Portraits of LA Clippers During Warm Ups

The LA Clippers visited Oracle Arena on Martin Luther King Day for a matinee game against the Golden State Warriors. Many of the Clippers stars came out for warm ups about an hour before the game. I like to get there early and watch them go through their pre-game routines.

DeAndre Jordan DeAndre Jordan refining his footwork with a Clippers coach.

To stay within photography restrictions, you have to leave the flash at home and work with short, prime lenses. Anything that extends beyond 3" isn't allowed. I use my OM-D with a Zeiss 85mm f/2.8 prime. It's legal and it's sharp.

Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin practices his free throws.

The game itself was a thriller. Warriors came back in the fourth quarter to win 106-99 over the Clippers. Both teams played well, much to the delight of the thunderous Oracle Arena crowd.

Grant Hill
Grant Hill watches a long range shot go down.

I like working on portraits before the game because it's easier to isolate the athletes than under game conditions. Plus, it's enjoyable to watch how professionals prepare for their work.

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You had some really great seats for the warm up. Did you have the same seats for the game? If not, how did you get early and court side access?

Hi Michael,

Season ticket holders in the lower sections can get court access before the game if they make a request with their Warriors rep ahead of time. I usually take advantage of this if I know I can get there early enough... especially if there's a chance to catch a star during warm ups.

Warriors treat season ticket holders very well!

If I were to a watch a ball game too, I would also prefer to come earlier than usual and just so I could soak everything in. It's not because I am a newbie when it comes to watching live games but it makes me also appreciate the game and the players more.