18
Jun
Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 6400iso, f4, 1/320th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner sits in front of her locker in the teams locker room at the US Airways Center.

A few weeks ago I received a call from one of my editors checking my availability for a day in the life shoot with WNBA rookie sensation Brittney Griner. Now I don’t follow womens basketball at all but I certainly knew who Brittney Griner was and her potential to be the LeBron James of the WNBA. Thankfully my schedule was open so I was able to book the gig.

I really love doing these day in the life type shoots. Its a welcome break from the standard sports action and racing stuff I am typically covering. Much like shooting scenery and wildlife, this type shoot allows me a break from the norm which makes it fun and challenging. Another fun thing about these assignments is you get to see the athlete outside of their office. Its a rare glimpse into the real life of a multimillionaire athlete.

The assignment was for USA Today so I would meet with the writer and videographer early in the morning to discuss our plan of action.

Initially we had an afternoon of bowling with teammates as well as heading to a mall to do some birthday shopping. Unfortunately a leg injury a few days prior to the shoot would derail the bulk of those plans.

Instead, we would begin our day at the arena for her interview followed by Brittney playing USA Today writer Scott Gleeson in NBA 2K13 on an Xbox in the teams locker room.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner relaxes as she conducts an interview with USA Today Sports at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner relaxes as she conducts an interview with USA Today Sports at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 5000iso, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner reacts as she plays NBA 2K13 on an Xbox in the teams locker room at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 5000iso, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner reacts as she plays NBA 2K13 on an Xbox in the teams locker room at the US Airways Center.

The WNBA locker room isn’t nearly as luxurious as the NBA locker rooms.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 6400iso, f4, 1/320th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner sits in front of her locker in the teams locker room at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 6400iso, f4, 1/320th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner sits in front of her locker in the teams locker room at the US Airways Center.

Next up in our adventure was a trip to the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 250iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual Brittney Griner walks across Roosevelt St to the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 250iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual
Brittney Griner walks across Roosevelt St to the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

When the videographer and I heard we were going to the tattoo shop we both got excited in hopes she would actually be getting a tattoo that day. That would have made for great photos and video. Sadly it was just a consultation in preparations for a tattoo she was going to get the next week.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f3.5, 1/640th, Manual Brittney Griner speaks with tattoo artist Jason Anthony about a neck tattoo she wants to get done.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f3.5, 1/640th, Manual
Brittney Griner speaks with tattoo artist Jason Anthony about a neck tattoo she wants to get done.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/500th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner shows off a tattoo inside the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/500th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner shows off a tattoo inside the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/400th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner reacts as she talks to tattoo artist Jason Anthony inside the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/400th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner reacts as she talks to tattoo artist Jason Anthony inside the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

Following the trip to the tattoo shop it was time for a few hour break so she could go visit the team doctor and get an MRI on her leg. Sadly the cameras weren’t allowed to make that trip.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 400iso, f4, 1/2500th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner points at her new favorite photographer as she leaves the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 400iso, f4, 1/2500th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner points at her new favorite photographer as she leaves the Golden Rule Tattoo shop in downtown Phoenix.

After a couple hour break where I went and got my girlfriends car washed (to attempt and make up for giving her my car the other day in which she promptly ran out of gas a mile into the drive in the 110 degree heat Sorry babe!)

After running my errands it was back to the US Airways Center to shoot the teams practice.

With Griner being injured and hanging around watching, there wouldn’t be much to shoot.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 6400iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Manual Due to a knee injury all Brittney Griner can do during practice is cheer on teammates as she rides an exercise bike.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 6400iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Manual
Due to a knee injury all Brittney Griner can do during practice is cheer on teammates as she rides an exercise bike.

Following the practice the team headed onto the main court in the arena for a public practice in front of season ticket holders.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual Griner looks on during a team practice at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
Griner looks on during a team practice at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual Detailed view of the Nike shoes worn by Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner. Griner recently signed an endorsement contract with Nike.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
Detailed view of the Nike shoes worn by Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner. Griner recently signed an endorsement contract with Nike.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 6400iso, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner runs through the tunnel on her way to the court for a team practice at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 6400iso, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner runs through the tunnel on her way to the court for a team practice at the US Airways Center.

Griner was a goofball in everything she did. The 22 year old is loving every moment of being a professional athlete despite all the media attention on her.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner reacts as she enters the court during fan fest and a team practice at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner reacts as she enters the court during fan fest and a team practice at the US Airways Center.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual Griner during a rare quiet moment where she wasn't laughing and having fun.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
Griner during a rare quiet moment where she wasn’t laughing and having fun.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual Detailed view of the tattoos and dreadlocks of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner.

Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual
Detailed view of the tattoos and dreadlocks of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner.

That wraps up my day with Brittney Griner. After spending the day with her I can’t wait to follow her career from here on out.

Here is a link to all my images from the day.

Here is a link to the USA Today story.

Here are a couple of older Day in the Life shoots I did a few years back.

Brandon Webb for ESPN the Magazine

Kurt Warner for ESPN.com


 
Posted in 10 Spot, Arizona, Basketball, Sports, USA Today, WNBA   1 Comment

One response to “10 Spot / My day with WNBA rookie Brittney Griner”

  1. John G says:

    Great departure from the usual stuff, Brittney is a studess!

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