I have been shooting in the motorsports industry for over 20 years now. People always ask me if I am getting bored with shooting the same “thing” all the time. They assume that at every bike week event I am stuck shooting the same motorcycles, the same people, at the same locations. I suppose that could be the case, but as a photographer that strives to capture the moment for what it is, I prefer to find different locations, different motorcycles and different people to work with. Each year provides new opportunities for new experiences. I like to focus on being present in the moment, not forcing things to happen, rather allowing each day to present the ability to meet new people and share their story. After all, I believe it is this approach that identifies me as a passionate photographer in this industry. Daytona 2016 did not disappoint me as a person, or a photographer. I was able to work with some amazing people, explore some new locations I haven’t seen before, and capture some amazing motorcycles on digital film.
Check this out, one day I was to capture the Daytona Police motor patrol on the US 92 Bridge, which was shut down specifically for us to shoot on. I was lifted up in a bucket truck and directing the entire Daytona Beach Police Motor Squad in order to secure the shot I was looking to create. Another day found me on the Daytona Speedway start/finish line to capture the Victory Motorcycles Official pace bike of the Daytona 200 race.
Another morning I was up early to photograph a custom built Indian Motorcycle underneath a bridge as I waited for the perfect moment when the sun would start to bathe the underneath of the bridge structure.
These experiences are not only immortalized on digital film but also more importantly imprinted in my memory and heart. These are the moments that I as a person and a photographer live for. I also found myself working with over 30 journalists from around the world as they got to experience the Victory Octane and Indian Springfield new model motorcycles for the first time. There is an excitement at a new model press launch that can only be shared via imagery. Words come in at a close second, but to a visual person, imagery is where it is.
In order to keep up on these fast pace shots having the proper gear is very important to me, and I have lots of great gear that I rely on. Gear that I feel helps me capture these moments that are imperative to telling the story.
I shoot with Nikon and Nikon glass; I also use Tiffen for any filter needs and my Manfrotto messenger bag to transport my camera bodies and lenses. Now the best part about my Manfrotto messenger bag is the stealth look and design. I prefer to be “low key” when working on location, I don’t like to call attention to my thousands of dollars worth of gear I have with me. This bag doesn’t scream “I have expensive photo equipment inside” and that is pretty important to me. It holds everything I need and is rugged enough to grab fast and prop down where I need to grab my shot.
I also rely on Pelican for the amazing sturdy cases, which also help me get the height I need, as I am what I like to call “vertically challenged.”
I am fully dependent on my Peak design camera clip system and camera straps. Just as a motorcycle rider expects quality and performance from the parts he or she chooses to ride with, I expect the same quality from the gear I choose to shoot with. I close out another Daytona Bike Week with amazing memories, friendships and most importantly great images.