FOCUS on Jamie Sheldrick
Meet Jamie Sheldrick
Our FOCUS for this edition is Jamie Sheldrick
With a background in landscape photography, Jamie Sheldrick’s photos often give you more than simply a picture of a car – we chat to him about how he got into motorsport photography.
Influx: How did you get into photography?
Sheldrick: “I’ve been interested in photography since I was twelve. I wasn’t very good. My subjects back then were always landscapes and buildings, until I went to Silverstone for the first time to watch a Ferrari Race Day. I took my camera with me, but I didn’t really know what I was doing – I liked photography and I liked Formula One, but a motorsport photographer I was not.
“As the day went on, and the winds got even colder, I started getting pictures that looked okay. So a few months later I went back for the 6 Hours of Silverstone, with a rough idea of what pictures I wanted to take, and they were better. Eventually, after going to race tracks at every opportunity and developing my own style, my work was noticed by Spacesuit Media. I liked the way they did things, and having the opportunity to work with some brilliant Spacesuit photographers like Shiv Gohil and Dan Bathie has improved my photography no end.
“With the experience I’ve gained from working in motorsport professionally I’ve branched into developing software specifically for motorsport photographers. I also now have the chance to work with many talented photographers from around the world as a photo editor with Spacesuit. When I first started out, I was aiming to be a photographer; now I get to do so much more besides.”
Influx: What kind of subjects do you like to shoot?
Sheldrick: “I still see myself as a landscape photographer. Motorsport photography, for me, is more like landscape photography involving cars; the results are very different, but I approach them in a similar way.
“However, since I’ve been working with Spacesuit Media I’ve enjoyed working with drivers and producing portraits. It’s something that I didn’t used to do much back when I first started out, but it’s become one of the best parts of the job.”
Influx: Are there any images you’re particularly proud of?
Sheldrick: “My favourite photos are usually the simplest, the cleanest. I like negative space. For me, an image with no distractions is the goal, so the eye of the viewer is drawn only to what the image is meant to convey. However, once I’ve taken a photo, I immediately start thinking of how I can make a better one. I don’t tend to reminisce about previous work; it’s what I produce next that’s important.”
Influx: How do you feel about camera phones?
Sheldrick: “I very rarely use the camera on my phone. They’ve improved a lot in recent years and have become very competent cameras, but I’m just not the sort of person that likes to capture everything around me. If I’m not at the track, I’ll think of a specific photo I want to make, then go out and make it. I like to have an image in mind and be very deliberate when trying to replicate it in camera. Plus, for me, looking through a viewfinder is a much more enjoyable experience than holding a small screen up at arm’s length.”
Influx: Is there a particular vehicle you’d love to shoot one day?
Sheldrick: “There are two; a Ford GT40 and a Ferrari P3. Ideally, next to each other on the Circuit de la Sarthe.”
Influx: What makes a good photo?
Sheldrick: “Strong composition. And, if possible, a Ferrari 488.”
Influx: What advice would you give yourself if you could travel back ten years?
Sheldrick: “Play to your strengths. Take pictures that you like, not just pictures that you think other people will like.”
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