Accreditation is the nemesis of any motorsport photographer keen to further theirself.
I’ve been lucky over the past year to have experienced accreditation at a few events, although nothing too major. All have been fine experiences at which I like to think I have achieved a level of photographic result.
Personally, I don’t see accreditation as a bragging right. It’s not something that should be offered regardless, nor should it be treated with expectation. It’s a privilege on several levels. That’s how I see it.
In my eyes, to be accredited should mean your work is of a standard and recognised to a certain degree.
The manner in which you will present and portray the event you cover will be of professional quality, creative and different. It will provide a perspective that others may not see or be capable of capturing but will certainly enjoy viewing and hopefully fin inspiring.
To be granted accreditation an event is providing you with an opportunity to present not only your own skill and ability, but to present others efforts in the best light possible.
Accreditation shouldn’t be handed out willy-nilly, although I understand why it is. Even so, being provided the access and acknowledgement by an event organiser to portray their event, should never to be taken for granted.
Imagine my surprise if you will, when what I thought was a punt, was welcomed with open arms.
Now I have applied for accreditation at many events. the usual routine is that I fill in a form, write a covering letter or polite email and then wait for the typical response of;
as your work won’t be published, we can’t offer you accreditation at this time…
I’ve always attempted to be professional, mind my manners and remain understanding of reasons and stipulations. Of course, I’m always disappointed when an application is turned down, but this time it was different. I had a purpose, an aim and hoped that my application wouldn’t be in vain.
It wasn’t, and I found myself sitting in the media room, early doors on Friday morning, drinking coffee before first practice of the WEC.
Little me. A random photo taking punk, who whinges and moans on this blog, there under my own steam. Chuffed. To. Bits.
Yet I still had to make the most of it and put the work in. Let me spill some of the beans;
It’s not an easy task shooting a world series event over the course of 3 days. In fact, it’s bloody difficult, and I had no criteria to fulfil or clients to appease, unlike my fellow photographers and journalists who were to and from the media centre in rapid fashion, pandering to the needs of global audiences.
An overriding impression is that the life of a motorsport photographer is one of splendid vistas, glamour and superstars, mingling with celebrities, travel and world-famous brands.
Yes, you get all of that, but it’s is also a non-stop and relentless over a race weekend.
You have to plan, have an accurate watch and you certainly need to be vigilant. I ran the pit walk gauntlet, took on the drivers interview session, endured the grid melee and a frantic podium, and still cursed my vision and lack of readiness for missing images or not capturing them how I had imagined due to what can be a bewilderingly busy environment.
After all that, 6 hours of racing literally flew by, and I’m sure I walked the track twice over the duration…probably didn’t, but it certainly felt like it.
But what an experience. Was it enough? No. I want to experience more and develop my images further. It’s certainly and atmosphere and environment I would love to sample again in the future and I hope opportunity knocks again soon.
Could you believe that I was once told by a, member of the industry that being a motorsport photographer may not be the right move for me.
In their eyes, no. In my eyes, totally. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Oh…the purpose of the weekend? Patience is a virtue they say, and I’m hoping what is coming will bring further experiences like this in the future.
I hope you enjoy my (other) gallery from the 6 Hours of Silverstone.