How To Find A Job As A Motorsport Photographer

by Jun 9, 2024

I hate to be the one who has to tell you this, but you won’t find a motorsport photography job advertised on your local job board or recruiting website. That’s just not how this industry works. There are just no full-time, salaried positions taking photos at the race track, even in Formula 1. Trust me, I wish there were.

So, how do you find a job as a motorsport photographer? Well, the truth is, you need to make the job for yourself.

Every single motorsport photographer you see trackside is a contractor or freelancer in one way or another. Sure, some have big contracts with customers that they work on a regular basis and even with a degree of exclusivity for, be that for the day, event or season. But ultimately, they work for themselves.

This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you are ultimately in control of how successful you are and can pick and choose which customers you would like to pursue. On the other hand, there is very little job security, and you need to actively pursue customers and work all the time. Not to mention the backend admin side of things like bookkeeping and taxes.

That said, if you are willing to put in the work, motorsport photography can be an exciting and amazing career. But it’s going to take a lot of work and dedication.

So how do you get started Motorsport Photography

So how do you get started? I’ve already documented everything you need to know to start your own journey to become a motorsport photographer in this blog post. I’ve even dedicated an entire post to how I got my start in motorsport photography.

But the short version of both of those posts is that you are going to need a lot of passion for the sport and perseverance to keep showing up, capturing amazing photos to create the opportunities to get work.

I’ve lost count of the amount of promising, talented photographers who have shown up randomly at events over the years. But it’s those photographers who have shown up consistently to motorsport events and showcased that they deliver consistent, high-quality work at each and every event that get the paid work opportunities.

Media outlets, teams, categories, and manufacturers all know this, too. Many of them have experienced dealing with flaky motorsport photographers who have disappeared just as quickly as they have arrived at some point. That’s why there is no way to shortcut this. You need to put the work in to showcase that you are passionate and will show up consistently.

Which is why, when you are starting out in motorsport photography, you are going to need to buy a general admission ticket (photographing from the spectator areas is not going to stop you from creating good images) and cover your own costs to attend events on a regular basis. By doing this and consistently creating good quality photos that you showcase in your portfolio (be that on your own website or even just on social media), you will start to make a name for yourself as a photographer and justify being able to pursue media accreditation and paid work.

Just like chasing a seat driving in Formula 1, there are limited opportunities so it’s not going to be easy, but pursuing a job as a motorsport photographer is an extremely rewarding experience.

Rhys Vandersyde

Rhys Vandersyde

I've been working as a motorsport photographer in Australia since 2012, building up my business InSyde Media. I am very fortunate that I have been able to work at all sorts of motorsport events including Supercars, F1 and WRC all over Australia and New Zealand. Also, check out my personal website where I document my travels and a few other things.


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