If you’re a fan of F1, or International Motorsport in general, there’s a fair chance that you’ve already seen some of Jamey’s incredible work. We wanted to know what it’s really like to be following the international race calendar across the globe with a camera in hand. So who better to ask than one of the best guys in the field? Introducing American Sports Photographer, Jamey Price.
Firstly, thanks for taking the time to share some of your experience and story with our audience.
Let’s get to know you a little more. Introduce yourself, tell us how old you are and where in the world you’re located?
I’m 27 years old and I am from Charlotte, North Carolina! Most people would know Charlotte for being home of 90% of the NASCAR teams.
Were you born and raised there? Or have you moved there later on in life?
Born and raised. I went to school in Kentucky and lived in England for a brief period working as a horse racing jockey and horse racing photographer, but Charlotte has always been home.
If you could live anywhere,would you choose somewhere else?
I’ve always loved people. I sometimes wonder if I could do New York or Los Angeles, but at the end of the day, I’m happy in Charlotte. Say what you want about the South, but no-one retires to the North 😉
What do you currently drive? Any mods?
Ha. A 2011 Hyundai Sonata. No mods. I love cars, but anyone in this industry knows that we don’t make serious money. And it gets me around. I’d love to have a “fun” car one day, but today is not that day.
What would your fun car be if you were in a position to pick one out today?
I love the new Corvette. I’d take one of those in yellow if I had the money.
Do you hit the circuit yourself occasionally?
It’s very embarrassing actually, but I get exceptionally motion sick. Even driving. It’s something about the G-Forces. The first time I went proper karting, I was violently ill. Very nauseous from the experience. I’ve been karting one time since, recently actually. I didn’t throw up after, but I didn’t feel fantastic. It really sucks to have this issue.
Let’s get into the photography side… Do you remember the first photo you took that you saw value in? What was it about that shot that caught your attention?
Yeah. I do. It was actually at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2008. My family went on a European cruise to celebrate a variety of things and we happened to be near Monaco during the GP. And I convinced my parents and sister to go enjoy it with me. I spent the whole weekend with my eye to the viewfinder.
How and when did you pick up your first camera? What model was it?
I got my first DSLR in 2008. Never really had a passing interest in photographer until I was given this as a gift. And I simply took to it, I suppose. It was a Nikon D80 with a kit lens.
What do you shoot with today? Why did you choose this equipment over everything else on the market?
I shoot with Nikons. I have a D4 and a D3s and lenses ranging from 14-24mm up to a long 500mm f4. Once you go down a path with a camera brand, there really isn’t much turning back. Especially if you own all of your equipment.
What’s your favourite lens, and why?
I love the 14-24mm. It is so wide. There is so much perspective in it. You have to be right in the thick of the action. It’s a fun lens to use.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from many places. Colleagues past and present but mostly just a love for the sport. I love what I do and love what I shoot and I want to show people how awesome it is!
Your images have a unique style and framing – is this something you’ve worked to create, or did it just happen more organically?
I’d say it was 100% organically. For whatever reason, my eye sees a lot of leading lines in images. It just happens naturally for me.
Do you shoot full time?
I do! This is actually a recent transition. I didn’t tell many people but I spent 3 years working a normal “desk” job. I would travel when I had a job and my employer was ok with it as long as I put in my hours and worked hard when I was around. But I finally made the jump because the two jobs were taking away from each other’s success.
How did you start shooting motorsport?
My first credential to cover a race was technically 2009. I shot a lawnmower race for the Charlotte-based Charlotte Observer newspaper. My first professional race I covered was 2011.
F1 is about as far removed from Lawnmower racing as you can get! Did you plan to be here, or did it just kind of happen?
I didn’t plan to be here. It just happened. I really can’t explain how I got here either. It’s been a wild ride for sure.
How long did you shoot for before you got your first paid gig?
I sold prints to friends and family and few athletes that I would take photos of. But my first paid motorsport job was in 2011. Three years after I started shooting.
What was your first paid photography job? How long ago was this?
I shot the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series race in Charlotte covering Kimi Raikkonen’s first NASCAR race. That was 2011.
What’s your favourite event to shoot? Why?
I love Sebring 12 hour. I love Petit Le Mans too. Endurance racing is very special to me. I think there is an excitement and an air to the races that few others have. Even F1 races. It’s a very cool thing.
Is this also your favourite track?
Yeah. Road Atlanta and Sebring are favourites. Monaco is a lot of fun too 😉
What’s next for you? Next couple of events you’ll be shooting?
It’s been a crazy Autumn. I was in Virginia for the TUDOR USCR race as well as the Lamborghini super trove series. I then went to Monza, Singapore, Petit Le Mans, Russia, Austin, Macau for the 62nd Macau GP and finally to Abu Dhabi. I’m hoping to have a little down time from an exhausting few months, but deep inside, I’m ready to be back at a track. The next race looks like it will be Daytona for the Rolex 24, which should be fun as it is my first time going to Daytona. Then hopefully Sebring! Then who knows!
Any tips/advice for beginners?
Love what you do. But don’t try to copy anyone. Do it for you. Make something different to the thousands of photographers out there chasing the same dream. Practice practice practice. And definitely don’t assume that you’ll simply arrive at the top without putting in the hard work and effort to get there. I think that’s the biggest thing we see is photographers assuming that they’ll be given an opportunity to cover top level races without any experience at the bottom. No profession is like that. Photography is no exception. Those that work hard and network and put in their time to learn and challenge themselves will be rewarded.
Is there anyone who was instrumental in you being where you are today? Would you like to thank them here?
Definitely. I’ve had a lot of friends that believed in me from day one. My family especially. But the people I guess I need to thank the most are the editors and people who felt like I was the right person for the job. It’s a dream come true. It’s a work hard play hard life, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been given.
Thanks again for giving Speed Nation fans an insight into who you are and what motivates you. Thanks for creating such inspiring work. I know that a lot of photographers take a great deal of inspiration from your hard work.
You can visit Jamey’s website for more images and updates HERE.