Meet the Photographer: Amy Shore
"Don't think that racing sports is all about the cars."
Words | Ztephen Lee
Photography | Amy Shore

In the automotive world, it is not only about cars; there are other cultural aspects such as fashion and photography that are included in it. Among all these aspects, photography hits home the most because it captures some of the greatest moments that happen on racing tracks, or showcasing the sleek lines and enticing body of sport cars. In our previous coverage on “5 Automotive Accounts to Follow on Instagram”, we selected five Instagram accounts that feature great automotive photography and one of those is owned by British photographer Amy Shore.

While the field of photography is mostly male, Shore is one of the few female photographers that focuses on automotive photography. Her work is known for capturing a different side of the racing events in a photo-journalistic style. The way she uses color, compositions and the combination of shutter speed and aperture make her photos look vibrant and gives out a vintage vibe, which makes her work more recognizable. Her clientele includes publications like Octane and Classic Drive and automotive companies like Ramp, evo and Revolution; gradually climbing up the success ladder in the photography industry.


// Tell us about yourself. How did you get started?

I never studied photography but have always had creative interests. My dad is a watercolour artist and showed me how to notice light and moments, pointing out the way the light caught the cigarette smoke of a passing stranger or reflections in street windows in the low sun. The actual act of picking up a camera didn’t really begin until I was in my teens and I always imagined it would just be a hobby, photographing the odd wedding as a side job to a ‘normal job’. I never, in my wildest dreams, expected I’d become a full time automotive photographer! I have a couple of lucky breaks to thank for that!

// What camera and lens do you usually use?

In my camera bag is my Nikon D600 (which was the first full frame camera I ever bought), my Nikon D750, a Sigma 35mm 1.4 lens, a Sigma 85mm 1.4 lens and my trust Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens (which is the first non-kit lens I ever owned). I also have a HoldFast Moneymaker harness which is absolutely amazing for shooting the kind of events I do. Having the ability to use both cameras with different lenses within a second of one another is so, so handy. And if we’re really going into detail of what I’ve got in my camera bag, I also have batteries, SD cards, lip balm, my Goodwood Revival photographer’s wristband and an empty chocolate wrapper.

// Can you share a little of your technique?

When shooting, I have to be constantly alert (which becomes increasingly difficult by day 3 of Festival of Speed after minimal sleep!) in an attempt to see as many opportunities as possible. I try to attempt to guess what people are going to do next such as, if a couple look close amidst the bike exhaust fumes of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, are they about to kiss? Or I see a chap running towards the pit wall at Goodwood and I expect he might vault it? A lot of what I try to shoot is just trying to notice what’s going on around me. This regularly causes me to apologies to people I’m in mid conversation with as I see an awesome shot I really don’t want to miss!

// Who do you look up to when it comes to photography?

I truly admire Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastião Salgado and Ragnar Axelsson for their work and truly hope that one day I’ll be as good as them!! The first photographer I saw that inspired me to photograph cars differently to how I’d ever seen photographs of cars was Laurent Nivalle. I saw his set of a past Le Mans and fell in love with his style of shooting.

// Racing sports is often seen as a masculine kind of sports. As a female photographer, what do you see yourself in automotive photography?

I think females are definitely beginning to make more of an appearance in the automotive world and I think it’s great! When starting out, it was also helpful to me as I was more memorable as ‘that girl that photographs cars’, which was helpful in gaining the interest of new clients. I’ve might get the odd sidewards glance from someone who is wondering what a girl is doing with a camera in a restoration workshop and regularly get asked if I’m photographing for my University course – they don’t always believe me when I tell them I do this for a job!

// Any tips for photographing racing sports?

Don’t think that racing sports is all about the cars. The cars are awesome, yes, but they’ve been photographed thousands of times from all angles on every corner of the track. The moments that are happening with the people you are with are new moments, new people. The cars become the secondary subject at racing events. Also, hang around until after the sun goes down. Some of my favourite photographs of events have come from wandering around at night when the crowds have gone and you have to look for light to work with.

// Is there one kind of racing that you particularly enjoy?

It’s quite difficult to answer that as I’ve actually very little experience in race events. I’ve never been to Le Mans, MotoGP, any Formula 1 event – I need to get myself to some of these! I’d love to have a crack at Le Mans Classic or the Mille Miglia. So I guess the answer would be Goodwood Revival. It’s always going to have a personal draw to me as it was the first race event I ever got hired to shoot and I love going every year.

Check out Shore’s website to see more of her works or follow her on Instagram @amyshorephotography.