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FAQ

Q. How do I become a Formula 1 Photographer?

KEEP READING! .... Or take the Paddock Focus F1 Workshop on how to become an F1 photographer --- > LINK 

Q. What's your story? How did you become a motorsport photographer?

I've ALWAYS loved motorsport. I would look at every page of F1 Racing Magazine growing up, but I rarely read the articles. I would instead feverishly flip through looking at the stunning photos from top motorsport photographers, and STUDY the images. What did I like about those images? What did I dislike about others?  I learned by studying the images of photographers I respect.

 

In 2008, I was given an entry level DSLR for my 21st birthday as a sophomore in college. I quickly took to taking photos of my college swimming events and other college sports at my university. It helped my build a sports portfolio and a the foundation of running a business.

 

As I learned photography and built a strong network of people I knew from shooting those small events, I started getting paid to cover bigger sporting events and horse races beyond the ones I was personally riding in. Horse racing transitioned to covering low level dirt track races in Kentucky & North Carolina, karting races, track days at various places and attending many MANY races as a fan with a camera. 

 

All of that slowly turned into covering professional car races for small clients and a little money, which evolved into the career I have today. I became a professional full time photographer (with no other form of income) in 2014. 

Q. What Camera should I buy for motorsport photography? 

A. I wrote a whole blog post about this to help you. But it's not what you think the answer is. Read it and hopefully you'll learn more about why the answer is different from person to person. CLICK THE LINK. 

Q. What was the first professional car race you covered with credentials?

My first pro car race was Kimi Raikkonen's 2011 NASCAR Truck race debut at Charlotte Motorspeedway! I "cold called" an agency in England and asked if they wanted someone to cover it, and they agreed to have me cover the race. I got a few hundred dollars, and a foot in the door to professional racing.

Q. How can I become a motorsport photographer and shoot all the big races you do?

I teach an online photography workshop series with my colleague Drew Gibson. Together we have decades worth of experience and have spent tens of thousands of hours trackside covering the biggest racing events in the world from F1 to NASCAR to Indycar and everything in-between, and doing it for some of the biggest clients in the world. In these workshops, we teach you how you can get credentials to events, and start earning money from racing photography. You can learn more on our workshop website -- https://paddockfocus.teachable.com/

Q. Ok. I definitely want to become a motorsport photographer. Where do I start? 

There is no school or apprenticeship program to attend that will start your career toward motorsport photography. The workshops I teach are the only program I know of that is specifically designed toward helping you start your career in motorsport photography. 

 

With that said, the best, and only way to start is by going to races as a fan, and bring your camera. As racing fans, we are so incredibly lucky that most tracks and series encourage you to bring your camera gear to the races, share it with the wider world on social media. Do research on your area of the world, or region and see what you can attend and start going to. But remember, the bigger the race is, the worse the access will be for you as a fan. For example you will not be getting anywhere close to the paddock or drivers or cars at an F1 race, but you would quite easily do so at an IMSA or SRO race, or track day event. Learn your craft at smaller events. 

Q. But I don't have a media credential, so I won't be able to take nice photos. 

 

YOU DO NOT NEED CREDENTIALS!  Most professional racing photographers spend a good part of our day during a race weekend shooting from fan areas and grandstands with you! Most tracks in the United States and many in Europe are amazingly fan accessible that you don't need credentials to make the same images I can WITH credentials. This excludes most of the F1 tracks. F1 tracks are big, and not easy to make amazing photos at. So go to smaller venues to build your portfolio. 

Q. Which has been your favorite race to cover?

Le Mans 24, Nurburgring 24, Daytona 500. Indy 500. The atmosphere. The cars. The tracks. These are some of the biggest races in the world. It is all so challenging and so special. I'm so thankful to have covered Le Mans many times over my career, and to have been once as a fan in 2012. It will forever hold a special place in my heart. 

Q. How can I get a press/media credential?

READ EVERY WORD OF THIS. Press credentials are given only to those working members of the press/media with clients OR an assignment specific to that race. You will only pick up team/driver/sponsor clients after going to many races, and potentially years of working around a specific series or sport. Start by going to small races, and build your photography portfolio of images, and meet people along the way. If you aren't comfortable meeting people, and talking to people, this may not be the career for you, even if you are the most talented photographer on the planet. Ultimately taking pretty pictures isn't enough. You have to be able to sell your pretty pictures to make a living. 

Q. How do I become an F1 photographer? 

 

I STRONGLY recommend you take our Paddock Focus : Guide to Formula 1 Photography. It's 3.5 hours of information on making amazing images at an F1 race, and how to become an F1 photographer. You can find more information here -----> https://paddockfocus.teachable.com/p/formulaone 

In short, think of becoming an F1 photographer the same way F1 drivers become F1 drivers. Learn your trade at the small events (Do I sound like a broken record yet?) You need to do the exact same, but with your camera. There are no shortcuts to anything in ANY business. If you want it, put in the work to make it happen. It is an extremely competitive world and your talent with a camera is only one very small part of the equation of being successful.

 

 

Q. How many races have you covered in your career?

Thousands. Too many to count. 

Q. Why do you post so much on social media? 

Business is about marketing. And marketing is about putting your product in front of people's eyes. If you don't look at social media as a free way to market your business, then you're not very good at business and you will fail as a professional photographer. Social media is a free way to build my brand and my business, and share my images to get more business. 

Q. What do you carry in your camera bag to these races?

Camera brands are irrelevant. They are all more or less the same. That said, I use: 

2x full frame DSLR sports body cameras 

1x small mirrorless camera (backup)

500mm f4 VR

70-200mm f2.8 VR

24-70 f2.8

14-24mm f2.8,

24mm f1.4

35mm, f1.4

85mm f1.8,

135mm f1.8

LEXAR CF Express B Memory Cards

Q. Can I intern for you? Or just carry your camera bag? 

As much as I'd like to say yes, I do not have the need or the ability to take on interns. If you are wanting to learn more about photography, the best way to learn is by doing. Go to as many races as you can as a fan, enjoy it, but shoot it like you want to be there working it. That means work the angles, walk miles and miles, chase the light, tell stories, and don't quit when it starts raining or gets hot or cold. You wont be able to quit when you're a pro, and often, those times when everyone else quits, is when the best images are made. The best version of a mentorship that I offer is with the Paddock Focus Workshop series. https://paddockfocus.teachable.com 

Q. Do you sell prints of your work? 

Absolutely. If you don't see what you're looking for in my web store, or want something more specific than what I'm offering, shoot me an email. jameypricephoto.com/prints 

Still have questions? Spend some time and listen to the numerous podcasts and interviews I have been interviewed on.  Here are some of the best ones with a few longer form documentaries on youtube. 

WORKSHOPS

https://paddockfocus.teachable.com/

FRAMES VLOG Series

A behind the scenes look at the life of a motorsport photographer

VLOG Frames - 24hours of Spa

VLOG Frames - Horse Racing

VLOG Frames - Ferrari Formula 1 

VLOG Frames - PANDEMIC DAYTONA

VLOG Frames - F1 Canada & Le Mans 24 2019

Podcasts & Interviews 

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