Adidas Alphabounce



Maybe I'm making it sound cooler than it was, maybe its exactly as cool as it sounds. Humble pie, Ego Eggo, I'm not sure I really care about the modesty of it right now. I am beyond stoked that I got be the photographer for a project like this to promote a shoe for Adidas. I'll for sure take that as a win in my book.

The concept was heavily focused on two things. The University of Kansas (an Adidas sponsored school) and Adidas' Alphabounce shoe. 

Two things about that.


I graduated with a degree in photography from the University of Kansas. So yeah, KU is dope, and getting to photograph anything relating to KU is always a fun one to come back to.


Adidas, (a dope company), was doing an event that directly related to KU's basketball team being in the NCAA tournament, (dope), to promote their Alphabounce shoe, (which looks dope), and needed a photographer to do a raw, documentary style photo shoot for their twitter campaign.  Adidas went to their agency, (Kamp Grizzly), that agency went to a local producer, (Johnny Starke), and that producer found me, (all obviously super dope).

The concept was to celebrate both KU's game against Oregon in the 2017 NCAA Tournament while simultaneously promoting their Alphabounce shoe. So Adidas custom wrapped a shipping container, filled with with a ton of new Alphabounce shoes, drove it to Lawrence, KS, and hosted a twitter giveaway during a free watch party outside of The Granada Theater.

I was tasked to take photos of the Alphabounce shoe around KU's campus so that the Adidas US Twitter account could tweet out photos before and during the game to help let their followers know that they were in Lawrence, KS.

So first thing in order was to find and photograph some quintessential backdrops with the Alphabounce shoe that were specific to the University of Kansas to be used on twitter later that day.


And when I say dope, I mean it was dope for the look I was going for / the look I'm always going for. I love these lighting conditions. Gray. Neutral. Boring as hell. And I love that shit. Natural light wet dreams are made of light qualities like this. It was raining on and off all day. Sometimes we just had to shoot in the rain. But the overcast lighting conditions made for very soft and very neutral feeling tones. The lighting was plentiful and even. Dramatic, but soft shadows without risk of blowing highlights. God I love light like this.


After a handful of downpours and laying down in multiple puddles in the middle of the street tryin' not to get hit by cars and buses while also trying to avoid campus security for what seemed like (or I guess potentially was straight up) reckless activities it was time to make our way off campus and to the venue where the container was going to be setup for the twitter giveaway.

Details, Homie. Details.

From here on out it was basically a free for all. The Agency and client had an idea of what they wanted but there was no real way of actually knowing what that would actually look like. Weather, crowd participation, even the actual game time was up in the air until a day before. So it was up to me at this point to make sure everything looked sexy regardless of cooperation of all the factors at hand. 


In person I'm actually a pretty shy and quite dude. For whatever reason, when I get in to work mode it becomes about the imagery and my social anxieties are pretty much out the window. I ended up pulling people from the crowd for random shots, asked them to hold the shoes they won, directed them away from their moms or loved ones. I didn't think about how awkward I would normally be and I didn't realize how crazy that was of me to do until writing this post. But that's a discussion for a different day. BACK TO THEM DETAILS, SON!

Damn. What a good day.

1. I was selected to photograph a twitter campaign for Adidas. Regardless of how big or how small, I made the cut in an Adidas Project. So damn stoked on that and I'll be riding that high for awhile.

2. This project really tested everything I had. Product photography, environmental portraiture. Event photography. Good light. Shit light. No lights. Dense moments. Empty moments. Moments watched. Moments recreated. Moments made up. This project included equal amounts of shootings situations from both extremes of good and bad.

3. Balance. It was a strange balance between shooting as polished and as commercial as possible mixed with a large dose of just shooting and treating images like I would in my own personal work. That was dope. Its a rare chance I get to treat things so raw, unpolished, and so close to what I do in my close personal style. More proof that commercial photography can be very similar to documentary/journalistic raw vibes.

I very much aspire to be like Boogie (a documentary photographer who carries his look through his commercial projects). And this was a nice, very very tiny dose of that. 

Fuckin' stoked. Until next time, dudes.

— T.H.