of fun and we all came away with solid content. Win Win for everybody. Looking forward to more of this.

If you haven’t seen the video The Rec League put together, check it out below. Awesome stuff. You can also check out more work from them HERE.

Click here for more of my athlete imagery.


Here are a couple images from the day that I like. Not sure if these are even the shots used for the campaign, but I like them.


PRINTS AVAILABLE

In the past selling prints hasn’t been a huge part of my business, but the requests have certainly started to grow. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a feature on my website in place that allows people to just hop on and order whatever image/size/medium they please, which really hindered the process. So I’m very happy to announce that this feature is now available. Just go to the link below and you can choose from any image listed and order just about any size print, canvas, metal, or wood print that you’d like. And if there is a specific image you’d like that isn’t listed, just reach out to me directly and I’ll get it up there for you.

PRINTS.ROBHAMMERPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Prints.jpg


Project Backboard

Been saying this for a while now, but personal projects are the best, especially when they connect you with other like minded people. Which is certainly the case with Dan Peterson of Project Backboard. He’s been doing amazing things with outdoor basketball courts all over the country. Taking broken down courts and turning them into beautiful works of art that locals are excited to play on. Recently we visited a few of his courts in Los Angeles together, and I was able to talk with him first hand about the process and how things have developed over the years. I really applaud this project and hope that it continues to grow. If you want to check out more of what PB has done, go to their WEBSITE or follow along on their INSTAGRAM PAGE.

If you recognize the bridge in the Watts Oasis images, that’s because it is the very bridge from those famous scenes in White Men Can’t Jump. I personally love that movie and was ecstatic when Dan told me what it was.

Click here to check out some prints from my Hoops Project.

1) Where are you from and what place has basketball taken in your life (prior to Project Backboard) ?

I grew up in suburban NY during the heyday of the great 1990s Knicks teams and ultimately played a year of basketball at Iona College before leaving my official playing days behind.

2) When did you come up with the idea for Project Backboard(PB)? 

Project Backboard wasn't really my idea! I started the work just by painting lines on public courts in Memphis that did not have any just because I loved outdoor basketball.

3) How long/what did it take to get things going for PB? 

I got my first large grant about a year after starting Project Backboard but it was another year before I did the court with William LaChance in St. Louis that really got a lot of attention and opened the door for Project Backboard to become what it is today. 

4) What was the initial reaction? How have reactions changed since you started? 

The initial reaction was overwhelmingly positive and that is the reaction I have continued to get. That said, this style of court has become surprisingly common over the past 12-18 months that the reaction now may be a bit more restrained than the early courts. No one had ever seen anything like the William LaChance court when we first painted it.

5) How have you gone about getting funding for these projects? 

A lot of the courts are funded either by community or corporate foundations.

6) What is the process like from the original idea for a court to the final execution? 

The painting process is different for each court depending on what the artist has in mind for the court artwork. Sometimes its a lot of measuring and straight lines or curves and other times we create a grid across the entire surface of the court and drawing the artwork box by box. 

7) PB has teamed up with some big name companies. How have those relationships come about? 

People reach out and I respond! I am always open to collaborating but the successful projects have been ones were the brands are able to be a little less “corporate” in their approach and allow the artist the freedom to create and lead the project vision. 

8) What is the overall goal for PB?

For every community to have a safe and inviting basketball court. I love outdoor basketball and want to share that with others but, from my perspective, the way that will happen is when individual community members step up to help care for public spaces and hold those charged with maintaining those spaces accountable.

9) Any big projects in the works that you want to share? 

Yes! Looking forward to a few courts in the Bay Area and a court in Puerto Rico along with a handful of others.

10) Random thoughts on PB......

I appreciate all the support and, as I said, always open to collaborating and helping others follow my example so don't hesitate to reach out!

The Basketball Hoops Project

On 12/18/17 the Los Angeles Lakers will be retiring Kobe Bryant's jersey at the Staples Center. If you're around for it, or just live in LA, come by Fathom Gallery afterward. I'll be showing some signed limited edition hoops prints. Alongside my prints will be a bunch of signed one of a kind Kobe jerseys that have been made in art pieces by a number of extremely talented street artists. Hope to see you there!! 

Fathom Gallery. 12/18/17. 9pm-12am. - 110 E 9th St, Suite CL002, Los Angeles, CA 90079

These images were made a few weeks ago during a trip to Indonesia, and won't be in the show, but wanted to post some updated images anyway. For more, check out my HOOPS gallery. 

Sri Lanka

Years and years ago Steve McCurry made an iconic photograph of the Sri Lanken stilt fisherman. At the time, it was a rich part of the countries culture, and a real way for the fisherman to earn a living while also providing for local residents. That was then. Fast forward X amount of years, and this beautiful trade has become nothing more that a tourist attraction. To the point that you can click on them on Google Maps. I didn't realize this before visiting, and very much wanted to see them all based on McCurry's photo. How ignorant of me. On this day, we pulled up to a beautiful beach where they are located, and were greeted by tourist buses filled with people waving their selfie sticks around. The worst part though, you can't even do this for free. If you want to take a picture, you have to pay a guy on the beach who almost acts like their agent. At the end of the day they divvy up the profits. Not sure what's more sad, the fact that hoards of idiot tourists ruin a beautiful scene with their selfie sticks, or that these guys don't even fish anymore? IF you can set all of that aside, it's still something to appreciate as a unique scene that you won't find anywhere else in the world. I tried to picture them 30+ years without the crowds just trying to earn a buck. It helped a little.

Forget everything I just said, because otherwise Sri Lanka is a great country. I really enjoyed it, and would have loved to spend more time there. A highlight for me was seeing how big the cricket culture is. Seems like everywhere we went there were pick-up games going on. Grass fields, dirt lots, concrete, doesn't matter. Sri Lankan's just want to play cricket. 

Fitness Photography-San Diego

Happy with what we got here, but things didn't start so hot. Our first location was the rear stairs of the San Diego Convention Center. So I got there early to set up, and got kicked out before we even got started. That always sucks, but I've learned when things like that happen, it pushes me harder, and I usually come out of the day with cool stuff. You just have to improvise, and Tara was great. The portraits were actually shot in a parking garage. Who needs a studio? 

Random fact: Tara and I share the same birthday. 

Shot on a Nikon D800e and lit with Broncolor strobes. 

Glacier Point-Yosemite National Park

The more time you spend in Yosemite, the more you think it's an artificial world. An enormous movies set with perfect views around every corner. Send a chimp into Yosemite with a camera, and he'll come out with cool pictures. On this last visit, we spent the better part of a day hiking up to Glacier Point. And my only regret is that we didn't camp up there. It would have been all ours. This time of year the road is closed, so the only way up is to hike. Which cuts out the majority of tourists. Next time I guess? Either way, it was an awesome hike. All of the images below were made on the fly. Just snapping while Emily was hiking. Nothing staged. I got some cool stuff, but looking through them makes me want to go back and actually set up a few shots. Maybe even with some strobes. Although the light in Yosemite is pretty hard to beat. See for yourself....

TRAVEL.MORE.

Rob Hammer