The Master Behind the Image: Dan Baumer

BaumerSpokane photographer Dan Baumer likes to capture stories, not just images.

This makes him the ideal fit for Hoopfest, since the stories of over 7,000 teams, 3,000 volunteers and 225,000 fans are hard to squeeze into one poster.

“You don’t need to be a sports fan to see the drama of an event like this,” Dan said. “You need only to open your eyes and see the immeasurable amount of drive and desire Hoopfest brings out. So many stories. So much effort.”

On a rainy-snowy morning in early April, Dan and six Hoopfesters—including some key local talent—took to the hallowed streets of Hoopfest to tell a story. A story where height, age, background nor experience matter as much as passion for the game of basketball.Baumer snapshot

Dan is a theater guy himself. Aside from being a photographer, he is the marketing director for The Modern Theater in Spokane. Not being a basketball player, it was Dan’s unique style of photography that connected him to Hoopfest. Last spring he was recruited to join Hoopfest’s digital street team and take photos for the event. While outside of his comfort of the stage, he found the court—or in this case the streets of the city—to value the same collaborative effect.

“I love that the entire community becomes a part of it,” Dan said. “Just like with theater, the final product that we see on stage (in this case, Hoopfest weekend) is only a small part of the grand effort and countless hours that go into making it all happen.”

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Some of Dan Baumer’s work from Hoopfest 2014. Baumer’s assistant, Elizabeth McNally, has helped him immensely at Hoopfest 2014 and at the poster shoot. He’s thrilled to once again have her assisting at Hoopfest 2015. 

When asked to shoot the Hoopfest 2015 poster, Dan was enthused. Moreover, his original idea is reflected well in the final product; an image of which Dan is quite proud.

“It’s awesome! It’s exactly what I had in my head when I started talking about it,” Dan said. “The personal validation of having an image in one’s mind and to accurately translate that to print is an incredible feeling.”

Dan admittedly comes from a diverse background himself, having lived in places from Alaska to Germany with multiple stops in between. He appreciates the way Hoopfest offers something for everyone, in Spokane and continents away. If you love basketball, you love Hoopfest.

“I wanted to create an image that every little baller in Italy, Croatia and Western China could see and be inspired to come to the world’s largest 3-on-3 street ball tournament,” Dan said. “I wanted the image to be iconic of the event and of Spokane.”

Hoopfest is the perfect crossroads for the larger basketball community and the city of Spokane, so Dan wanted to make sure he highlighted both. While it’s not his hometown, Dan has been wooed by Spokane. He especially loves that we are a part of a community that comes out for events like Hoopfest.

“[The poster] totally captures what Hoopfest is and what kind of town Spokane is: the grit, the urban-ness, the hardships of the sport and the attitudes behind the competition,” Dan said. “In some ways the image in the poster is my love letter to the city and the folks that make up the event.”

Matt Santangelo revealed the official Hoopfest 2015 poster on KXLY Channel 4 News. Check out the coverage on the Hoopfest 2015 Poster Reveal.

Like what you see? Contact Bailee Neyland at or stop by our office to claim one for you and your office, school or other public space. But don’t wait too long, they’re going to go fast!

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