This Photo Works page showcases some of my monster truck photography being mass produced and published in different forms of media to the general public.
The first opportunity I
received to have any of my pictures published in some form was way back in October of 2001
when I was contacted by the author P.T. Elliott in regards to some of my school bus racing
and double-decker car shots from Rockford Speedway, some seen here:
I was very excited to be
given this opportunity and after sending the photos, signing release forms, etc. The book
"Cracker Ingenuity" showed up in my mailbox the last week of March 2003.
Quotes from my coverage of Rock3 are also on a few pages as I described the school bus and
Gauntlet races. The book is loaded with redneck humor and sarcasim and is pretty funny,
but is not recommended for children. It is for sale on Amazon.com, just do a search
for the title, if you would like to pick up a copy. Don't worry, you buying the book won't
put money in my pocket. The info on the page about monster trucks is horrible but I was
not in control of that as I was unaware they were doing anything on them. Here are
shots of my photos in the book:
My next published work was
not one that I had planned. At the Pontiac Monster Jam in 2002, I had Jim Koehler of
Avenger sign this picture from the 2001 Chicago Monster Jam:
When Jim saw it, he asked me
to send him any other shots I had of his truck just because he wanted to have some fan
shots to keep for himself. So I sent off about a dozen shots to him from that event as
well as from the Pontiac show. Then in August 2002 I arrived at the Monroe County
Fairgrounds to be informed of a big shock. Elliott Miller of
MichiganMonsterTrucks.com told me that my Avenger picture was the 8x10 at the souvenir
stand! I was in disbelief and ran over to the table to see for myself....sure
enough, it was that exact shot from Chicago:
I was both happy and ticked at the same time. Happy because that is pretty cool to have my shot on there, ticked because there is no credit to me anywhere on the 8x10 and I never signed away rights to produce my shot. I confronted Jim about it and the issue was resolved in early 2004. So if you have one of these 8x10s, you know where it came from now.
The weekend of October 12th
2002 sent me to Carrollton IL and I crossed paths with a truck and driver I had not talked
to nor seen since way back in January at Pontiac: Jason Witte and Wild Hair. The
thing that first "broke the ice" between me and Jason way back was the very
close similarities in our names. First, both our names are Jason, duh. But its the last
names that are very interesting. Witte is spelled with the same letters as Twite!
When I arrived in Carrollton, I was unsure if Jason would even remember ever talking to me since it had been so long since we had. Witte ended up being the one to walk right up to me and say "Jason, right?" and I was like "yeah! with the near same name as you!" From there we talked about a lot to do with the monster truck industry and then he brought up how he was going to be running a lot with CCE in the winter of 2003. He said that CCE did not have any pictures of his new paint scheme to use in the souvenir program and wanted Jason to send him some. Well, Jason didn't have any good ones either so he asked me to try and get some shots and that he'd like to try and use them for the program. I ended up with about a dozen great shots of Wild Hair in action and sure enough one of them is now in the 2003 USHRA Monster Jam program. I do not have the program here with me to scan in the picture but here is the original picture and I will put the program picture up next month when I'm back home. Once again, there was no credit to me unlike the other photographers in the program, but I'm not upset about that as I dealt with Jason Witte on the matter of the pictures, not CCE so I did not expect any to be there.
My latest Photo Work brought
a fan and a legend together. We all remember the famous call Jan Gabriel gave to the Final
race at the Return of the Monster Trucks between Bigfoot and Awesome Kong. One of the most
memorable moments from old school monster truck days. Jan is now the Executive Director at
Route 66 Raceway of the Team Demolition Derby events. In the midst of surfing the web, he
stumbled upon my site and found the coverages I had done of two of his events. The summer
of 2004 will bring the Team Demos back to Rt. 66 four times and with it, the first ever
event program! Jan has put two of my pictures on one of the pages inside the program to
help promote the upcoming year.
I have also been given the wonderful chance to work for the Jan and the TDA, Team Demo Association, this upcoming season by being the on track photographer for each of the four events. If all goes well, the job could expand even farther. Whatever the case, it's going to be a very fun summer!
None of these great opportunities have made me some kind of fortune but they have given me lots of great credibility and credentials for any future jobs or careers I may do with photography. I have to thank all the people that have given me the chance to showcase my work and I look forward to more down the road.