Apple ad in Sports Illustrated

Posted on April 17, 2015

This ad for Apple appears on the back cover of the April 20, 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated. (Photo by Brad Mangin)


It is no secret that I love taking pictures with my iPhone. I first wrote about shooting with the iPhone 4S for The Photo Brigade three years ago. Over the past few years I have shot iPhone pictures at Major League Baseball games that were turned into Instagrams that got published in Sports Illustrated. I later published an entire book of my iPhone Instagrams entitled Instant Baseball. This week things have come full circle as a portrait I shot with my iPhone 6 Plus of a junior varsity football player at Monte Vista High School in Danville, California appears in a full page ad for Apple on the back cover of Sports Illustrated.

SHOT WITH IPHONE 6 PLUS: Instagram portrait of a JV high school football player from Monte Vista high school after they lost to Liberty in Danville, California on September 19, 2014. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

I was contacted by the ad agency that handles Apple’s account back in February as they were ramping up to release their new campaign “Shot on iPhone 6.” They found a few pictures they liked on my Instagram feed and needed to verify that they were shot with an iPhone 6. This particular photograph was shot with my iPhone 6 Plus on Friday, September 19, 2014- the very day the phone was released. I happened to be at Monte Vista High School in Danville, about 25 minutes from my house, to shoot pictures for a friend during that night’s varsity football game against Liberty. I got there early and after the Monte Vista JV kids lost I saw this young man with a great face covered in dirt and sweat after a hard-faught game. I just had to take his picture- and I had to shoot him with my new phone. I asked him if I could shoot him and he was cool. I shot a few frames (the image used in the ad is slightly different than the Instagram) and that was it. I shared a frame over my Instagram feed and was really happy with the results. The quality with the new phone was insane!

It is pretty crazy how things work. I shot games at Monte Vista High School for my first newspaper job at the San Ramon Valley Times back in 1988. The lights were bad and we were shooting black and white film that we developed forever in the darkroom just to get a faint image to try and make a decent print for the Saturday morning paper. Back then flash was forbidden- we had to use available light- and it was dark as Hell! Fast forward 27 years later and I am shooting a color portrait on the same field with a freaking phone that gets published full page on the back cover of Sports Illustrated for a computer company that was in it’s infancy back in 1988.

What does this all mean? The more things change the more they stay the same. Also- if you don’t share your work over social media channels you are missing the boat. This image was only seen by the ad agency because I shared it over my Instagram feed. It’s quite simple. I am a photographer and I love taking pictures. I also love sharing my images when I get something I like. This is one of those cool occasions where it all came together.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Jim W Vestal April 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    But with the new access, is there a problem of using your (the) work but they get it for free. Or does your SI professionalism cut that though the try for a “free photo.” Sort of the old days, “I’ll give you a photo credtit!”

  2. jean fruth April 17, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Brad – The photo is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it on the back cover when I get my next SI issue. Camera, phone, digital, film … doesn’t matter. You are an artist!!

  3. Brad Mangin April 18, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Hello Jim. I am not sure what you mean? I got paid for this if that is what you are asking.



  4. Brad Mangin April 18, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Thanks so much Jean! I am pretty excited!


  5. Z-Man April 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    The shot itself is timeless…harkens back to a Robert Riger image from The Pro…except you used the new I-phone with its insane sharpness, clarity & rich color. The really amazing thing is how you happened upon that moment…at a place where you started your career. Talk about full circle…and a full page ad on the back page of a mag that was,in its time, our sports photo bible is even better. Moments like these…seeing & taking the picture…then seeing the moment evolve into what its become…THAT is the true payment…transcending what $ you received from agency…You’ve accrued yet another PDI (Photo Driven In)

  6. Cathy Gambee April 18, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Brad, I bet the JV player and his family are very excited to have the picture on SI !!

  7. Joyce Acidera April 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    The young man in the ad is my nephew’s son. All of his relatives from Maui, Hawaii are so proud of him! Great picture.

  8. Brad Mangin May 1, 2015 at 12:43 am

    Very cool Joyce! You should be very proud of him! Glad you like the picture.


  9. Brian Lillie May 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Brad… You•Rule…

  10. Pingback: Brad Mangin is one of sport photography's best shooters – even with an iPhone | MelissaKnits

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