Josh Cox, Blake Griffin and Hollywood Hans

Josh Cox is a groovy dude. I've shot him many times and I love working with him. We've done a few editorial covers. And even though he's a professional runner, I've shot him on bikes for Scott Europe and in Wetsuits for Xterra. Josh's professionalism goes well beyond his ability to run fast. The guy's a total pro, all the way around. More than any other client, it's Powerbar who's brought Josh and I together to make images.

I'm proud to have worked with Powerbar on many occasions. Aside from the pleasure of being associated with such a great brand, there's the obvious thrill of getting to meet and work with the Powerbar's many sponsored athletes and personalities.

The first shoot I did for Powerbar was in 2004 when we shot Chris Carmichael in Solvang, CA. Chris and his own company Carmichael Training Systems have since become a regular client. Over the years, Powerbar has brought me together with NBA players, cyclists, triathletes, runners, swimmers, even rock climbers and skateboarders.

A couple years ago, I had a prepro meeting scheduled for another Powerbar shoot. It was for packaging and they had athletes from a variety of sports paired with a variety of products. NBA rookie of the year Blake Griffin was in the lineup, and everyone in the meeting was pretty excited about this, myself included. But when I heard the name Hans Florine, I flipped out. Really it was kind of embarrassing.

"John," asked the agency CD, "did you hear that part about the NBA Rookie of the Year?"

In 1989, I moved from Detroit to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. Not long after, I was fully obsessed with rock climbing. See the old snap that follows. I'm the guy on the left; note the giant guns.

In the late 80s and early 90s, you couldn't open a climbing magazine without seeing Hans Florine getting gripped on a big wall. But 20+ years later, my guns are long gone while Hans is still shredding it. Next year in June, Hollywood Hans will turn 50. But just this last year, he and Alex Honnold set the World record for the fastest ascent of The Nose on Yosemite's El Capitan: 2:23:46. A pretty solid marathon time, even for Josh Cox. But this was El Cap. And they were moving vertically.

Yeah, Griffin can dunk. And to be honest, I'm often on Youtube watching the latest Blake Griffin dunk compilation. But Hollywood Hans? Fifty years old and still he's the best.