If you’re from Indiana, have lived in Indiana for any period of time, or know of a place called Indiana – you know what the Month of May means to… the people of Indiana. I almost said Hoosiers…none of that.
May is Indy 500 month!
So, I’ve got some pretty exciting news to share!
The past few years, the JW hotel in Indy, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Indycar have partnered to put up a graphic on the hotel to promote that year’s race. In 2016 for the Epic Place graphic, they held a photo content and I WON the contest!
Ever since then, I’ve been hooked on making a cool photo of the new graphics.
This past weekend, I was in town thanks to an invite from Visit Indy to watch the American Ninja Warrior taping and was able to make another photo of the hotel! 
(I got to take her little brother, who enjoys the show, to the ANW taping — that was pretty special.)
On Sunday morning, I woke up to a pretty cool Twitter notification. Mr Doug Boles (President of IMS) had shared my photo with some REALLY kind words of encouragement. I was blown away — and still am!!

If you’ve followed my Indy 500 photography the past few years, you know that I’ve been fortunate to make photos of the race in a few different roles.
Notably, I was one of Purdue AAMB’s photographer in 2015:
and I just kinda stuck around and take photos of the race from the Pagoda afterward. (here’s those photos, don’t go look at them — they’re bad — mostly kidding)
That was in-sane.
 
hey — are you going to get to news today junior!?
I’m getting there. I’m getting there.
The point is..one of the things I enjoy most about being an independent creator, is the ability to make photos of so many different things. (rockets, landscapes, sports, graduations/weddings here and there) the freedom is really limitless.
But it also makes for one of the most challenging fields to break into.
Making a name for yourself and getting accredited (most specifically, for media credentials) is the hardest part. If you’re not working a staff position, you can’t rely on the AP, Reuters, Getty of the world… you can’t alwys rely on these brand names for recognition.
You’ve gotta make a name for yourself.
So Monday evening I found Doug’s email online, sent him a note and first thing Tuesday morning he said “let me talk to the team and see if we can sort something out”
not two hours later it was: “talk to this gentleman in PR, and Monday afternoon, I became an accredited photographer for the 500.
I guess 4th time is the charm, right?
OH man. Big time privilege! So excited. Just wanted to share this with you because I am pretty excited to be headed to IMS here in just under a month!
It’s my goal now to cover the 500 each and every year I am both physically and mentally able to 🙂
Have to give a HUGE shoutout to the people supporting me as an independent creator on Patreon.
Allowing me to do this full-time and giving me the “affiliation” to do this!
If you’d like what I do and want to support me, you can do that here on Patreon!
I am a full-time professional photographer. If you would like to get access to my exclusive Discord channel, help make more photos/videos like this possible, get settings/hi-res copies of all my photos, click here to support me here on Patreon!