The start of the basketball season is still three months away, but behind the scenes, preparations have long since been underway. For the media relations department, the biggest summer task is putting together the media guide in time for fall recruiting.
The first photo session took place in Memorial Gym. Individual shots for the media guide roster were taken in an impromptu studio set up in the interview room in the gym basement.
When your teammates are offering "helpful" suggestions, the simple direction to "look at the camera and smile," isn't as easy as it sounds. But senior forward Ashley Earley shows how to focus on the task at hand.
After the photo for the media guide, there's also a shot for game day video for the jumbotron. The card identifies who's who for video technicians: "Katie Antony, Sophomore Guard, 2004-05, Vanderbilt University".
After the individual photos, it's on to the court for team photos. Neil sets up the shot, re-positioning sophomore guard Caroline Williams to get just the right angle.
When everybody is ready, it's time for the official horizontal team photograph.
Front row, left to right: Sophomore guard Caroline Williams, sophomore guard Katie Antony, sophomore guard Cherish Stringfield, senior guard Abi Ramsey, sophomore guard Dee Davis, junior guard Erica Grimaldi.
Back row, left to right: sophomore post Carla Thomas, junior post Nicole Jules, sophomore transfer post Liz Sherwood, sophomore forward Jenn Hall, senior forward Ashley Earley, freshman guard/forward Katie Eggers.
While Neil is going upstairs to the balcony to take some shots from a different angle, there's a chance to take some very un-official photos.
Next come photos of the classes. This is the Nicole Jules and Erica Grimaldi, the junior class.
The seniors get special attention, with Neil working with Ashley Earley and Abi Ramsey to get exactly the pose he's looking for.
Then everybody goes to the bleachers to pose for the "vertical" team photo.
That wraps up the first photo session.
Next come the individual portraits for the bio pages in the media guide. For these photos, the players meet bright and early in front of Kirkland Hall, dressed in street clothes. Various campus locations will provide the backdrop.
For example, sophomore forward Jenn Hall poses in front of Calhoun Hall . . .
. . . sophomore guard Dee Davis on a sidewalk in front of Benson . . .
...sophomore guard Cherish Stringfield on the plaza of Wilson Hall . . .
... and Erica Grimaldi in front of Furman Hall.
Neil will catch up with the players with 8 o'clock classes later on in the day, and then it's over... until next year.