Some time ago my friend Craig Sumsky asked me to give him three of my favorite or best images I have ever done. He said he was doing a few blog posts for his friends who have helped him over the year create such a great blog, and would like me to contribute. I agreed, but when it came to actually it I found it wasn’t such an easy task. Having been doing photography since 1976 and I have captures many images over the years.
In some way I felt like I was being asked to define myself through these three images. I took the request very seriously. I thought about what was important to me. Who was I as a photographer, and what do I want folks to take from this?
In my opinion, the three images I have chosen may not be representative of the best work I’ve ever done, most technical, award winning, breath taking or stunning images, but they are me and what I’m about.
The first image I call “The Last Ride” (June 2000). I had the privilege to witness and photograph Mario Andretti drive in his last auto race as a competitor in the very prestigious 24 hour ‘Le Mans’ endurance race in France. Mario was driving for the Panoz racing team from Atlanta, Georgia. The Panoz was a front engine throwback hot rod with a very muscular and loud Ford V8 power plant. This car was beyond cool.
The Panoz was competing against the mighty and well funded German Audi factory teams. The Audis were the top of technology but we were the class of cool and we had Mario Andretti.
I have never been to the Olympic games, but Le Mans is kind of like the Olympics of Auto racing. I can only imagine the joy when your country wins anything, so to be In France as an American covering the greatest American driver made me proud. Let me tell you there was no greater moment as an auto racing fan sitting on the main straight Le Mans with grandstand on either side watching and hearing that mighty American V8 thunder through the canyon of seats with Mario Andretti at the wheel.
The “Mud People” (August 1994). I graduated high school in 1979. For all of you who don’t remember the 70’s, they were pretty lame. For people my age we were kind of caught between eras. The 60’s was a time of change, revolt, hippies, peace, love and very cool music while the late 80’s were when all the technology was beginning to take hold. Did I miss something??
One day a friend of mine came by and said “Hey, I’m going to Woodstock… wanna go?”
So I checked it out… There were at least 200,000 in attendance. I was too young to go to the first one (August 1969) although you can find folks (my age) who will tell you they were there.
I remember seeing footage and movies about Woodstock, and I must say this was as close as I’ll ever get to the original. What a wonderful time. Just like the first time around it rained and behold out came the mud people.
The last photo is called “Precious” (July 2004). I will never forget the moment when this image happened. It was around when we first started with digital so it was great to see the images right away. I remember checking it out right after the moment turning to my assistant and saying, “This is why I’m a photographer.”
This Image defines me as a wedding photographer… it is what I set out to do. Moments that portray emotion. I wish that every bride could understand where my heart is and how I wish I had the kind of relationship with my parents that this father and daughter have with each other. When I see that kind of relationship I want to give it back to them so they can cherish it forever. When I see love I feel compelled to share it.
Thanks Craig for letting me show my work and tell my stories.
You are welcome Kevin. Your contributions to the Cutting Edge Entertainment blog this year have been invaluable. You are an amazing photo journalist and your work has taught me so much about how photography can literally tell a story. Thank you for everything.
Kevin York Photography – www.kevinyorkphotography.com