Last Sunday was my seventh time going to the track to shoot spectators. People have been very willing to pose and I’ve enjoyed the experience. The track now takes a break for a couple of weeks and I’ll wait to hear back from my client about what he’d like to do with the photos I’ve shown him.

I feel I’m done with the approach I chose for these portraits—I’ve taken a sufficient number of photos of people posing for me. If I go back to shoot again, it would be to take photos in a street photo style where I just try to catch people in authentic moments at the races. But that’s really a different project.

Here are four photos from my last day. I now exclusively try to show people in the context of the track and not pose them against plain backgrounds. These two ladies were upstairs in the Turf Club. Hats, in case you couldn’t tell, are a major theme of this photo project. One tech note:  There’s not much light in the Turf Club, but my camera still does a good job. This was ISO 5000, and the file is still really clean, even with no noise reduction.

In addition to the portraits, I’ve taken the occasional shot to give some feel for the day at the races. Here’s one of the horses being walked around the paddock in front of spectators before a race.

This group, which included the two ladies above, was there for a birthday party. A hat bonanza.

I saw this man leaving and was attracted by his sharp outfit. I’m glad he was willing to pose and glad he didn’t smile. He said he wasn’t there to bet that day, just to cash in his tickets from previous bets.


So—we’ll see soon if this was just a fun project for me or an actual money-making assignment. Could go either way, and frankly, I’m fine with either outcome.