Every year for the past several I go through pictures and burn copies to CD for all of my riders. I try and pick 10-12 that really stand out to me for some reason or another. Usually it's just a pretty clear, sharp image that I snagged sometime this season, while others have a little background and might be a little "fuzzy"! I'm getting better, and have even began shooting more in manual mode this year. For 2009, I came up with 12 images I really liked. Of course I have two of my kid, but I take a lot more of him also!
I'll kick things off with #1, and these are not necessarily #1 thru #12, just the way the were added!
Cody Black from Tennyson IN. This was shot at the Ballance MotoX LLQ in the early Spring. It had rained a lot of the week leading up to the race and I went alone that weekend. My rider had sense enough to stay home, but I was going! Pulled in to mud everywhere, but the Moto-X-Foto van made it to the top of a hill, where I at least had a fighting chance of getting out when the ensuing rains hit. Track conditions went from bad to worse and I left Sunday early during a down pour. It was cold, wet and miserable, but those conditions didn't keep Cody from giving it all he had. They even had tornadoes on the ground just a few miles West of us and I'll never forget the mass of huddled motocrossers in the infield tunnel!
I don't remember where Cody finished that day, but to me he was #1 for even giving it a shot!
Up next is Derek Boyd from Willow Hill, IL. Team Ideal was a new addition to Team MXF this year as a site sponsor and as a Team rider. Derek ended up qualifying for the Amateur National...aka Loretta's. He finished 33rd overall in 250C Mod and 37th overall in 450C in the Nation!
In this picture taken down at Little Sturgis MX, Derek just happened to roll by where i had been taking pictures for a while and just gave me a nonchalant wave. After getting home and downloading the pics, I just thought this showed D's enthusiasm and playful character.
Congratulations on all your 2009 accomplishments!
This is of course my rider, Kody Hamer. I have thousands of pictures of Kody, but every year I find new and different images I enjoy. This was shot actually in late Fall at the FCA Event at Echo Valley MX. I have always liked using the Rideout's pine tree's as a background and this pic also includes some blue sky.
For 2009 Kody decided to switch numbers and ran #40 all year. Kind of hard for me, since he'll always be #407 to me!
These type of images was something I started doing more of this year. I like getting shots of the riders before hand and even after the races. I started doing the bike shots and have really gotten to like doing them. In this pic, it's Justin Brockman's KX450. I snapped this one at the Mid South Hare Scramble in Lynnville, IN... also know as the Big Stripper.
The graphics were done by local graphics wizard Tres' Leonard from TNT-FX Graphics. I really enjoy the contrasting colors and also the fact that there are three other site sponsor's represented on Justin's bike. Suspension Plus Inc., Sixth Pinned Development and TNT-FX Graphics have all been excellent sponsors over the years. Thanks guys and sweet bike Justin!
Here's the littlest guy on Moto-X- Foto, Ben Butler. Ben hails from Ft. Branch Indiana and races in the super competitive 7-8 51cc class. This one was taken early in the year at the Crossroads MX LLQ before the floods hit that qualifier as well. Friday practice was pretty sweet, but rains hit Saturday and then the real rains came Saturday night, forcing most of Sunday's racing to be a draw pins from a bucket for finishes!
I like to call Ben, "B-Money" and tease the little cuss quite a bit, but he is quickly becoming a force to reckon with in the "Cobra Class".
Shawn Clark, #56. Shawn has been a part of my website since practically day one is the only "official" life time member! Over the past few seasons I hadn't really gotten too many images of Shawn. He had been injured, plus was going to college and our paths never really crossed. I got a few this year and this one came from a practice day over SoIL MX near Albion, IL. I had forgotten just how smooth Shawn rides and it was a joy to see him destroy the Illinois dirt that day.
Another thing I like to accomplish when photographing riders is to get the intensity in their eyes. Shawn is always intense on the track, but is also one of the nicest and most sincere young man you'll find! Good luck in 2010 Shawn!
Got this image of Derek Rankin at Backwoods Motorsports, near Tennyson IN late this year. Like I said earlier,this year I tried getting a different side of the guys with some different styles of pics. Derek has been with the MXF family now for 2 years and has progressed very nicely to a solid B class racer. He also puts in quite a bit of time training off the bike which is a huge help.
This, if I had to really pick, is probably my favorite of the year! I really like the overall candid-ness of the shot, if that's a word, but just the different colors and shapes of the jersey with the bizarre design of the Fox helmet just make it a very interesting shot.
Here's a shot of Davis Uphoff from Mt. Carmel, IL. This was taken early in the year at Little Sturgis MX. Davis and maybe one other boy were jumping the fence line triple that day and it was a pretty cool experience, seeing these mini pilots launch this huge gap.
Davis like so many of the MXF riders really flourished this year and became one of the faster 85 riders in the area and stood a good chance of making it to Loretta's. But like so many kids, Lady Luck was not on his side at Regional's and he missed out. Davis moved to big bikes on a YZ125 late in the year and just kept progressing!
#263 is Jack Campbell. Jack, like Shawn, has pretty much been with me from the beginning and in fact, I think I'll officially make Jack the second "life time member"!
Jack, reminds me of Kevin Windham a lot. You watch him ride and think, he's not really going that fast, but in fact, he's flying! Just a lot of natural ability, heart, desire and a wonderful attitude!
This was taken, again at Sturgis in the Spring and the thing I like about it the most, is the roost flying, frozen in time, kind of like Jack's timeless style!
Another fast rider from the State of Illinois... Matthew Bell! Matthew is from the Lawrenceville area and has been a part of SIMX/MXF for several years now. Matt now races in the 85 Sr. class and just fellow Illinois racer Davis Uphoff, Matthew is one bad little dude on the minis!
This was taken at The FCA Event this Fall down at Echo Valley and exhibits Matthews awesome style. Matthew and Dad, James put a lot of time and effort in their program and have become very successful over the years. Good luck in 2010 guys!
Ol' T-Unit waving good bye to 2009!
Trent and I have been friends for several years, and I always marvel at just effortless Trent rides. I am always kidding with Trent how a lot of the younger kids have now caught up to his speed, but sometimes, he'll lay it down and put a whuppin' on the young bucks!
This shot just shows how much fun Trent has in this sport. A die hard Villopoto fan, just having fun at something he loves to do!
Last is another one of the photographers kid! This ranks as one of my all time favorites of Kody and was taken at the Crossroads LLQ . I believe it was Friday practice and I had been taking pictures up on the hill by the "hoops". Kody had stopped by to check out lines and I don't know if he even knew I was there.
Just a lot of "seriousness", determination on his face. Shortly after this, he decided to play football his Senior year in High School and we missed a lot of action this summer, but are planning on being back in 2010...hopefully as #407!!!