Validation isn't something I seek from others. Submitting to contests is more of a deep dive into looking more closely at my own work and truly judging myself. Entering a contest where you can only enter two photos in each category (Portrait/Personality, Feature, Race Action, Crash Action, Open, Celebration) is extremely challenging. This isn't a shotgun approach to photography where you can enter 100 per category and hope for the best. You have to nail your own entries like a marksman. These have to be the very best of what you produced during the year.
I was standing "trackside" on the ice in Aspen when Chris Owens tweeted me saying I had won the National Motorsports Press Association Howard O'Reilly Award aka Motorsport Photographer of the Year 2019. It didn't really sink in then. Probably hasn't now, and probably won't.
Why? It changes nothing for me personally. I still have to put work in every day to keep this dream and career alive, for myself and my family. I was texting with a very successful businessman, friend and client the other day. Talking about something separately, but it relates to this blog. We both acknowledged that it's never enough to be who we currently are. Ever. Someone will always be better and do it better (in our minds anyway), so we are both constantly looking to be better and do it better, AND do it differently. So we keep digging.
Thank you to the NMPA and the 2019 NMPA photography judges for this honor. If you're a USA based motorsport photographer, please join NMPA and consider entering your work for 2020! The contest entries this year were outstanding, as always.
Here is the entire portfolio of images I entered for 2019.