Maigen Sawyer, LLC

A couple of months ago I got an opportunity to begin photographing events for the Houston Rockets. It came when an amazing creative nazi named Jose Lopez attended this conference I photographed, filmed and spoke at here in Houston for all creatives/graphic designers of Major League Baseball, as put on by Chris Garcia from the Houston Astros, the MLC Connect Conference. Chris had invited the neighboring professional sports teams in Houston. ‘Round these parts, creatives stick together. #bettertogether, I digress. Jose, the Creative Director for the Rockets said that he thought I knew a thing or two about taking photos and wanted me to come try my hand at their events. The insider track here is that when I got off that phone call, I pulled over my car on West 19th and Yale in the Heights, yanked my camera from my bag and did some kind of hybrid between a cheerleading move and an end zone celebration like I’d just gripped a Hail Mary to the promised land. I tripped hard on a curb and then stumbled down the road to get out my excitement in aesthetic form.

Then the call came from another beautiful soul (Leilani) that Dwight Howard was having an event downtown at the Wortham Center and I was to capture the ambiance of the night (my favorite thing, on earth, to photograph, that lifestyle thing).

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I mean, I was a kid in a candy store and so was James Harden apparently.

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There were so many things to photograph and the dark light surrounding the venue gave life to the blues and ambers of the theatre lighting. Once we got into the theatre, the expectation would be that there wasn’t enough light to photograph, so I would have to make do. I crawled around below the stage trying my hardest not to be noticeable as I set up my camera for long exposures. Assuming most people would be relatively still during the premiere, I decided to set my camera up on my knees because a tripod wasn’t going to fit where I was tucked down in the front of the theatre. I held my breath at least 50 times, got a little lightheaded and finally pulled off some interesting color palettes.

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I snapped away as Dwight handled with ease the rush of media that surrounded him. It was such a cool experience to see how he made them feel appreciated. It seemed that almost every reporter walked away from their conversations with him smiling. It has been amazing to get to photograph for the Houston Rockets. I played basketball in college and never felt as close to my work as I have shooting with them, mixing my love for basketball and sports with my passion for lifestyle photography. My belief in life is to never forget where you came from and I am at a loss for words for how lucky I feel to be able to photograph this way. Thank you for having me Jose and Leilani!

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