Warriors & Weddings Photographer: Beyond Jack Arent’s Lens

Warriors & Weddings Photographer: Beyond Jack Arent’s Lens

NBA photographer, Jack Arent not only snaps record-breaking photos of the Golden State Warriors, but also captures breathtaking weddings in San Francisco.

NBA photographer, Jack Arent has photographed the Warriors since 2004. He’s captured the Warriors winning the 2017 NBA Finals, Stephen Curry Receiving the Key to the City, and other history-breaking moments. But when Arent isn’t courtside, he’s capturing breathtaking “I do’s” in San Francisco, California.

Arent is a unique NBA photographer for multiple reason. For starters, he has his own company, Jack Arent Photography that creates timeless imagery for some of life’s most precious moments. Arent is also a child of deaf adults (C.O.D.A.), which helps him see the world more visually than the average person. He’s able to portray his blessed upbringing in his work by capturing every key moment from engagement to the married couples’ first kiss. Since Arent’s a prefered photographer at San Francisco City Hall, he offers two different ceremony packages to ease wedding goers. If you’re in search for a venue, City Hall is an enchanting building with high ceilings, a whimsical staircase and an elegant atmosphere.

We’re ecstatic we had the opportunity to ask Arent about his thriving life.

Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California - Jack Arent Photography

What inspired you to become a photographer?

J: The loss of my ability to play hockey after breaking my ankle. I used to play competitive full check club hockey, at the end of my senior year I was sidelined and had to watch my teammates play the rest of the season while wearing a cast. This is when I first picked up a camera and found out that I had a natural ability to foresee the right moment to take the right picture. In short,

Following my teammates through my camera's lens made me feel as if I was right there simultaneously making the same passing and shooting decisions

Are you excited about the new Warriors stadium in San Francisco?

J: Of course I’m excited for the new arena in Mission Bay! Although, Oracle arena will always be a special place for me (I started with the Warriors in 2004 and have seen it all). The Chase Center will be an amazing state of the art venue with restaurants across the street and a concourse that can comfortably accommodate the fans. We are due for a new venue, Oracle stands at the top of the list as the oldest arena in the NBA.

Grand Island Mansion - Jack Arent Photography

What makes San Francisco City Hall the best place to photograph weddings?

J: City Hall is beautiful and has such a grand look when inside and under the dome, who doesn’t like taking pictures with massive amounts of polished granite all around! Beyond the stone work, city hall has been a special place for me because I have photographed many special weddings and events there, such as Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors receiving the key to the city.

What photography style works best for capturing the Warriors? Is it the same style you prefer for weddings?

J: I would say getting the shot is the most important aspect, even before artistic style. A photographer's style can slightly vary when shooting either sports or weddings, style is in the eye of the beholder and is second to image capture; in my opinion. I try to be perfect during image capture of emotion or action, I have a knack for it. When it comes to weddings the same style of trying to capture moments perfectly as a sports photographer works too, that along with creatively lighting formal bride and groom portraits for a well rounded portfolio. In weddings lighting is everything, a close second is working fast and knowing your equipment like the back of your hand.

Grand Island Mansion - Jack Arent Photography

Do you use the same photo gear to photograph the Warriors and weddings?

J: I sure do, with the exception that I have a couple additional bags I call the “creative bags”, they have my special lenses and lighting equipment that’s best suited for wedding portraits.

Whose photography has influenced you the most?

J: My college mentor influenced me the most, Geir Jordahl. He worked with me one on one for six months and is one of the reasons why I was so driven to make a career in professional sports photography. Oddly enough my photography professors in early college were all fine art photographers, and I went into sports, after a short stint as a photojournalist. Geir actually attended photography courses from the late great Ansel Adams. Learning this from Geir was inspiring to me as an impressionable student. He had me conduct one on one interviews of several elite photographers, through this I developed a sense of direction for my career and I poured my passion into learning sports photography.

Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, California - Jack Arent Photography

How does your fluency in sign language help your photography?

J: I believe I have been conditioned to be a leader because of my upbringing with deaf parents. I am a child of deaf adults (C.O.D.A.) and all codas are use to taking charge whether they naturally lead or not. I notice that when a wedding becomes difficult for one reason or another, I assertively communicate the changes necessary to my assistants along with the bride and everybody jumps on board with the new plan. You don’t want to be passive when the direction of a wedding takes an unexpected turn, you can’t explain later why an important photo was missed in wedding photography, so it’s crucial to verbalize the necessary changes in real time.

How do you block out the Warriors fans while capturing your photos?

J: Earplugs! Seriously, the fans don’t interfere with my concentration. I just use earplugs because if I don’t I will hear a faint ringing in my ears when at home after the game, it’s that loud at Roaracle.

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Stonebrae in Hayward, California - Jack Arent Photography

How do you handle the “wedding stress”?

J: I must admit it’s tough, you have to be wired for photographing weddings and the stress of the unknown, because anything can happen. You have to do your research and work with your couples to make sure the day goes as smooth as possible. What can be stressful is morning preparations taking longer than expected, because the expectation is that the photographer will still get all of the important photos as if they had plenty of time to do so. When it’s all said and done, the cure-all the day after photographing a wedding is a good foot massage and the stress and body aches go away.

What advice can you give to aspiring NBA and wedding photographers?

J: “It’s better to be lucky than good”, I was told that by a well known MLB photographer during an interview I conducted as a college student, I understand that saying now more than ever.

Young photographers should believe in their talent, take every paid learning opportunity they can and believe good things will happen.
Many photographers have approached me over the years looking up to the glitz and glam of working in the NBA limelight, and have passed up a less glamorous opportunity that would build their knowledge. What I am trying to say is be true to the reason why you are a photographer and it will always be a freeing outlet. For me sports photography literally is a mental escape, while wedding photography is creatively challenging and inspiring because of the character shown by my clients. Keep shooting what makes you happy and keep learning because your knowledge and efforts become your reputation.

Click here if you’re interested in booking Jack Arent Photography for your wedding or engagement, whether it’s in San Francisco City Hall or another venue.

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