Sept. 30, 2011
Each September, basketball teams across the country are taking their team photographs and head shots in preparation for the upcoming season for use in media guides, web sites and promotions. Student-athletes and coaches line up, sit for the camera, wait for the flash and then repeat.
The Florida State women’s basketball team takes this concept a step further.
For the last three years, the Garnet and Gold have taken a theme and surrounded a special photo shoot around it – complete with professional makeup artists. Two years ago, the Seminoles put on their finest dresses and took photos while climbing out of a limousine. Last year, the shoot focused on athleticism and agility with players in workout gear.
This year’s edition featured the players and coaches wearing their all-white uniforms with an all-white background behind them, giving a crisp and clean feel to kick off the season. After taking head shots and the team photo at the Basketball Training Center, the players spent time with the makeup artists before heading to the special shoot at a studio inside First Baptist Church in Tallahassee.
“In women’s basketball, we have a chance to be different,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “At Florida State, we want to be different. We want to be cutting edge. We want to pursue excellence all the time. This is just another way to show off our program.”
The photos are used for the traditional media guides, marketing materials and Seminoles.com, the official web site of Florida State athletics, but also for the women’s hoops team’s own behind-the-scenes web site: seminolehoops.com.
“We get our makeup done and we look nice,” junior guard Alexa Deluzio said with a smile. “We take a bunch of pictures that we’ll use throughout the year. It’s cool to do it and then see how the pictures turn out.”
The juniors – Davis, Clayton, Deluzio and Leo Rodriguez – jumped in unison for one of the more creative photos featuring the foursome suspended in air – or maybe a cloud.
“It’s cool because the white background is vertical and it makes it look like you are jumping 50 inches,” Deluzio said.
The shoot was laid-back and fun, and gave the players a chance to show off their personalities.
“I had fun,” Davis said. “I like modeling. We like playing around sometimes. We have a lot of fun pictures.”
It’s this out-of-the-box approach that has Florida State among the nation’s up-and-coming programs. There’s no doubt, Semrau has the ladies looking good off the court, but the same can be said for the Garnet and Gold’s play on the hardwood over the past few years.
Florida State has been to seven straight NCAA Tournaments and advanced to nine consecutive postseasons. The Seminoles shared the ACC regular season championship in 2009 and 2010, and advanced to the program’s first-ever Elite Eight in 2010.
The team’s leader in 2011-12 will be its lone senior – forward Cierra Bravard. A few weeks earlier, Bravard took her all-white photos. A large mural of the 6-4 All-America candidate is already hanging in the lobby of the basketball offices.
Bravard greets those in the lobby with an intense stare, her hands gripping a basketball like she just pulled down a rebound.
She was back for the second shoot with her teammates, goofing around and posing for some team photos in front of the white background.
Semrau and her coaching staff were the last to be photographed. They wore matching brand new, all-white Nike warm-up suits. The staff may have had more fun than the players.
Soon, the photos will up on seminolehoops.com. The season is fast approaching with the first exhibition game slated for Nov. 5. The photo shoot was a great way to start.
“It’s become an annual event,” Semrau said. “Not only does it give us some great images to work with, but it’s really a great bonding experience for us. The players get a chance to have a professional makeup artist for professional photos. It’s a treat. For them to come together and laugh, and to use it as team-building has been fantastic.”