A couple of weeks ago, I posted on my Ricardo Gomez Studios Instagram (@RGomezStudios) profile some sports photography and athlete portraits I took a while back. I don't know why I didn't write this article at the same time....

I met Nami Ito on one of my no-expectation photography walks around Central Park. I took a picture of her and her friend and sent it to her. A couple of weeks later, I thought she would bee a great person to photograph. So I offered. She accepted!

We chatted during the shoot which was around the Central Park area and I found out: she's a professional cheerleader! She said "I'm a cheerleader for the NY Giants." I said "Is that hockey?" It took a few seconds and remembered, yes, that's professional football! 

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We had a fantastic shoot! I mean, she's a professional cheerleader so she knows how makeup, hair and what looks good on her. Other than a slight breeze, we couldn't have had a better shoot. It was a beautiful Spring day in New York City in one of the most iconic locations in it.

Then for months after the shoot, she was bugging me constantly about doing a sports-fashion oriented shoot. I remember being very against the idea though now, I don't remember exactly why. I believe I thought it would be a boring shoot and waste of time and money. 

I got a feeling what Nami wants, Nami gets. I finally gave in and we scheduled the shoot.

Nami had a Nike-based outfit. Black. Of course it looked great on her. I started the shoot as I normally would a fashion one, simple portraits and we would get more into specific poses oriented for her clothing.

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As the shoot progressed, I was actually enjoying the visuals of the work we were doing. It just wasn't someone in sweatpants trying to look pretty. It was  an athlete looking great in sports wear. We moved onto more posing that would still be along the lines of fashion. Nothing really sports-specific yet.

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Nami had obviously put in a good deal of what she wanted from the shoot! She would say "Let's try this. Let's try that.". And of course, she's a cheerleader so....

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Haha! Normally I would say 'no' to this type of pose.  I'm very sensitive to objectifying women. But, it was her suggestion and, she made it look cute! 

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So with Nami's pushiness, she got me to appreciate sport-fashion photography! First, it was fun but that could be attributed to Nami. But when I look at the pics, I really love them. I swear, put an Olympic athlete in there instead of Nami and the pics would be just at home in a Nike ad. Totally. 

I thought quite a bit why I was so happy with the experience and outcome of the shoot. I think it comes down to this: the photography really showcased the type of fashion being shown with a style and quality that I was very happy with. I think the only thing that could've made the shoot any better would be to have Nami in more athletic and action posing with more energy. But for my first sports-fashion shoot, I couldn't be happier.

Ricardo Gomez Photography

Originally from San Francisco, Ricardo is now a New York-based photographer specializing in editorial and commercial photography.
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