Is it the shoes?

Finding a sweet 16 shoot at the Oculus


In a 90s Nike Air Jordan commercial, Mars Blackmon aka Spike Lee pesters Michael Jordan about the secret of his greatness.

“Yo, Mike. What makes you the best player in the universe?” Mars asks.

Mars then goes through a list of “is it the dunks, haircut, shorts…” before settling on the real question.

“Is it the shoes?”

“No Mars, it’s not the shoes.”

"Money, it's gotta be the shoes!" Mars exclaims.

“Is it the shoes?!” 

That became the tagline.


I thought about that commercial when I stumbled onto a Sweet 16 shoot at the Oculus Transportation Hub. The full shoot was probably large enough to be a full wedding party, but I wanted to focus on a cool repeating pattern.

My final photo cropped in tightly on five the teens’ matching shoes. It’s not lost on me that Mars Blackmon's commercial featured Nike Air Jordans, but these guys were sporting their Adidas.

Who cares about the brand. What’s the secret of this photo for me?

Money, it’s gotta be the shoes!

Lynford MortonComment