Today’s spotlight is focused on Iowa photographer Tyler Rinken. His unique and creative camera work and dedication to dirt track stock car racing make him stand out among racing photographers at short tracks across the country.
 We first got in contact with Tyler to ask permission to submit one of his photographs in our “Cool Photos of the Week” album. He answered with enthusiastic approval, even sending along a few more excellent pictures for us to enjoy and share.
 
That kind of eagerness to share with the racing community is exactly what we are trying to cultivate here at Short Track Racer, so we decided to catch up with Tyler and ask him some questions about his passion for racing photography. We know you’ll enjoy reading Tyler’s interview questions as much as we did:

 

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Short Track Racer interview with photographer Tyler Rinken

 

Birth place: Sarasota, Florida
Hometown: Decorah, Iowa
Age: 25

 

How long have you been photographing dirt track racing?

 

I have been photographing dirt track racing for nearly four years. I started in the summer of 2014 as a hobby. I have always been around dirt track racing my whole life. When I was younger, my cousin used to race at the local track in town. I got to know the drivers through him. Once my cousin retired from racing, I slowly began to lose interest in the sport. It wasn’t until high school when I started to fall back in love with the sport. My friends and I traveled around to a few area tracks and I started to follow local and national traveling series quite a bit. In the summer of 2014, I brought a camera to the track that a friend let me borrow. So honestly…it was kind of fluke on how I got started! I started to learn the nature of photography..the how-to’s. It’s been a never ending process for me! I am always looking for ways to better myself. Creativity has no limit!
I have endured some really awesome accomplishments and moments in my short four year time period of being a track photographer. Most of them are stepping stones for me and my career, but I will have to say my proudest moments are seeing my work being used and appreciated. On a different level, working my way up form the bottom to gain some very respectable connections in the sport has been a great and enjoyable time!

 

Who are your biggest supporters? 
 
My family and my friends have been huge for me. At first, I think most of them thought this wouldn’t go too far. But now, I think they understand. I have missed family gathering and outings with friends because I was away at the track. Also, there have been a few local drivers that helped me off my feet with letting me ride with them to races. By doing so, it allowed for me to grow my market and gain some non-local connections. I’ve gotten to know a few people in the industry from a media stand point that have allowed for me to show them my talents whether it was photos or videos. I can’t thank those guys enough for the opportunities.

 

Favorite Track?
 
Honestly, this is an extremely tough question. I love them all! But if I have to pick a few that really stick out to me: Humboldt Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Upper Iowa Speedway, Deer Creek, and Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

 

Where do see yourself five years from now

 

Not sure…maybe I trade the camera in for an actual dirt modified? Is that realistic?

 

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To see more of Tyler’s work, visit his Facebook page or his photography home page.