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A MOMENT WITH MIKE: Unsung Heroes - Racing Photographers

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By Mike Garrison

A Moment with Mike is a weekly opinion column where LiveRC’s Mike Garrison gives his take on hot-button issues, general topics, and conversations within the RC industry. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC.

During a race weekend there are a lot of factors that make an event great. The obvious factors include; track prep, track layout, competition level, efficiency of the race program, fun factor, and so on. One factor that I truly believe takes a race to the next level, which is too often overlooked, is having a photographer in attendance.

In today’s social media era racers enjoy sharing their weekend journey and results with friends and family on Facebook and Instagram. The problem is almost every weekend the same photo from a different location is taken and shared – which is usually a car on the stand sitting in the pits. IF the driver sharing the weekend’s race journey gets a trophy, then we may see a shaky iPhone photo of them holding a trophy.

While I do like pit shots and podium photos, there is so much more to the race weekend than the pits and the podium. Whether it’s R/C cars, motocross, or water polo - it is the action photos, the photos of the competition, the photos of the conditions, the photos of the intensity, and the candid photos throughout the event that truly show what a sport is all about.

Locally we have 3-4 photographers that have been attending more and more R/C races, and the photos they take are amazing. The photo quality is great, but that is not what makes them amazing. What makes them so awesome is simply having photos of your car in action, the close battles on the track, the memories of racing (not just sitting in the pits), and the ability to share with friends and family that aren’t as familiar the hobby as to what R/C racing actually entails. 

Photography is not easy, especially when it comes to R/C cars (trust me I’ve tried it). We have some amazing talent in this industry, some of which are very well-known for their work at major events, and others who are lesser known but should be equally appreciated by local and regional racers.

If you are an R/C photographer (or any action sports photographer for that matter) I want to say “THANK YOU” for using your talent to capture the memories and great times of racers doing what we love. If you are a track owner or race promoter, if you haven’t already, I HIGHLY suggest reaching out to your local photographers to attend some of your events, as having quality photos for you and your racers to share and enjoy really does take a race to the next level. 

Capturing amazing photos (especially in R/C) not only takes incredible amounts of talent, but it also takes some very expensive equipment. Racers – if you are willing to pay $175 for a brushless motor that doesn’t make you any faster than you were the week before, don’t be afraid or complain if you have to open up that wallet to pay for a photo or two…it’s well worth it to capture the memory, and keep photographers coming back again.

I feel as though photographers are among many in the motorsports and racing industry who do not receive the recognition and appreciation they deserve – so for those of you camera wielding wizards…this one's for you. 🍻


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