Joplin Crusaders:: 9art tries on sports

 

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If you follow my work, you know I pretty rarely shoot anything related to sports, other than an occasional senior.

I was contacted recently by 2 friends and clients who both work with the ‘joplin Crusaders‘,  Joplins’ own semi-pro football team, and 6 time Central Football League champions. Their home games are played at Missouri Southern’s stadium, but they’ve played all over- even in the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium.

What’s really great about this team is their awesome family spirit. They have a long history of community involvement, fund raising for great causes, and hosting games that the whole family can feel welcome at. The players aren’t even paid; they truly do it for love of the game.

Sam Sturgis- for whom I took pictures last fall with his lovely wife Ashley– is heavily involved with the team, both on and off the field, and helped coordinate the shoot.

Chris Auckerman, long time 9art family client and a great local graphic designer, is the one that served as artistic director on the shoot, and the fella that put the images to use in the series of posters and promotional material for the Crusaders that I’ll show below.

We started with Chris as the model, showing some of the poses he was looking for…

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Then moved on to working with the players themselves…

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One of the players brought in his adorable little girl, who ended up being the star for just a bit… couldn’t resist using her for some images. 🙂

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The creative team AND the actual team, hanging out in the studio between takes…

 

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And here’s a few of the posters & other spots that Chris put together.

Kenny Number 20 sm

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A ‘before and after’ … the shots became a whole lot more epic before Chris was through with them…

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You can find out more about the team HERE,

You can visit Chris’ website HERE to see more of his work.

 

…and you can refer to the image below for the team’s season schedule!

-Mark

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Finding Home

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Recently got to take an afternoon to hang out with a good friend… eat pizza, talk about the spiritual and artistic domains and where the two meet, and of course… we took a few pictures.

Here’s Derek: lookin’ like a stud.

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derek hammeke headshots, from joplin mo commercial photographer 9art photography

But more important than Derek’s studliness or my photos, is the project close to Derek’s heart: the documentary film ‘Finding Home’ that he’s spent the last 2 years of his life working on. Derek is a tremendously talented filmmaker and an artist that I’m so proud of, for getting out there and making things happen.

The film is beautiful and wrenching, handling a subject that isn’t easy to talk about… but one that we, as Americans, should not be ignorant of. It was made in partnership with Rapha House, a wonderful organization I’ve been honored to work with in the past.

‘Finding Home’ also features music from Tony Anderson, another old friend with a whole lot of talent and a big heart. His music has been featured in ads for companies like adidas and toms… LEGIT.

Check out the preview for ‘Finding Home’ here:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/87199168″>Finding Home Trailer</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user803105″>Flying Treasure</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Then follow the facebook page for updates on when the full film will be available.

People like Derek and Tony are an inspiration to me. Using their craft to present truth and do good with uncompromising vision…. that’s the greatest honor an artist can have.

Hope you’re inspired as well. Til next time….

-Mark

L.O.V.E.

     So Valentine’s day is a cheesy holiday.  By itself, it really doesn’t mean as much as everyone hypes it up to mean. Here’s how my wife and I feel about it, as based on our text conversation last night:

           wife: ok DID or ARE you planning on getting me a card? Cuz you don’t have to and I haven’t.

          me: I was going to. But no, I haven’t yet.’

          me: I won’t.

          wife: DON’T. 🙂

Yes, we’ll still celebrating the day. But without pressure… 🙂

That being said… while the day itself may be somewhat a commercial holiday, it’s still fun and it IS a good reminder to turn around and look back at real love in our lives. My wife and I try to spread that love out over the year, and of course I’m sure you do too with those you care about.

(And shoot, it sure couldn’t hurt to still buy some chocolates for someone today).

I’d like to look back at love in our clients’ lives over the last year.

Here’s how 9art and its’ clients captured love in 2013…

We saw some folks get married…

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we celebrated those professions of love with others.

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we let those who were hurting know how much our hearts broke for them. We reached out to encourage…

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we celebrated new life.

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We celebrated new love.

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We celebrated anniversaries and love more matured.

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We celebrated laughter and the joy of just being goofballs together.

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We mourned the loss of love, but also remembered how great it was and looked forward to the hope of seeing loved ones again.

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we FOUGHT for love…maybe a little too literally, sometimes…

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.and yes, sometimes, loved in spite of the fighting…

siblings pretending to fight

we watched life and love grow.

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we were superheroes to those we loved, and we loved those who were heroes to US.

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Overall, 2013 was damn full of love. Let’s  shoot for even more this year.

LOVE you all…

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-Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Declan

The Arnolds are good friends of mine. I feel like I just finished with Keagan’s ‘baby’s 1st year’… each session growing more fun than the last… and now, as soon as I turn around  it’s time for round 2 with his equally adorable little brother Declan.

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too much cute to handle.

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in my dining room

The other day, I babysat 5 kids for three hours… my own 2, + 3 of their best friends. Yes, all at once, and yes, by myself . (My wife was in a training session at the time, and I’m pretty sure she was worried about me…)

We had swordfights. We had nerf gun fights. We danced. We played dress up. We watched Toy Story.

And we had a little portrait session.

Impromptu, the very best kind. I had might light on hand, got my camera out, and set them up in front of our new dining room curtains (which turned out to be a really nice backdrop). Then, I took a crocheted blanket and hung it over the front of my soft box to further diffuse it.

I’m not a technical perfectionist, whatsoever. If you’re not a technical perfectionist and you still want to take awesome photos, then you’d be better be damn good at improvising within your craft… and I need to do just more of that. Hence the blanket and the curtain backdrop…

And I LOVE how it turned out.

Began with my own flesh and blood…

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tried to catch my other kiddo, but the most I could get out of her before she hid behind a chair was a ‘HEY LOOK!’ shot while she yawned…

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Then, Elie, Anie, & Levi. I love seeing the difference in personalities in these.

Elie= dramatic/actress
Anie= spunky/playful
Levi= fun/giggly

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And then (mostly) the whole group… except for Maggie, who was still hiding behind a chair somewhere…

And no, I have no explanation for why they were each holding a horse. I love kids.

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I’ll end it on these last two images: Elie took a picture of Harry, and Harry took a picture of Elie. Kids love to direct other kids to make funny faces. I don’t think Harry had a chance to develop his though… a rare ‘between outrageous expressions’ moment…

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Preston downtown

 

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    Every year, I take around a month after Christmas in which I do not take pictures. Well. Mostly anyway. This month is set aside for planning, catching up, that sort of thing. 

    The last week, it was time to get back into the groove… and beginning that groove with Preston’s senior session was the perfect way to do it. Preston was an awesome subject, and his mom Victoria (who has one of the most beautiful accents in Joplin by the way- she hails from Australia) was gracious enough to let us use her recently purchased downtown loft for most of the shoot. It had some very nice settings and rooftop access, so needless to say, I was super happy. 

Preston- a senior at Thomas Jefferson Day School here in Joplin Mo- is a guy who enjoys having his nose pressed either into a book or toward a computer screen. I can identify.  We played off that and also featured his one-of-a-kind, (out of commission) squad car toward the end of the shoot. 

It was fun. I also tried out some new editing techniques on this shoot, and am super excited about the results. I’d love to know what you think… leave me a comment and let me know! 🙂

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