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30Q: What is #Lensface and Why Should We Care?

#Lensface? What’s that? Give it back to Alex.

Photo taken by Rudy Gay

Hey there team!

Last season, in addition to taking & editing photos for this fine platform, I produced a content stream called #Lensface. You can check out the entire season’s worth of work on Youtube, Instagram, or Facebook. The Instagram also features cool shots you won’t find elsewhere and some graphic design work.

It’s not relevant to right now, but for those who are interested in re-living the 16-17 season through a different perspective, #Lensface is there for you! #Lensface is observational storytelling meant to approximate the feel of working an NBA game as a photojournalist and to share my perspectives and opinions regarding NBA and photography. Last season was a trial run to simply see if I was capable of producing content in addition to the photos - after all, I’m a one-man band right now, and as a creative, you never want to bite too much off the bone.

This season, I’m excited to bring it back and produce content that directly engages with our audience here at StR. Without further ado, I’ll leave some choice examples of #Lensface here for your enjoyment.


Here’s the pilot from 2016 Media Day:


Here’s an example of story-driven content from the Kings-Cavs game:

(LeBron had insinuated he’d be wearing his throwbacks from his first NBA game at Arco… Liar.)


Here are a few examples of photography-focused content:


‘And, for fun, I’ll leave you with the before and after videos centering the DeMarcus Cousins trade:
(note: I wasn’t available for the Kings-Pelicans game where Buddy was ejected for Schroedering DeMarcus’s Cousins)

  • Before, vs. Hawks (DMC with the game-winning block)

Okay. Cool. So we have access to juiced up Snapchat stories of a photojournalist affiliated with the Kings. Why should we care? Well… here.

On a personal note - part of my colon is paralyzed from a condition I was born with. I’ve had four surgeries over my lifetime in regards to this and it is very much a powerful disability that affects my ability to make a living, and through that, my quality of life. In 2014, at 25 years old, I had a life-changing surgery that removed another 18 inches from my colon. This changed everything about everything - it’s hard to explain - but regardless, I’m not looking for pity or sorrow.

I’ve written about this before:

“The day after I got out of the hospital, it was the Kings 2014-15 season opener. I went. I photographed the game. I produced the post-game segment. I went home. The feeling I had at that game was pure love. Having spent the previous month grappling with deep thoughts about existence, my mortality, and my identity, I was shrouded in fear for my body and mind. To step out of that vapor into a throb of fans, screaming, music, Slamson, the thudding of basketball on the court, the snap of the net, the squeaks of the shoes sliding against the wood, the patience….. the look in the player’s eyes, the move, the flash, the click, the dunk, the perfect frame…” - Kimani Okearah for Ezibota

Check out the rest of this piece here for context - This Close to the League via Ezibota


Photography wasn’t enough. I remember what it’s like to be a fan of this team in my developing years. I couldn’t gather enough information. I couldn’t engage with enough media about the team. The curiosity was insatiable and provided extra context to every game and player.

Getting out of that hospital with my body all changed up - I knew I wasn’t doing enough with this position. Photojournalists take photos that provide context to a story - sure. But I wasn’t contributing to the NBA world in a way that my 12-year-old self would notice or appreciate. I could be replaced from one game to the next, and there would be no value added or lost in terms of what impact I was making. #Lensface is that impact.

It’s coming from a place of love for basketball, photography, and the people that come together to create the product that is the NBA. It’s a giant -PLUCK YOU- to the concept of physical disability affecting my personal goals and dreams. It’s a celebration of the perfect captured moment.

The very first time the Curry brothers faced each other in meaningful NBA minutes. Seth had just checked into the game and Steph cracks a little smile. My favorite shot so far!
Kimani Okearah

And, you know what? If y’all support the project, it helps me to earn a living. Sponsorships, expansions, and other opportunities are available with good content, engagement, and a healthy support base. Thank you for checking out #Lensface! Thanks for reading a little about me and what I do here with StR.

Any questions? Thoughts? Ideas? Any photography topics you’d like me to cover this season? How about photographic challenges? Should I post each episode to StR?

You can watch me shoot #Lensface during games on my snapchat which is @theKimansta.

Thanks again for reading and I’m looking forward to this season with the rest of you!