Portrait photography is as much about storytelling as it is about the visual properties of the picture taken. Philadelphia Portrait Photographers are presented with myriad opportunities to share fantastic stories through their work. Sport-related portrait photography often tells the biggest and the best stories of them all. Only 12 cities in the US can boast having all four national sports – and Philadelphia is one of them. Its teams are the Philadelphia Phillies (baseball), the Philadelphia Eagles (football), the Philadelphia Flyers (hockey) and the Philadelphia 76ers (basketball). Several of the NBA’s greatest players of all time have played for the 76ers and many Philadelphia Portrait Photographers have relished the privilege of working with them. These legendary players include Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Allen Iverson and, of course, Dikembe Mutombo who is counted among the greatest defensive players and shot blockers of the NBA. He is pictured here at a basketball practice with students at the American International School in Abu Dhabi. The generosity of his smile is just a hint at the generosity of his heart. The evening before this portrait was composed, Mutombo was presented with the Laureus Sport for Good award for his charitable work in Congo, his native country. In fact, he is often called one of the most-charitable players in NBA history. In 1997, he founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation which focuses on building hospitals, as well as providing health care in central Africa. The story behind his smiling portrait goes a bit further, however. Mutombo’s initial aspiration as a student was to become a doctor, hence his interest in improving medical conditions in his native country and its neighbors. Family is also an important part of his life and Mutombo honored his mother by naming the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital (opened in 2007) after her.
Location: Philadelphia, PA.