• Header

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Football

Photography

Incredible shots of high school sports teams from Stephanie Noritz

Posted by James Cartwright,

Canadian-born photographer Stephanie Noritz lives and works in New York where she freelances for the likes of Monocle, Bloomberg Businessweek, Dazed and Confused and New York Magazine amongst others. Her imagery is defined by sharp lighting, relaxed atmosphere and – most importantly – a youthful subject matter – whether that’s kids skating vert ramps or fast-paced little league games.

We came across two of her personal projects the other day that deal specifically with a high school in Brooklyn, documenting their baseball and football teams respectively in a manner that reveals more than simply the action of sport. In fact the Automotive HS series is specifically concerned with moments of stillness instead of action, revealing a sensitivity in players usually renowned for their toughness.

We caught up with Stephanie to find out more about the process of making these photos and what attracted her to photography in the first place…

  • 43_18-football-stephanie-noritz

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Football

How long have you been taking photos?

I grew up with art. I always loved it. It began with drawing, then painting, and photography fell into the mix around the time I applied to college. I started taking pictures in my first year at Ryerson University, Toronto, in the fall of 2002.

What was your first motivation to pick up a camera?

Getting closer to the things I found interesting and beautiful. Having a camera allowed me access to certain things I was otherwise too shy to approach on my own.

A lot of your imagery seems quintessentially American, is that a conscious decision or simply the result of your surroundings?

I believe it’s been a little bit of both. I grew up in the suburbs of Toledo, Ohio, but was born in Toronto to Ecuadorian parents and I returned to Toronto after high school. There has always been this natural curiosity about American culture that I always felt somewhat removed from.

What attracted you to shoot the sports teams at Automotive HS?

I live close to the high school and would often catch them practicing as I passed by. I was drawn to the physicality and camaraderie between the boys. Working together as a pack, their practices mimic organised military-style work ethic. Their football team in particular has always been known as the underdogs because they don’t have a home field. They gather five times a week after school to practice in the public park across the street. Without their own field, they are forced to play home games at their high school rivals’ grounds a mile away.

  • 37_noritz-pistons-0355a9418

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Baseball

  • 43_1-football-stephanie-noritz

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Football

  • 43_2-football-stephanie-noritz

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Football

  • 43_5-football-stephanie-noritz

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Football

  • 43_14-football-stephanie-noritz

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Football

There’s a stereotypical idea of high school sports teams presented to the rest of the world in American cinema, is that what it’s really like?

There is a lot of heroism portrayed in movies, but there are just as many moments of vulnerability and fragility between these young players. They can be very hard on themselves and each other but they are still trying to figure themselves out; who they are, what they want to become.

You seems as concerned with the monuments of stillness as much as the action in these images. Why is that?

I’m interested in the young men that make up the players. I want to find out more about who they are. I look for those moments that are quiet and intimate as a way to understand them better.

Tell us a good story from your time on these shoots.

On one of the last football games of the year several of the players from Automotive made it into the Brooklyn All Star game, which also happened to fall on the day of a huge snowstorm. The field was so slippery they were sliding everywhere and at a certain point they realised that they were just going to have fun with it, so all the players laid down on the field and made snow angels.

What are you working on now?

Various personal and editorial shoots. Football conditioning begins again this Sunday so I’m looking forward to the new season and pushing the project further. I actually have a zine published by Oranbeg Press with the Automotive High School Football and Baseball work that will be officially released in the fall.

  • 37_noritz-pistons-0455a9575

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Baseball

  • 37_noritz-pistons-0655a0320

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Baseball

  • 37_noritz-pistons-dugout

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Baseball

  • 37_noritz-pistons-group

    Stephanie Noritz: Automotive HS Baseball

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Main6

    Big thanks to Nathan and Jacob of Haw-Lin for their recent updates that have led to us finding the work of photographer Joyce Kim. Joyce’s photographs lead us tentatively by the hand behind the scenes of some remarkable music videos where our eyeballs are given VIP treatment and treated to perfect shots that are in such high-res that you can almost smell them. The grainy monochromatic photos taken during the making-of Earl Sweatshirt and Childish Gambino’s music videos are sublime, but we’d have to agree with Haw-Lin and say that the photos of Josh Homme with loads of Japanese businessmen for the hedonistic Smooth Sailing video are the very best. That shot of all the guys in suits falling asleep on each other in front of that security grate is beyond perfect.

  2. Karl

    It takes a very discerning eye to photograph the famous faces who’ve already graced posters, ad campaigns and magazine covers in a new light, but somehow Boris Kralj has made this fine-tuned art his bread and butter. His subjects range from some of the most famous figures in contemporary culture – Susan Sarandon, Vivienne Westwood, Brian Ferry and Karl Lagerfeld – to models in fashion shoots and commercial work, but all faces receive his attentive treatment. It feels as though he’s spent hours with each subject observing their characteristics and flaws in able to mild this knowledge into a uniquely insightful portrait, and thought I’m sure this can’t be the case it certainly is an impressive thing to master.

