The Human Element - Laguna Seca 2015
When I first started photographing racing events for WeatherTech, it took me a long time to fully understand the relationships amongst the team members. I wasn't always sure who was in charge and what each person's role was as I watched them interact. At that time I focused most of my attention to the car as it raced around the track, trying to create art (pains me to look back at that first season). However, as time went on roles became clearer. The relationships between crew, team owner, car owner, drivers and fans started to draw more of my photographic focus. Today, I find these interactions to be of the utmost importance to document, most of the times more so than even the cars on track. Why? Because without the people, there is no story. Cars sitting on a track or in a paddock are about as much fun as a race track photo meeting (trust me, they're painful). It's not until a driver climbs into the car to qualify for the first time in their career (as was the case with Cooper this race), or until the crew pics up the air guns and race over the wall, or until post race where owners and drivers can share stories and a laugh that these important relationships reveal themselves and require documentation.
I also have to be grateful to the drivers and the AJR crew for allowing me to relentlessly poke my lens into their faces. The quality of my photography is a direct result of their acceptance of me being in their space and I can't thank them enough (plus, they love getting their picture taken. I swear some of them think they're Tyson Beckford).
Looking into my crystal ball, I believe years from now it will be these photographs that are the most important to me, to WeatherTech, to Alex and to the crew.