Some kids grow up wanting to be astronauts, pilots, doctors, firemen. When I was old enough to start caring about F1, I just knew I had to be involved with it. Somehow, someway. Then photography fell into my lap and I knew that was it.
So bright and early this morning, with a big smile on my face, I held up my F1 media credential to the infamous F1 turn style computer and listened to it chime "ding don ding." And for the first time in my career, I walked into paddock in Austin for a Formula One race. Kind of hard to put those emotions into words.
Thursday is a fairly quiet day in the paddock. Everyone is finishing preparations on the cars, drivers are giving press conferences, walking the track, the track staff are putting final preparations on the facility. Nothing too exciting, but by the same token, the tension in the paddock with a championship on the line is quite evident. My day was spent doing candid portraits of the drivers and team personal, details on the cars, capturing the drivers taking their track walk with the engineers and generally soaking in the atmosphere for myself as well.
Friday is when the real work begins, and if I'm honest….it's going to be a challenge to make unbelievable photos at Circuit of the Americas. One third of the track is "red zone" which means we cannot go there and shoot as it's too "dangerous" (or so the people that decide these things think…). The track has massive runoffs and the photo holes that do exist are in all the wrong places. But that is typical at a new track and especially a Tilke track. BUT, none of us will know until tomorrow how hard it really will be. It might be amazing. But first impressions are it is an AMAZING driver's circuit….but a horrific place to make photos.
At any rate, I am so thankful to be where I am and working in the F1 paddock on one of the most important weekends of the season.