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Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby Jockey Project

Kentucky Derby Jockey Project

On March 31st, I received an email inquiring about my availability and interest in photographing the Kentucky Derby for NBC.  After I picked myself off of the floor and put my heart back in my chest, I replied as calmly and professionally as I could.  I received a reply and things started to take shape.  I would be commissioned to:

1) Take creative portraits of the jockeys competing in the Kentucky Derby.
2) Document the story of the Kentucky Derby from the jockey's perspective.

So on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I spent hours getting to know the jockeys, spending time in their quarters and shooting my heart out.  I worked alongside an amazing group of creatives at NBC.  I met and photographed people that are the fabric of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.  Needless to say, it was an experience I will never forget. 

What follows is a collection of jockey portraits from part one of my commission.  Art is so subjective.  I really don't know if these images are all that good.  I do know that when I took these images, I had a strong sense that I was a part of something bigger than myself.  A part of something important.  Kentucky is an amazing state.  America has a beautiful heritage.  The men and women who ride the Kentucky Derby honor both of those things in a profound way.