Portland Trail Blazers’ Greg Oden for Publicis

Greg Oden was the NBA’s number one, first-round draft pick from Ohio State in June of 2007. He injured his knee and had been getting therapy and rehab at St Vincent Sports Performance Center when art director Sara O’Neill of Publicis asked me to come up with something dramatic for an ad series for St. Vincent. Yet another situation where we had very little time with our subject, but in this case, freedom to shoot what we thought worked best.

The space we had to shoot in had an astroturf floor, white walls, and little else. I chose the open door at the loading dock to provide a compelling background and then it came down to the pose. We incorporated some of the training equipment into the shot to place him in the context of a sports rehab/therapy area. I like the one where he’s holding out the two basketballs, but the other pose is more active — I just wasn’t sure about putting him in a “game” pose while he’s standing on grass.

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