July 31, 2010

Seattle Sounders defeat San Jose Earthquakes 1-0

Seattle Sounders FC defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 to win the second annual Heritage Cup.

Was a hard fought game and Quakes fans were definitely into it, they had to be to compensate for the strong showing of Sounders fans!

The highlight of the game for me: I was focusing on shooting the Sounders, and was sitting next to a photographer I don't regularly see at the Quakes games. A couple peculiar things I noticed. He had a nice 400mm f/2.8 lens (note, these go for $6K or $7K) decorated with stickers mainly soccer themed but also including "Hell Yeah I'm a Neil Diamond Fan." He was also decked out in Sounders gear, and I thought hmmm maybe he's team photographer, press are, in theory, supposed to be impartial. But then, the TV guy came up and asked if he wouldn't mind being interviewed for TV... So I thought, wow, this must be some hot shot photographer, who IS this?... Then with 8 minutes left in the first half, I realized it was Drew Carey!!

I should have known because he's part-owner of the Sounders, and I knew he was also a photographer (he credits under a made up name) I was too shy to introduce myself, and then he left to do his interview at half time. On his way back from the interview, I was packing up to switch sides, he came back to his gear and super friendly goes "Hi, I'm Drew" and shakes my hand! I wanted to say "Oh My Gosh, I spent my entire summer nights in high school religiously watching 'Whose Line Is It Anyways?' and I still watch it on syndication every chance I get!" ... but I tried to keep it as cool as possible. You know me, hobnobbing with celebrities ;-) Haha.

Rest of my photos up at ISIphotos.com

July 26, 2010

Ultimate Reno Combat

Last Friday, I photographed Ultimate Reno Combat at the Grand Sierra Resort.

Family friend, Tanner Hermann, was having his first MMA cage fight. My dad, a big UFC fan, thought it would be fun to go. Though I love being a sports spectator, I have a hard time watching an event when I know there's a possibility to photograph it, especially when it's something crazy/cool like cage fighting. I contacted the guy who was presenting the event, and was able to get a credential to shoot it.

I have watched some UFC on TV, and I wasn't sure how this event was going to be, considering it included first time fighters and my impression was they were all local. But actually there were fighters from outside Reno, even a San Francisco fighter! And the fights were just as crazy as one might expect. Even complete with ring girls!

First fight had some serious blood splatter right next to me!

Was great to see a lot of the guys even get up after their fights!

Only one fight came down to a judges decision, it was Robbie Hammill over Josh Fraga. Happy for Robbie because he has been Tanner's mentor and the one that encouraged him to fight.

Tanner also won his fight! Tanner's first fight, he was up against Devon Herrera who we learned had knocked out his previous opponent in 8 seconds, and was also a traditional boxer with a 43-0 record. And Tanner, who doesn't even have a proper gym to train in, beat him! Way to go Tanner!

One of the great things about the fighters, is there seems to be a level of camaraderie among them. Even though they are trying to knock the other guy out, afterwards (for the most part) they hug it out and give respect to the other fighter.

Some of the fighters were less than good sports, which took away from the competition a little bit. I would have liked every fighter to get a fair chance to fight, but, it is was it is. Ultimately, it was a great event!

I think my favorite part of the fights is fashion aspect, haha. Since they fight in just shorts and gloves, they get creative with their hair and even more so, body art!

Some seemed ironic, yet still appropriate I suppose.

Also, I have an irrational love for speedline inspired hair designs. If I was a guy, good at sports, and really cool (basically the antithesis of what I really am ;-)) I would DEFINITELY have speedlines, and probably a faux hawk =)

All photos up at http://kelleylcox.zenfolio.com/ultimaterenocombat

July 23, 2010

The Polish Ambassador

In spirit of going outside the box (I suppose "outside the field" is more appropriate) I had a fun shoot Wednesday with The Polish Ambassador at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe.

David Sugalski aka The Polish Ambassador is going to be dropping beats at Madrone Art Bar in San Francisco and needed some promo shots for flyers. The event is called "Beatloaf" so his theme was to be eating his equipment, love it!

We were looking for a great cafe to do this shoot and what better place than Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville. Co-owned by Mike Dirnt of Green Day, this is THE spot to get some yummy comfort food and enjoy the flavor (both food and people). Gotta give a HUGE shout out to them for being so kind to let us set up and get some shots in the back room. Not only was the decor perfect, but the entire vibe of the restaurant, patrons and staff is all around awesome! Ironically the Wednesday special is meatloaf! How appropriate!

Had a couple different set ups, simple, just using some speedlites. Of course one failed on me, but the other one worked, phewsh!

David was a blast to work with and we had some huge help from his girlfriend, throwing out ideas, holding lights, and even getting in some shots as the background cafe girl =) Was great to have her second set of eyes and input.

Be sure to check out The Polish Ambassador and see him live. Also be sure to grab a bite at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, open until 1am, and on the Emery-Go-Round free bus line, plus a private parking lot, you really have no excuse! =)

July 20, 2010

Arturo Alvarez - Pepsi Refresh Project

Had a cool opportunity last Friday to do a shoot with Arturo Alvarez from the San Jose Earthquakes for the Pepsi Refresh Project.

As the player representing the Earthquakes, Arturo had to pose with a bunch of different circular Pepsi signs: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods, Education as well as general Pepsi signs, and even a blank a sign!

And then of course some still shots without signs. And each set up had to be straight on, 3/4 left, and 3/4 right.

The shot list also called for some to have "happy disposition" as well as "facial intensity"

Gotta say, he was such a trooper through the shoot, didn't give me any exasperation that he had to hold all these signs and do poses, including a staged "holding ball over head (throw in)" which is quite unnatural and awkward if you're not actually throwing the ball anywhere. haha.

It's always so "refreshing" (ha, bad pun) to work with athletes/people in general that are friendly and have a good attitude!

It was also a good thing I had the small venture into product photography with the Viv Biz Club shoot, because the shot list also called for a photo of just his jersey next to ball.

From my perspective, I'm really excited to be a part of the project and the opportunity to do a mini portrait session. Based on the needs of Pepsi, there wasn't really space for creative lighting or getting too artistic, but it's great practice for me in working with and directing an athlete, one on one. Getting more into a commercial area within sports seems really ideal and the direction I want to go, so this was a small but great step for me =)

Can check out the rest of the photos at http://kelleylcox.zenfolio.com/PRPalvarez

July 19, 2010

FC Gold Pride defeat Philadelphia Independence 2-0

Another great home game for FC Gold Pride. Thanks to 2 goals by Christine Sinclair, Gold Pride defeated Philadelphia Independence (I keep on correcting myself after typing Freedom... thanks Elton John ;-))

I felt like I was having a busy day with two games in one day until my friend/photographer William Mancebo explained he had photographed a dog show, the Quakes game, part of the giants game, and then was at Gold Pride that day!

Was great to see the otherwise quiet and focused Sinclair celebrate and awesome to see Marta celebrate with her. They really do seem to be happy to score as a team and it's not so important who scores.

Was also Solveig Gulbrandsen's last game before she returns to Norway as a mutual agreement with FC Gold Pride. What's crazy is she's returning to Norway partially for the opportunity to work at a auto sales agency, in addition to play for Stabaek IF club, did I mention she's also a mother to a 4 year old son! Talk about a busy woman!! Wish all the best to Solveig and her family!

All photos up on ISIphotos.com