As a follow-up to the successful series called Dancers Among Us, Photographer Jordan Matter surprises with yet again another novel idea. This time he features professional athletes while not on the hard-court or open playing fields as they are thrown into everyday routine situations. Called Athletes Among Us, the series is Matter’s newest collection for another whimsical concept.
For this project, Matter says he drew inspiration from the effect baseball had on his own life as well as other memories of childhood. In his website, Matter remembers the maltreatment and bullying he had to endure while growing up. He was after all, a “shy, skinny kid with bright red hair and a funny name.” Thankfully, his father helped him thru those difficult years, channeling his energy into sport, watching baseball games after school.
“No matter how difficult my day had been, I always found solace on the baseball field, where I had one simple objective: Learn how to hit the ball as hard and as far as I could possibly could,” says Matter.
In Athletes Among Us, Matter infuses the same playfulness and carefree spirit that brought him acclaim in his Dancers Among Us series. There are some differences in the shooting process though, working with athletes, who are not as accustomed to the creative process.
“Dancers are used to working in an artistic, collaborative environment. Athletes are used to pursuing a specific goal,” he says. “With the athletes, if you give them something they need to do, even if it’s very challenging, they’ll go after it and do it very well.”
There was also the issue with athletes being very specific about tasks in relation to their sport. “Even when athletes are not competing, they are living and breathing their passion,” wrote Matter in his website. “They playfully remind all of us to pursue our objectives tenaciously; to never give up and to keep striving for excellence, no matter what path we’ve chosen.”
The result is another winning series from both Matter and his athlete subjects. See Athletes Among Us here.