FAQ

(Q) How many miles do you travel each year

(A) 2019 I drove 21,600+ miles Florida up to Maryland over to California


(Q) "Don't you wish you were doing something else?"

(A) "No I believe this is what I should be doing, I'm a lot like the racers themselves when I'm not there - I wish I were!" It is not just racing; it is also about supporting people and helping them, which allows me to create at the same time.


(Q) Has any of your relationships come from racing?

(A) NO, I'm not there for that, and the question is referring to dating. I'm usually swamped once an event gets underway.


(Q) How do you juggle, family, kids, etc.?

(A) This question often comes up with the previous question, I do not have an other-half, and my kids are grown up now. I'm in a situation where I can do this full time. I can go anywhere, and it's possible because I have some awesome people that believe in my program goals JT Norton 2020 partnerships


(Q) "Doesn't it get repetitive?"

(A) "Not for me because I always seem like I could have done it better or done more."


(Q) Who and What is the most significant influence on how you shoot?

(A) Me and the photographs I have already taken and use social media to test what the audience likes to see.


(Q) What photographer do you look up to or have influenced your approach?

(A) None, with all due respect, because I love a lot of them and their work, I don't care what other photographers think when it comes to how I shoot, I only care what my audience/viewers like to see. I will pay attention to them because I always look for inspiration but do not try to emulate any of them.


 (Q) What is a weird assignment you have done?

Well, shooting for an adult movie production was different, but I shot a wedding some years back, and they wanted me to be present for the honeymoon as well, but they wanted the entire event captured and recorded. (I did not participate) *contents not available for public viewing


 (Q) What is a typical race day like for JT? (updated 12-2-2019)

For events, I'm active at around 5:30 am - I do not use on-site WiFi. I have my connection and an average of 62.32 gigs per month (in 2019). When covering a team, my role is different, so it depends on how active the team is.

My event goal is 200 posted images a day, and this is not the total shots taken. Usually posted into an album, but some depending on the subject matter are published separately. I post as the client, not as JT Norton because I need the source material to begin on the client's page before pushing it off elsewhere.

Video goal is to be up 45 minutes after capturing content, and that's with intro and trim editing, I figured a way to make this happen in under 30 minutes. The number of video posts and live feeds varies, but I try and do as many as I can. The event schedule and media rules do impact how much of this I can do. Cloud base storage platforms this year caused me a lot of problems when the connection fails or drops off.

I work alone, so I'm always moving, searching for content, and I do not use any form of transport except my feet. I don't use a pit bike or other mode of travel because it's restrictive. I'm always looking around and will cut through an area suddenly to get a shot. There is a good chance I would have run into someone by now if on any mobile device.


(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 the highest speed achieved was 127.49mph at Orlando Speedworld Dragway. 2007 GSX1300R in 2018


(Q) Try and Keep Up! How did this saying come about?

(A) I was at Galot Motorsports Park Man Cup and a couple of years ago and was doing my normal JT non-stop running around the thing. I do not use a scooter or pit bike, and 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 an AC break.

I was back from tech at the top end 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 you're all over the place?" - Kenneth Charlton

Hot Rod Chrissy chimed in, but I'll note here that at the time I had known her longer, so she was used to me. She just shook her head and commented,

"I have no idea how he does it, so don't even try and keep up!- Hot-rod Chrissy

That is where it started. Try & Keep UP!


(Q) Why are you not affiliated with an event or series?

(A) Well, in a nutshell, none have ever asked me, but being affiliated with companies or teams instead gives me the flexibility to move from series to series without any problems. I'm not saying I would not become part of a program. It just has not gone that way yet.


 (Q) Are you a photographer or reporter?

(A) I consider myself a PR person, but in a sense, I guess it would be both, I love this sport and people, so it's a bit different because I promote events by trying to use the people participating. I respect the sport, and everyone involved and behaved myself both on and off the track because it would reflect poorly on my name and my partnerships.

I don't take sides because I'm here to help the sport. The racers also know that "What is said between us stays between us," and that sometimes goes against the traditional media approach others to take. I do ask them directly at times because we have an interesting conversation "Do you want this public it would make a good story?" if they say no then I'll take it to my grave if need be. I love finding stories, but the relationships are more important in the long run.

I have worked with clients at the same time that does not like each other, but again that's between them, I'm providing a service. I do not share details about what I do for a client with other clients.


 (Q) How many images do you take?

(A) Since I'm there for content more than just a photograph, it can vary. For the photography aspect on a two-day event where I cover everything 2,000 to 3,500. If working for specific team content only of a client, then a 1k to 2k over two days. Except for NHRA events {they have stricter media rules}, I will do video, live feeds, and interviews as well, so that can impact how many photos I get. The most images issued to an event client was in 2016 6231 images for four days. Specific team coverage: Man Cup 11-2019 client #1 got 685, and client #2 got 456 (single event)


(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) How many cartoons do you have or have done?

(A) I have thousands because I got serious about drawing something every day a few years ago. I draw at least one every day, but for two years, I was doing three a day.


 (Q) What camera/equipment do you use?

(A) Sony A7III, Canon XA25, Beholder MS-Pro, Smooth 4 gimbal, Nikon D850, d750, 1 Nikon 3400, 1 T7i (outdoor "beater camera" I use when kayaking or hiking for fun and not getting paid), iPad Pro, iPhone 10+ and 8s+, 3 Go Pro Hero 7, 1 Hero 8. 360 fly 4k. I have other items to help the recording experience for viewers like a mic, tripods, lights for interviews, etc. I have used most types of cameras over the years, and my current equipment was purchased for their abilities for how I work. Lens vary based on where I will be and the scope of work requested. Events rules influence what I can do, like with NHRA events where I'm limited a bit more. Their sponsors have put up a lot of money, so in my opinion, these limitations are a good thing because they need to protect their investment.


 (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, and one even said back in 2016 that I was the reason he was getting out of it. 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 nowadays because most of them know me and 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 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 a dragbike.com stamp appears on an image, that means I'm given them credit for helping me get to the event. If "Joe Smith" Media is the reason I get to an event, then they will get credit and access to my content. Unless they want to remain a silent partner who 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 start so late in life doing this?

(A) I'm not getting any younger, and after my divorce, I made sure my responsibilities to my kids were met. My boys can look at their father and be able to say, "He tried to do it, but we came first."


(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 loud cars going down the track, and a lady asked me my name for some JR drag racer pictures. I said JACK a couple of 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) I do as many as I can ... 27 events in 2019 from Florida, Maryland out to California


 (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 mighty machines, but "it is what it is." Respect the safety rules, events, track, and racers, and you'll be fine.

*If you watch me at events, you'll see me glance over my shoulder and from time to time. As I'm moving around or about to move, I quickly plan my route, depending on the subject coming up. I make sure I have a free path to move and will not be getting in anyone's way. With the NHRA, you'll see me take note of the cameramen and camera booms, and I make sure I move to stay out of their way.