Today’s photographer of the day is Natalie Brasington, who specializes in commercial entertainment and editorial portraits… But for this series she stepped way outside that comfort zone. She normally shoots in a studio with lighting and assistants and such, but she traded that in for an on-location shoot at the Lake Erie Speedway.
Her series, the Crash-a-Rama, locally dubbed “The Redneck Rodeo” captures the diversity of people who ride the track of Erie, PA.
Crash-a-Rama is an annual family event. A special night featuring school bus figure 8 races, flagpole races, camper/trailer races and many other similar events that test both bravery and ingenuity. The teams spend months souping up their favorite clunkers- retro-fitting beat-up cars, busses and trucks to race-ready conditions (doors chained shut, interiors gutted, windshields removed) only to watch their labor-of-love literally crash and burn in a fantastic blaze of glory. Every event is open to all legal drivers. Moms, dads, teen aged sons and daughters and group of friends all eagerly await this yearly spectacle.
Natalie is used to shooting in a studio and have subjects that have a small window of time in which to fit a photoshoot. She loves her job, especially when the opportunity presents itself to collaborate with talent and art directors and create something conceptual.
On the other hand, she also loves to work on personal projects like Crash-a-Rama. When she can, she travels somewhere and takes pictures of people who are unlike her and do not live where she does. Natalie truly loves talking to strangers, getting to know someone through the act of taking their picture.
The gentlemen who run the track were very kind in giving Natalie access to the pit after paying the price of admission, explaining what she was up to, showing them her professional portfolio on her iPad, and promising to send pictures to the people she photographed. The “please and thank you case of beer may have also helped” said Natalie. This entire project was lit with mirrors, flashlights and little pieces of showcard to bounce light from the big overhead stadium lights, all held by her cousin Joe Cavaretta who, on a side note, was also paid for his day of work with a case of beer.
To see more of Natalie’s work, visit her site.
If you’d like to be considered for Photographer of the Day, follow us on Instagram @resourcemag and e-mail submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “POTD Submission.”