Meet the Man Behind the Camera: TJ Harron
By John Wells
Whether it’s taking still or action shots around the track or updating the speedway’s website, TJ Harron has been a very positive addition to the team at Madison International Speedway.
“TJ does so much for us here at Madison International Speedway. His photography is incredible and he’s taken our website to a new level. He’s always looking for ways to do things better,” said MIS Business Manager Jason Tyler.
Photography has been in TJ’s blood since he was very young. “I have been interested in photography since I was a child. My father had a darkroom in our house and I had access to his equipment since grade school,” said Harron.
Having the ability to take pictures at MIS has been a dream of Harron’s. “I’ve been shooting race photography since 2009. I raced and shot photos at the Wisconsin Off-Road Series Mountain Bike events in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 Madison International Speedway’s Office Manager sent me an email saying he ran across my work and told me to contact him if I was interested in being the track photographer. I jumped at the chance because I had been to a number of the special events and had dreamed of being on the other side of the fence.”
Besides his work in racing the past two seasons at MIS, Harron has been involved in other events as well. “My passion for action sports photography is linked to the sports I love and many that I participated in. I’ve photographed numerous regional and national mountain bike events, ski racing, and big air snow events before working for Madison International Speedway. Nothing makes me more excited than catching a photo sequence of someone pushing the limit in sports action,” he added.
From the stands it might look easy, but the reality is there are many challenges when trying to take pictures of cars racing by at over one hundred miles per hour.
“The challenge of taking race photos is finding ways to get interesting angles that others haven’t seen without getting myself or my equipment in danger. I use remote photo and video cameras triggered by radio to capture angles that would never be possible without that technology. The other big challenge is being trapped inside or outside of the track during an event.”
There are many ways for fans and teams to take Harron’s photos home with them. “It’s really pretty easy. Find your favorite driver and put a print on your wall. You can buy any size print or merchandise item through my online store at TJHARRON.com. I will be selling and printing images after each event in the pits this season. Stop over at my tent to pick up a gorgeous 13×19 inch print for $30. I have also added a large format printer to my office studio and will sell 24×36 inch prints for only $50. That’s $25 less than my online price.”
Teams can order the Season Pass program and receive all the images he takes of their race car or truck for $100. The Season Pass program also includes discounts on all prints and merchandise. The order form is located at http://tjharron.com/2013-mis-season-pass/.
What else is on Harron’s wish list? “I would love the chance to cover some NASCAR events and some NFL or UW football games,” he added.