When Charlotte, NC-based ad agency BooneOakley reached out to Agency MJ for help on a new athleisure campaign for their client Feetures, we knew just the guy for the job.
Enter James Quantz Junior.
A sports and commercial photographer with an incredible talent for capturing compelling action shots, James has produced work for Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the Atlanta Falcons, the Charlotte Hornets, and more. (Not to mention his work for Bacardi Rum, Las Vegas Convention and Tourism, and Grand Central Publishing including the book jacket for Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me.) He’s been with Agency MJ since 2011.
Born out of a desire to create a better running sock, Feetures launched in 2012 with a mission “to be the most recognized performance sock in the world.” Fusing original design with new technologies, Feetures provides premium socks for both everyday activities and athletics. They look good, they perform great, and, oh yeah, they come with a lifetime guarantee. Sign us up.
Together, BooneOakley and James set out on the one-day shoot at James’s Columbia, SC-based studio to capture images for web and print. “They had been doing environmental portraits, so this go-round they wanted to do in-studio type work,” says James. “To further enhance that we shot with a black backdrop and black acrylic flooring to get the reflections of the socks. In each image, you get the actual sock and its reflection.”
The shoot featured one male and one female model, each showcasing a variety of Feetures socks in multiple settings, a mashup of both fashion and function. And when you’re shooting awesome socks, you gotta keep it laid back.
“I like to keep things light and fun on set,” says James. “I like to let people be themselves. When you’re casting athletic people, you kinda just let them do their thing.”
James also knows though, after more than 15 years in photography, that when it comes to any kind of athletics-based photography, your subjects have to go all-in. “For staged movement to look real, it’s got to be real movement. You have to give 100% in front of the camera, as if you are on the field,” he says. “If you’re going to jump or swing a golf club, you’ve really got to do it.”
Although most of the images would be used for web, James also made sure they would be picture perfect for tradeshows (think life-size cutouts). To ensure enough resolution, James shot with a Phase One medium format camera. “It’s a little trickier when you’re doing action because it fires one frame per second where other cameras might give you five, even ten, frames per second. So, you’ve basically got one chance to catch it.”
James is a pro though. One chance is all he needs. Like he tells his athletes, “You do what you do, and I promise you I can catch it.”
See more images from the Feetures shoot at Feetures.com.