This is where I answer the most common questions people have asked me multiple time over the years.
(Q) Do you drag race?
(A) I'm not an active drag racer but yes I have made some passes. Running a 1/4 mile my best time was 11.364 seconds and highest speed achieved was 127.49mph at Orlando Speedworld Dragway. 2007 GSX1300R in 2018
(Q) Try and Keep Up ... where did that come from?
(A) I was at Galot Motorsports Park Man Cup and couple years ago and was doing my normal JT non-stop running around thing like I do. Now keep in mind I do not use a scooter or pit bike, I walk the entire time I'm at an event no matter how big it is.
Brandi from Dragbike.com needed some information from me so I went up to the tower. Now Hot Rod Chrissy and Kenneth Charlton who are by the way two outstanding racing photographers were taking a AC break.
I was back from tech that was at the top end of the track after being in the staging lanes just before that with a racer that I was photographing for a post. Now these two must have seen me between these trips because Kenneth commented.
"When do you stop it's 900 degrees out there and your all over the place?"
Hot Rod Chrissy chimed in but I'll note here that at the time I had known her longer so she was use to me. She just shook her head and made the comment "I have no idea how he does it so don't even try and keep up!"...that is where it started.Try & Keep UP!
(Q) Why are you not affiliated with an event or series and when you're working an event what do they pay you?
(A) Well in a nut shell none have ever asked me and no they do not pay me. BUT it's a bit different with me because I'm still actively promoting their event and will help them with anything they need while I'm there though other partnerships. I respect the sport and everyone evolved in it so I behave myself both on and off the track because it would reflect badly on my name and on them. ( I don't take sides I'm there for the sport)
(Q) How many images can someone expect when using you ?
(A) For the photography aspect on a two day event where I'm expected to cover everything 2 to 3,000. If I'm asked for specific content only of a client then a few hundred over two days.
Man Cup 11-2018 client #1 got 456 and client #2 got 202
(Q) Have people ever given you a hard time about some of your cartoons?
(A) Yes I have gotten all kinds of negative feedback and even some death threats but 95% of the time it is positive feedback.
(Q) Why do you have the JT lady with guns?
The JT lady came from event coverage and motorsports. The guns are a shooting reference for photography and I was going to remove her a few years ago but the racers (male and female) and a track manager encouraged me to leave it. So I did
(Q) How many cartoons do you have or have done?
(A) I literally have thousands because I got serious about drawing something every day a few years ago. I draw at least one every day but for 2 years I was doing three a day.
(Q) What camera / equipment do you use?
(A) Canon XA25, Nikon , D3400 D5500, D500, iPad, iPhone, 2 HD contours cameras, 1 XD HD camera. I have other items to help the recording experience for viewers like gimbal, mic, tripods for interviews etc. I have used most types cameras over the years and my current one was purchased for its abilities for what I do.
(Q) Have you ever had issues with other photographers?
A) Yes a few do not like me or what I do because my motivation is not money. They use to blame me when they can’t sell images. One even said that I was the reason he was getting out of it back in 2016. I've had a few other comments over the years but I’m not doing this for them. It has never been my intention to affect them but if you're only doing a few events a year you're not going to be making any money anyhow.
It is rare now days because most of them know me and know what I'm doing. I will refer people to them (track photographers first) and make sure they can get the chance to sell their shots. They have been a lot more understanding in 2017 and 2018 and now see that I do make sure people come to them first. There are some shots they just will not have because of the way I work.
(Q) What is up with Dragbike.com?
(A) They are a supporter of mine and what I'm doing (they are not an employer) If their stamp appears on an image that means I'm given them credit for helping me get to the event where the image was taken. If "Joe Smith" Media is the reason I get to an event then they will get credit and access to content. Unless they want to remain a silent partner which happens from time to time.
(Q) What has been your biggest struggle?
(A) Not having someone at my side that can help with what I do without judgment or assumptions. I have to handle a lot and want it done a certain way but it can get tough at times. I don't mind new ideas or help but I will do things even when there is no monetary gain and that has caused problems in the past.
(Q) Why focus so much on it at an older age why did you start so late in life doing this?
(A) I'm not getting any younger and after my divorce I made sure my responsibilities to them were met. My boys can look at their father and be able say “He tried to do it but we came first.” I can tell you there are many 1/2 my age that have a hard time keeping up because I'm always looking for a shot or something I can create something from. #tryandkeepup #jtnortoncom
(Q) Why do you use JT and how did that come about?
(A) My friend "Scapp" got me into this and wanted to put something on his motorcycle and asked if I had a logo. I did not have one at the time so he came up with JT Norton.com with photography under it.
The shortening to JT came from a race here in Orlando. We had some really loud cars going down the track and a lady asked me my name for some JR drag racer pictures. I said JACK a couple times but she couldn't make what I was saying. I looked over at Scapp’s motorcycle and saw JT so I said "JT" and that she heard so it communicates better on the track.
(Q) How many events do you do?
(A) As many I can... 17 events in six states in 2017. 11 in 2018
(Q) Has any of your relationships come from racing?
(A) NO I'm not there for that.
(Q) Isn't all this dangerous?
(A) It can be but if you follow the track safety rules and be mindful of your surroundings it's pretty safe. There is always risk around these extremely powerful machines but "it is what it is." Respect the safely rules, event, track and racers and you'll be fine.