I remember my first camera. I was about six years old and it was a Kodak 110. It was blue and, as far as I was concerned, it was the best thing since the Tree Tots Treehouse. I still have the first film that was developed from that camera, including a beautiful family portrait with all three generations missing their heads.
Five years later I was sat in front of the TV, fascinated by the super fast machines tearing around racing tracks all over the world. I don’t remember what it was that first attracted me to Formula 1, but pre-teen diary entries from that time detail the results of every single race. I quickly became the class geek on all things F1, much to the astonishment of the boys who couldn’t quite believe that this little pigtailed lass was trying to muscle in on their patch!
Fast forward ten years and I was tripping over my own feet trying to get into the university darkroom. I mean that quite literally, that door was really tricky! At this point I still didn’t know how to use a camera properly, and the SLR that we had to share was a completely alien thing to me. Even getting my very own Canon EOS 55 didn’t help me to learn anything more about how this photography thing worked. I still have the photos I took from this time, including a beautiful portrait of my flatmates with all three missing their heads.
Another six years passed, and my poor old SLR hadn’t been out of its bag in about five of those years. Then, I went to my first ever motor race. I don’t know why it took me 16 years of watching racing on TV before I finally attended a race, but I know that when I did, I didn’t look back. I like a challenge, and seeing the cars flying past up close left me wondering how on earth anyone could take a photo of these things that wasn’t either blurred, or, entirely missing a car. And my first attempts at motorsport photography fell firmly into these two categories.
My separate passions for photography and motor racing grew together from that point on. The more races I went to, the more I wanted to be able to capture those split-second moments on track. And the more I learnt about my camera and its seemingly endless dials and settings, the more I was itching to try new things trackside.
So, here I am today, thoroughly enjoying photographing anything on wheels, and relishing the challenge of capturing that one special moment. And I’m much better at getting everyone’s heads in shot these days!