Marking the launch of his new 'F1 Art' range with Memento Exclusives, James Moy provides insight into his life as official F1 photographer...
Q: Many F1 fans would see this as their dream job; are you living the dream?
JM: Yes, absolutely. I get paid to do what I have always wanted to do.... and love every minute of it!
Q: What's the best thing about being an F1 photographer?
JM: The number one thing that excites me is the actual photography when you come home after a Grand Prix with some images that you are very happy with. Plus the travel, seeing the World and the weather...!
Q: ...and the worst?
JM: This is going to sound a little contradictory, but 'The Travel'. As much as I love travelling the World, by the end of the season, you are a bit fed up of airports, sitting on aeroplanes and living out of suitcases.
Q: What has been the most memorable F1 photograph you have taken and why?
JM: I'm always asked this question and I never know what to say. To be honest, I have some favourites, but it is such a subjective thing, that I would rather people pick their own favourites. This is why we give our customers such a vast array of images so that they can select the correct one for their uses; be it a magazine, advertisement or an office wall.
Q: Have you experienced any particular 'highs' or 'lows' in your F1 career so far?
JM: The highs happen daily, as I genuinely love every element of the job. The lowest point must have been in Korea last year when I had my entire camera bag stolen, along with laptop and passport. Luckily the police found it 48 hours later, but it wasn't much fun at the time.
Q: Do you have a favourite F1 driver to photograph and why?
JM: You tend to form better relationships with some drivers more than others. Generally the guys you work closely with and the drivers that speak the same first language as yourself. I have always enjoyed working with Jenson as he is very down to earth. Kimi and I met over 15 years ago, and he is always fun to work with. And I think we will all miss Mark Webber as he was a very normal, nice guy.
Q: What's your favourite race location for photography and why?
JM: My favourite circuit to photograph has to be Monaco. It is unique, it has it all; the boats, the glamour, the girls, the weather and the proximity that we can get to the action. I always think that you could actually fall over in Monaco and accidentally take a good photograph.
As far as other venues, I love the spectacle and challenge of the Singapore nightrace, the buzz and atmosphere in Melbourne and the sheer opulence of Abu Dhabi.
Q: What could a budding photographer do to improve their chances of getting into F1 photography?
JM: Practice, practice and practice some more. Photograph anything, learn about light and its relationship to aperture and shutter speed. A good idea is to start at your local club races. Don't just go and take standard photos. Choose different angles, experiment with shutter speeds and creating blur, but most of all you need the absolute passion to make it work.
Q: Your new F1 Art collection captures elements of Formula One races in new, creative ways. What are the elements of an F1 race which most inspire your artistic side?
JM: Yes, this F1 Art Collection is more than just your standard motorsport photographs. We have all seen hundreds of images of cars or drivers at the tracks, but what we have done here is to capture some of the details of F1 that you don't normally see in a split second. Be it tyre marks on the kerbs, detail of the wheels, grid girls and their shadows, or painted track markings, we have selected the more 'artistic' images that focus on the small details of the sport and its fascination with precision and technology.
Q: What's your favourite/most memorable photo in your new F1 Art collection and why?
JM: It has to be 'Grid Girl'. This type of shot really sums F1 up for me. It has sexiness, glamour and competition all rolled into one. I like the fact that the image doesn't focus on her face, her outfit, or even the grid board, but uses composition, shadows and shapes to create a really strong image. One that would certainly look great on my office wall.