THE IVERSON BOOK
BY GARY LAND
For the better part of eight years my job was to photograph Allen Iverson on and off the court. Our relationship was based on respect and trust. Whenever I got the shot we would move on and Allen appreciated that. I would always keep it simple and because of that, he gave me his time and attention. It was the perfect combination, I loved to take pictures and he loved having his picture taken. During those years I got to see sides of Al that very few people ever get to see. I sat on the floor of some of his best games and I watched him sweat it out during practices. I stood next to him during all of his commercials, and have been to several of his homes and watched him play with his kids.
I was with him during 9/11 and watched as he shed tears for the victims. I rode in his car and listened to 40 bars before anyone else heard it, and played him in H.O.R.S.E. at least a half dozen times… and still have yet to win a game.
I have been working on this book since 2002, but for reasons out of my control it was never completed… that is until now. With Allen’s induction into the Hall of Fame, I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to release it. This book is dedicated to the fans, the believers, and the legend himself, Allen Iverson.
— TZVI TWERSKY
Slam Magazine / Stance Socks
“Ever since Allen Iverson was drafted into the NBA in 1996, people have sought access to the native of Newport News, VA. From friendly media to tabloids, legendary photographers to unknown freelancers, family members to fame mongers, people have wanted to be in Iverson’s presence, to experience a day with him. Few, if even that many, ever spent real time with him while he was in the NBA.
Gary Land did, though.
Land, a photographer from Virginia Beach, VA, first shot Allen while working for Reebok. Almost immediately, the two young and hard-working men hit it off. Over the course of the next decade, Land would become Iverson’s de facto personal photographer and a member of the superstar’s inner circle. With the rare privilege of Iverson’s trust, Land had the fortune of exclusively capturing iconic images, ranging from commercial sets to candid and intimate family moments.
Many of these Land/Iverson photos have been seen, and even more have not. Now, with Iverson’s upcoming induction to the Hall of Fame nearing. Land has opened the vault.”
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“Gary's fascination with photography began early on, as a kid growing up in Virginia Beach. He was inseparable from his camera, mostly shooting his friends skateboarding and surfing. This experience helped him hone the ability to capture fast paced action. Gary eventually moved to Vermont and quickly became one of the most respected photographers in the snowboard industry. After his first son was born, he settled down and began working for Reebok where he developed a signature environmental portrait style shooting their A-list roster of athletes and in the process became Allen Iverson’s personal photographer. Gary left Reebok in 2006 and began his career as a freelance commercial photographer. He has shot iconic campaigns for clients such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, New Balance, Under Armour, Beats, Bauer, and Coca Cola. He’s worked with the industry’s finest creatives, even collaborating with Peter Jackson on imagery for District 9. His award winning work has been featured in PDN, Creativity, Communication Arts, Graphis, and Archive. In 2014 Gary and a few close friends formed the commercial production company GLP. Gary now utilizes his experienced eye and a deep knowledge of postproduction to create unique styles for his clients that fuses both broadcast and still into one cohesive vision. Gary enjoys doing his own retouching whether it's for his own personal projects, or for one of his clients. When he's not working in the studio, he can be found spending time with his family, surfing, playing soccer, hockey, building props for his personal shoots, or snapping candids with his Leica.