Photo Racing 2.0

We are joined today by everyone’s favourite and our very own photographer-magician James Moy, to hear about the racing that’s going on behind the scenes of prestigious Formula 1 Grands Prix. If by any chance you’re not familiar with James’ work, sort it out –

The speed

We now use camera kit that allows us to send images from trackside, so the aim is to have the start of the race online right after it happens. Likewise we send some race action, incidents or VIPs from the grid, and then we also try and send some images very fast from the podium. As the result of this, our clients can pick up the images from our online archive a couple of minutes after they are taken.

In the past, when we shot on film only, it was very different. Our clients would receive their images by courier or in the mail up to one week after the event. Now our clients expect images immediately for their websites and social media, and that is what’s keeping us fast. The advancement in camera and transmitting technology has allowed us to make these changes. Canon now makes a Wireless File Transfer device that attaches to our 1DX cameras, and we can send high-resolution images via a local 4G network directly to clients.

We now use camera kit that allows us to send images from trackside, so the aim is to have the start of the race online right after it happens.

And the energy? I think what keeps me going is the love of photography. My interest in the sporting side of things has possibly subsided a little over the years, but my passion for photography is stronger than ever. For example, I’m not necessarily concerned with which drivers win the races nowadays, but so long as I finish a race weekend with a set of images that I am happy with, then this gives me the buzz and also keeps it fresh.

Specific visual taste

We still work with clients that demand very high quality imagery to promote their brand or sponsorship within the sport, and I hope that this will always be the case. But more and more nowadays we are asked for imagery to feed social media demands. We work closely with teams and sponsors as well as race promoters to provide a vast range of images that not only show off their brand in the best light possible, but also some more behind-the-scenes or exclusive photo shoots. The expansion and continual desire for social media content really has changed the way that we work and also the speed that we aim to deliver images.

I am very much specialised just in motorsport, and even within the world of motorsport the majority of my work is in Formula 1. I do cover some other championships and over the years I have pretty much photographed everything from karting to single-seaters, saloon cars, GTs and rally.

The difference between the different championships is really in the logistics and the planning. For instance, I work with clients at the Le Mans 24 Hours every year, and that takes a very different attitude to planning the race weekend than at other races. At Formula 1 races we are an agency made up of 4 photographers, and so we plan the weekend for all of us, whereas at other events I’m quite often working on my own.


We have seen such a change in the way that Formula 1 is televised and broadcasted in recent years. But also there is a massive change in the way that F1 news is spread around the world.

Nothing happens in Formula 1 now without it being posted on Twitter, or images appearing on websites. As photographers, certainly, we have to evolve with this trend. We work closely with our web clients to ensure they have the content they require to keep their audience fed, and this is only ever going to increase.

I would also envisage that within the next few years FOM will have to look at transmitting live TV feeds online rather than relying on the traditional revenue from national broadcasters. With an increase in online viewers there is obviously a revenue stream that can come from advertising. But this does have to be balanced alongside what FOM currently generate from their TV deals.

There are no comments

Add yours