The Big Picture | CXNATS Portraits

This year has been sparse for me cyclocross-wise. While I miss it almost every weekend, I am also grateful that I have a job that allows me to do what I love, which is travel and shoot photos. For the better part of the last few years, I chased a dream to make my camera my job. I thought if I just kept my head down, kept clicking away trying to get better with each shutter actuation that maybe someday the work would come.

Raylynn Nuss. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer

The work did come, and it came in the form of a full-time gig for Dirt Rag Magazine. I tricked them just enough to let them think I knew what I was doing and here we are over a year later. I have been able to ride mountain bikes in bucket list locations, shoot photos that end up in print on a regular basis, and get to meet a bunch of amazing people. I honestly have a dream job, but I would be lying when September rolled around this year that I wasn’t having a severe case of FOMO.

Courtenay McFadden. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer

Cyclocross will always have a special place in my heart, and when the opportunity arises to sneak off to one of the more significant events throughout the season, I try not to pass it up. With Nationals a short 6-hour drive away this year and my pal Popple looking to race the Single Speed race on Saturday I had the perfect excuse to head down.

Merv Davis. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer

Shooting Nationals is a unique and challenging event. The USAC officials are on high alert, there are people everywhere, and getting around the course to find interesting angles can be a challenge. Even if and when you do find ‘the shot’ all of the best photographers are also roaming and looking, and if you see it there’s a good chance someone else has seen it and likely did it better. For me, that’s part of the fun of shooting a big race, trying to see if I can capture something interesting that maybe others missed.

Anthony Clark. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer

Covering an event like Nationals without any particular assignment leaves a lot of freedom to shoot exactly what I want without being concerned with specific riders and shot counts. I inherently gravitate towards the mayhem at the finishing line.

Stephen Hyde. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer

It was a few years back at DCCX that I snapped a photo of Cameron Dodge (the cyclocross ninja), and something clicked in my brain. I may never be a great street photographer, but at the end of a cyclocross race, I can grab these brutally honest moments, where riders are in a bubble of exhaustion and elation and often don’t register the person with the camera 3 feet from their face.

Curtis White. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer

Trying to land somewhere in between Diane Arbus and Kristoff Ramon, I feel like there’s a delicate balance between documentation and exploitation, between contrived and genuine.

Crystal Anthony. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer

I hope that you all enjoy some of these portraits from last weekend’s race and I hope to see you all along the tape in the not so distant future.

Gage Hecht. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
Jake Wells. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
Spencer Petrov. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
Sarah Sturm. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
Denzel Stephenson. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
Ellen Noble. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
Eric Brunner. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
Brannan Fix. © 2018 Brett Rothmeyer
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