How Alex Subers became one of the NBA’s top photographers.
A typical day on the job for Subers usually consists of working with players like NBA All-Star Ben Simmons. Photo Credit: alexsubers.com
Growing up, Alex Subers took pictures because it was the thing to do.
He was a skater, and “it was part of the culture of skateboarding” to capture the tricks he and his friends would pull off on their boards.
It wasn’t until his sophomore year at the University of Rhode Island that he was pushed to pursue his interest more seriously. When a friend suggested taking pictures for the Good Five Cent Cigar, Subers jumped at the chance.
“I realized I needed to get more involved,” Subers said. “I need to do more than just going to class.”
At first, he took any story that he could. He shot a variety of different events on campus, including talks held by guest speakers, sporting events, concerts and comedy shows.
But as Subers moved further into his time at URI, he began to focus his opportunities more on sports, specifically the Men’s Basketball team.
“I started drifting more towards just the sports,” he said. “That was kind of where my interests were.”
Wanting to continue with photography following his graduation in 2015, he moved out to Philadelphia, reaching out to both Temple and Saint Joseph’s University and offering to shoot their games for free at night while continuing with his day job as an associate producer at Wonderful Machine, a Philadelphia-based photography production company.
“I really just wanted to make the connections and keep doing it,” he said. “[Because] I knew that if I started at least shooting the local teams in Philly, maybe I’ll be able to work my way up.”
With the help of those he met along the way, Subers worked his way up to the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. At first, he started as a freelancer, getting brought on when the team needed extra coverage.
After about six months, Subers joined the team in a full-time capacity. Currently, he holds the title of Manager of Photography and Digital Assets, a role involving everything the team does in the realm of photography. This includes shooting games and events to pitching ideas for future shots and projects.
“It’s a side of the business of sports that a lot of people don’t see,” Subers said. “It’s just knowing where everything is, having all the assets categorized and in the proper folders, and being able to help everyone in the organization.”
Subers had the opportunity to return to his alma mater in 2017 to shoot the Men’s Basketball team’s first March Madness run in 18 years.
He said one of the highlights of his job is the bond built with the players and coaches. Through traveling to all of the organization’s games and events, these relationships paved the way for him to expand his work, even outside of Philadelphia.
“I’ve been able to meet a lot of different people and make a lot of different relationships from my job with the team,” he said. “In the off season, I’m able to work with other brands or other athletes.”
An opportunity arose last month after Subers met Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts while shooting a Sixers game. Hurts, an Oakley athlete, was able to help Subers partner with Oakley for a shoot in Los Angeles with Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James.
Looking back, Subers remembers the people who helped get him to where he is now. His favorite memories with the Cigar came from talking with his fellow classmates during the weekly meetings in Memorial Union 125.
“I always looked forward to those meetings and just going and seeing everyone,” he said. “It was kind of like friends getting together.”
Entering his fourth season with the Sixers, Subers is looking forward to when the team tips off their season on Oct. 20 against the New Orleans Pelicans.