  3. List_2

    The closest many of us Brits ever come to a machine gun is when we’re hiding behind a bucket of popcorn the size of a small child in the front row at the cinema, so you can imagine our fascination at seeing this new series by Brian Finke. Brian spent four years photographing US marshals, the longest standing law enforcement agency in America who work under the federal courts. They are “tasked with protecting judges, prosecutors and witnesses, and are also responsible for transporting prisoners and tracking down the country’s most dangerous fugitives,” the book explains.

  4. Main1

    Something very special happens when a lot of time and effort goes into something silly. This new series from Mike Mellia takes the style he’s perfected during his modern artists in the style of old masters project and sees him create one selfie a day that he uploads to his Instagram account. Gently taking the piss out of selfie culture, Mike poses for ludicrous self portraits depending on his outfit of choice with captions such as “That one time I founded the Roman Empire” or “That one time I asked the workers of the world to unite” (best said in a high-pitched American accent). The great thing about this project is its longevity – if this was a one-off photo it wouldn’t be anywhere near as hilarious.

  5. Main

    Olivia Bee is fantastic. We’ve been following her in a non-stalker way for a good few years now, and can report that we were in fact correct in predicting she was going to be big. What’s so great about having a look at her work after a bit of a gap is the realisation that even though she’s been doing a lot more commercial work, her Flickr is still a paean to the wild beauty of youth. Even better, before where her photographs depicted kids on the brink of puberty – clumsily exploring the world and exploring being grown ups – now her subjects (some of them we recognise from before) are now actually approaching adulthood. That includes Olivia too, and these new wild, fizzing photographs are total, unadulterated proof of that.

  6. List

    Emily Kai Bock is the filmmaker responsible for music videos for the likes of Arcade Fire, Grimes and Grizzly Bear, which explains why her eye is so well-trained at spotting the moments she captures in her photography, too. Shooting strangers in the street and yet capturing strangely warm and intimate portraits she seems to form immediate bonds with the people she spots on her travels, from a girl waiting in line to pay for her groceries to a glamorous but frustrated woman crossing the road. There’s something transfixing about the vulnerable but unwavering eye contact her subjects fix on her, almost as though they are the only two people in the scene to recognise her existence. It’s a rare talent, but it seems to come very naturally to Emily, and we can’t help but feel grateful for it.

  7. Main

    “Paradise is on the edge of an industrial estate just north of the M25. It’s also behind a Jobcentre in Manchester. By the bins.” What a difference a poetic opening line of a project caption can make! Oli Kellett sent this project in after the success of his 2011 project where he found street signs around the world that look like British words spelt wrong. Paradise is similarly genius: with the help of Martin McAllister Oli travelled the UK since 2010 photographing any road, street, lane or close that contained the word “paradise” in its title.

  8. List

    If the pseudonym Synchrodogs calls to mind a troupe of people dressed in a trippy barrage of Cyberdog-influenced body suits sprawled across luscious green meadows, in front of waterfalls and crouching on cracked deserts, then you’re on the right track. Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven have been working under the moniker since 2010, and their unique brand of out-of-this-world fashion photography set in apocalyptic environments has earned them a reputation for making fascinating, if bizarre, imagery.

  9. List

    Entering Alma Haser’s portfolio is very much like going down the proverbial rabbit hole. The young London-based photographer was recently named in the D&AD New Photographers Ones To watch, the latest accolade in a career that’s going from strength to strength.

  10. Main

    London-based brand Heresy presented its new collection this week in the guise of its Autumn Winter 2014 lookbook. Entitled Forming, the collection is a quiet amalgamation of illustration and traditional workwear, combining illustrated elements and hand-drawn type with carefully crafted structural staples made from loop-back jersey and felted wool.

  11. List

    A lot of us will have been there; you’re trying to mow the lawn and you can’t get the ruddy dog to leave you alone. It’s annoying sure, but if I had dedicated my life to God then I might see it as an (al)mightily unfair frustration.

  12. Osmalist

    Helsinki’s finest, photographer Osma Harvilahti, shot this campaign for Finnish designers Marimekko in one afternoon. From the photographs it looks like it must’ve been a deliciously dreamy few hours, all cosy cups of tea and crisp breezes ruffling the blinds, but knowing the intense level of aesthetic precision in Osma’s work, behind-the-scenes might’ve smelled less of flowers and more of frazzled nerves. The result, however, is serenity itself.

  13. List

    The term athlete is actually a vague catch-all word that encompasses a great variety of body types, depending on the specialist’s chosen discipline. This new project from photographer Paul Calver and art director Gem Fletcher celebrates what the pair call “the perfectly imperfect form of an athlete’s body” by focusing on a boxer, a martial artist, a runner, a bodybuilder and a sumo wrestler.