They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and motocross is no different. This year, the guys at Align Media once again helped us tell the stories of the season through the lens of their multiple cameras. Rich Shepherd and Mike Emery contribute here at Racer X and have teamed up with Simon Cudby to create Align Media, a collective media group. You have seen their work each week in the post-race interviews, breaking news updates, race preview pieces, and more—including mammoth photo galleries from each round—plastered all over RacerXOnline.com.
For this week’s 3 on 3, we asked these shooters to talk about their favorite photos from the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Here we go!
Mike and I talked about shooting this photo for a long time and I finally got the opportunity to shoot it thanks to him for getting the access to the roof. When my gear got stolen from Anaheim 2 Supercross a few weeks later, he setup a print sale to help recover some of the money I lost. I want to thank everyone who bought a print—there are so many great people in the moto industry.
Washougal is my favorite outdoor track, and this image is just one example of the amazing light that this track has to offer. The light was coming through the trees and hitting on the sand as the wind was blowing the trees the light moving on the sand made it look like water. I shot this on a Canon R3 with a 100-500mm lens.
I’ve been lucky enough to shoot several Motocross of Nations events. Mike and I had been on a crazy 10-day run of shooting and traveling before this year’s event. Coming into this race we both were pretty tired and running on zero sleep. But to get the opportunity to shoot Team USA winning at RedBud is something I will always remember.
Working a long day Friday in 105 degree heat then shooting the race on Saturday and it was even hotter was tough to say the least but I can't even image the physical shape you have to be in to ride as hard as Jett Lawrence did to clinch the title. I got lucky and caught someone’s flash going off which made this image cool to me.
This photo really stood out to me from Redbud. The decade drought of MXoN wins had taken its toll on team USA’s spirit over the years, but when everything aligned at RedBud and the boys won it back, they really showed the utmost respect toward each other as racers and teammates. To think that Chase and Eli probably wanted to kill each other on the track all summer as they battled for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship makes this photo that much cooler. My ears are still ringing from the pit celebrations, that was an epic weekend.
We shoot thousands of photos on any given weekend and are often under immense pressure to meet the needs of those counting on us. No matter what way you slice it sometimes your head is spinning. This year at Anaheim there was a Monster Energy freestyle show and as I cruised by, I framed up a shot that I hoped would work. Enter style master Tyler Bereman and he filled the frame right where I envisioned, and in that moment, I had one of my favorite images of the year. A reminder to slow down and keep the creativity flowing even on the most high-pressure days.
It has been a pleasure shooting and witnessing the rise of young talent Jett Lawrence, and this shot from the Southwick National was one of my favorites of him this year. A combination of great action and light is all this is, and a rare black-background #1 plate sort of made me like it even more for some reason – maybe because we were just so used to red. This one also became a Racer X cover, I was stoked!
From Our Align Media Contributors!
Align Media has and always will be a collective of talented storytellers with the goal of working together, and this year we were able to work with some amazing folks. Here are three photos from three photographers that is was an honor to collaborate with in 2022. Much more of this in 2023!
This shot of Eli Tomac at Redbud MXoN is such an Eli Tomac photo. Just charging, always. Taken by Jess Reed (@j_reedphotos on Instagram), a quiet and shy photog that has been impressing many lately, it just caught my eye when I was going through our folders, and I thought it would be a great fit for this article. Thanks for killing it, Jess!
This year at Washougal MX we were able to have young up and comer Jordan Vielle (@jvl.photo on Instagram) join in and help us out to get his perspective of the scenic circuit. Being it’s his backyard, we knew we could count on him for some beautiful images, and this shot of Ken Roczen throwing it sideways was the perfect shot for this! Keep it up, Jordan!
Bringing in some more East Coast talent, we were happy to have Adam Merrow (@adammerrow on Instagram) on quite a few shoots with us this year and he brought his creative eye to the mix along with a work ethic to back it up. This shot of Hanny really stands out from his trip west to Straight Rhythm, and although Adam might pick a different shot as his favorite this is my choice (Emery) and I love that Josh Hansen can look cooler than 99 percent of other riders just riding on pavement. Style forever!