016-Johnie Izquierdo

Sports Photographer


Feature No. 16 | July 8th, 2020

 

Tell us your story, when did you first pick up a camera?

I picked up my camera  in March 2016. I mainly picked It up as a hobby, I was going through a rough time in my life and just wanted to get something that can take my mind off things. So It started as a hobby in 2016 and never looked back since. 

 

What was your first memorable experience shooting Basketball?

Man there has been so many unbelievable memories in such a short time span but I will give you 2 that really stuck out with me. These two are going to be specifically based on basketball action.

  1. Dyckman Park 2017 ‘Jelly’ Day - this was my first introduction to the scene and It was an atmosphere like no other, truly unmatched. I think being there, starting there and to see where I have came from that moment truly makes me appreciate It so much. The game was loaded with stars, the park was packed, It was a beautiful summer night. Then when Jordan Walker stole the ball, hits the lay up and everyone storms the court - It was just unforgettable.This is why summer hoops and Dyckman Park especially will always have a special place in my heart.

  2. Nike Peach Jam 2019 - Jalen Green and Team Why Not? At this point they had made an incredible run to the Finals to match up with Mokan Elite. The game came down to the last second, literally. Inbound pass to Jalen and he lays the ball up but It rims out and I have this incredible shot of him slamming the floor in a loss. Sidenote: He is one of my favorite players. The energy, the moment, the players, just everything in that very moment was just wow.

Talk about shooting Jahvon Quiverly, Jordan Walker & Naz Reid, at a time where nobody was covering them. What was that like?

Photographing those boys was truly amazing. In a way I kind of owe them alot, they helped really build me and my brand. At that time no one on this side of the country was really hitting the grassroots circuits so I was the only one photographing these boys in Highschool, Summer Runs and workouts. They were a pleasure to watch play, I think they really pioneered a lot of the social growth and this ‘rockstar’ image for a grassroots player. 

What are you focused on now?

Right now I am focused on having fun and continuing to love what I do. I just want to have fun, I want to break rules, do cool shit, take cool pics, step outside the box and just make It fun. I didn’t come from a photo background so I know I don't know many ‘rules’ but I believe that's really helped me just do me. I want to create and continue to create everlasting images that will be looked at years from now and be talked about. I want to continue to build and create relationships with athletes as I further along my career. Lastly, going to build my brand more, outside of photo - working on a Youtube Docu Series I will be releasing the trailer for this week, it's called 'Sunday Dinner' and some other things in the works.

You spent a lot of time with Louisville star Aidan Igiehon, how was the trip to his hometown in Ireland?

Going to Ireland with Aidan was a trip I would never forget. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into from a photo perspective. Aidan and I have developed a strong friendship so It was really cool to be in his element, It didn't feel like work. It was special to see how a country that is not known for basketball now has kids wanting to be hoopers, be like Aidan, and even be better than him - he has given that country hope, I don’t even think he knows YET what he has meant to that country.

 

What's inspiring you through this tough time?

Times are tough for all, so finding inspiration has been tough. I have had the opportunity to create a really powerful documentary through this pandemic - a lot stemmed from me panicking and just wanted to create. I think through this time it's been important to reset and recharge. I have had down moments, moments of fear, anxiousness wondering if things will get back, wondering if people will forget me - scary. I continue to keep good faith, good vibes, and study and shoot when I can - in a weird way It almost feels like 2016-2017 for me again, back to that grind uphill climb.