Who printed it?
It was printed by Spangler Graphics in Kansas City where I am based.
Who designed it?
Designed by Kirk Lakebrink a Kansas City based designer.
Who edited the images?
Edited by myself and JP Perlmutter an artist consultant.
How many did you make?
We printed 275 copies of the piece and I mailed out 220. I will use the remaining pieces as leave behinds at portfolio shows, etc…
How many times a year do you send out promos?
For the past two years I have sent out 6 direct mail pieces a year (basically one every other month) and this year I am going to do them quarterly.
Where did your idea of women and hoops come from?
It is a long story on how I ended up shooting the piece but I will try and summarize. I played high school and college basketball. I graduated with a history degree and started my professional career as a high school history teacher/basketball coach. I taught and coached in Moore, Oklahoma then in Kansas City, Missouri and finally out in Phoenix, Arizona. The last year that I taught in Phoenix I actually switched from teaching history to photography but through a combination of teaching burnout and revitalized interest in photography (my father was a photographer) I decided not to renew my teaching contract and to give photography my full time attention. I started as a stringer for a couple small newspapers in Phoenix and my business has grown and shifted in a variety of ways over the past ten plus years. I am now based in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri shooting a mixture of editorial and commercial work.
Despite my career change away from coaching I have always maintained a love and interest in basketball and decided over this past year that I wanted to dedicate some time and attention to shooting it specifically. I had a trip scheduled to New York for portfolio shows last summer and was digging around for information on the street basketball scene in the city. I found a documentary on NYC street basketball called “Doin’ it in the Park” on Netflix which led me to their Facebook page. I was looking at the film’s Facebook page and saw a post about a group of women that play pick up ball every Sunday at Goat Park in the upper west side. I found that “Ladies Who Hoop” Facebook page and sent a message to the organizer asking if I could come and photograph them while I was visiting. The organizer Amber Batchelor welcomed me with open arms and I spent a good portion of a Sunday photographing the group while I was in town.
The second part of my interest in photographing the women was my desire to create images of women in a manner that shows them as strong, athletic, etc….I have two young daughters and any opportunity that I have to use my time and talents to document women that are strong and pushing boundaries I consider time well spent. I have to say watching the women take over one of the courts in a prominent New York City park was really cool to watch and document. I am in the planning stages of another trip there and will definitely go back and photograph the group again.
Read more in SLAM Magazine here
Really cool story behind the images Ryan. I appreciate you sharing it.
Thank you for the feature I appreciate it!
Love your story and the photos. They do go together so well. I am in Phoenix and your story of how you made your transition to being a full time photographer is heartening. I think I will stay in Phoenix though. Look forward to seeing more of your work and staying in touch. All the best….
Thanks for the kind words Jay! Perhaps we will cross paths in Phoenix I travel back to the valley frequently to visit and work. All the best!
Thanks for the kind words Jay! Perhaps we will cross paths in Phoenix as I travel back to the valley frequently to visit and work. All the best!