08/04/2014 02:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Not Deadstock: The Sneaker Head Portrait Project

Who doesn't love sneakers? I don’t remember my first pair of Stride-Rites, Vans or Keds (all three of which I donned as a young child). I do, however, remember my first pair of Air Jordan I sneakers purchased by my father as a Sr./Jr. matching set. That was followed a few years later with another matching set of Air Jordan IVs. Dad gracefully bowed out of the game in '89 but the seed had been planted. By my mid-elementary years, I was always on the lookout for the newest and freshest during every single trip to the mall.

Everyone has at least a pair of sneakers but some, no doubt, have more than others. Lots more. You can call them sneaker heads, collectors or just downright passionate about kicks, but who are they? What do they look like? What's their shoe size? What dope pair or what childhood memory ignited the flame? Everyone has a story and every story is unique.

I started Not Deadstock aka The Sneaker Head Portrait Project with the idea of photographing passionate sneaker collectors in their absolute favorite pair. The subjects all had interesting anecdotes about their shoes and why they were chosen for the project. One guy’s absolute favorite pair was the signature shoe of his absolute favorite player (Allen Iverson. Mine too). Another guy had finally tracked down some Nike Dunks that he coveted for years and pretty much wore them every day after.

As I began photographing people I’d met on buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook (there’s at least one in every city) and others at sneaker related events, I found that there is no homogeneous group of sneaker collectors. There are writers, firefighters, managers, basketball players, radio hosts and more, of all ages, all sizes and all different tastes in footwear. I want to photograph this amazing cross-section of people all united by one thing. Sneakers.