Ambient Skies and Nowadays collab for Puma Hoops photoshoot with Deandre Ayton

By | Published October 4th, 2023 | in NEWS, OUR CAPABILITIES, OUR WORK

Ambient Skies and Nowadays collab for Puma Hoops photoshoot with Deandre Ayton

Don’t scuff my puma!

A warning heard on every basketball court across the US in the 90s thanks to some very clever marketing tactics.

Well here’s a pair of Puma Hoop’s you’re definitely NOT gonna want to scuff. We’re not talking about the bargain bin puma’s at Ross. We’re talking about quality sneaks you’d be hard pressed to actually wear on the court because of their amazing design and very personal color palette. 

And they were designed for none other than Deandre Ayton. Formerly of the Phoenix Suns, now a part of the Portland Trailblazers. Deandre Edoneille Ayton Sr. is a pro basketball player originally from the Bahamas. Not only was he a Pac-12 Player of the Year during his first season with the Wildcats in 2017, he was a first overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. 

After he helped lead the Phoenix Suns to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993 in 2021, we all knew that one thing was inevitable… that Dominayton would get his own kicks. And oh are they glorious!

Check these bad babies out below!


So what’s the next course of action after you’ve created such a dope pair of sneakers? Snap some pics and let the world know with a polished marketing campaign.

And that’s where Ambient stepped in. The fine people over at Nowadays agency who were tasked by Puma Hoops to handle the photo shoot needed a team to actually HANDLE the shoot. That means working out logistics, finding a studio large enough to build the set they desired (Loft 19 Studios). Finding the crew to build the set, a crew to light, shoot, and monitor the imagery. A crew to produce the overall shoot with the CD and reps from Nowadays and Puma Hoops stepping in to direct on the actual shooting day.

And it worked exactly like that. After a handful of pre-pro meetings to get everyone aligned, it was go time.


On the day, art director Teddy Sorenson along with set designer Lindsey Steed and her set assist Erin absolutely killed it when it came to bringing their initial storyboard to life. First constructing a base structure that was a 16’x16’ wall to build off of. They used various types of cloth material to create a whimsical backdrop that gave the set a dreamlike quality. Then Teddy built a section of a basketball court using wooden floorboards and precise tape. Add a basketball rack with some Puma Hoops basketballs. Throw in a wood platform to intensify the art vibes and voila! You got yourself a wonderful set to play with.

Next we turn to our camera team who crushed it. Photographer CJ Banks stepped in to work alongside his photo/light assist Wyatt Russ and digitech Matt Williams who are affiliated with Block Studios in Phoenix. Utilizing a lot of grip and lighting gear from Loft 19 studios where we were shooting, they were able to build out 12x’s for diffusion, negative fill and throw in some strobes from their personal arsenal to get the lighting just right.

They started snapping various product shots of the shoes by themselves, a necessary step that made sense to get in the can while Deandre was out of the building.


With all ducks in a row, all creatives agreeing on the look and lighting. The crew broke for lunch with Mr. Ayton expected to arrive shortly after the crew filled their bellies. 

Like clockwork, Deandre rolls up in some sick sports car, entourage in tote exploding from a plume of smoke… fog smoke, we had a fogger in the house people, get your minds right. Anyway, he rolls in. Starts bumping some badass golden oldies. I’ll admit, I expected some banger trap beat to drop, but was pleasantly surprised at his musical acumen for such a young cat.

And I’ll tell you this… the guy loves his ice. He has the most pristine collection of fine jewelry I’ve ever seen, that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Props big man!

Then it was time to rush him over to our HMU Cristina Jamarillo and wardrobe stylist Pap Crozier who sat him down, dialed him in on the hair, makeup, and drip. Afterward he walked on set and got to work, setting a positive tone for the crew to vibe off of and away we went.


The actual photo shoot was fun, it was smooth and there was no awkward factor in the room. The team got thru it relatively quickly and Mr Ayton was on his way before he knew it. But overall it was a great collaboration that produced some amazing results for Puma Hoops and their campaign at the end of the day.

Ambient came thru on the production execution and we couldn’t be happier with the result. It had those 90s art vibes we were going for. With just the right touch of Bahamian to satisfy the Nassau native. 

See for yourself, checkout the BTS video!



Deandre Ayton


Account Executive – Kate Swanson

Creative Director – Stefan Knecht

Art Director – David Kramer


Production Manager – Pam Herter

Senior Marketing Manager – Kelsey Keena


1st AD – John Schaus

Head of Production – Rebekah Nylander

Photographer – CJ Banks

Photo/Lighting Assist – Wyatt Rutt

Digitech – Matt “Martian” Williams

BTS Cam Op – Trenton Massey

Art Director – Teddy Sorenson

Set Designer – Lindsey Steed

Set Assist – Erin (just Erin)

HMU – Cristina Jamarillo

Wardrobe Stylist – Pap Crozier

Studio Manager – Floyd Bannister

Crafty Coordinator – Erin Connolly

PA #1 – Set – Reinaldo Jackson

PA #2 – Runner – Christina Felix

About The Author:

Trenton Massey


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