Tips and Techniques to Monetize Your High-Volume Motorsports Photo and Video Work

January 9th, 2024
red white and blue patterned racing car taking a corner on a paved track

You love the action, emotion, and thrills of motorsports. And whether you started as a fan snapping shots, are a part-time weekend pro, or an experienced photographer, you can turn your captivating motorsports images into income.

It might be obvious that motorsports photography involves at least two elements–a motor and wheels–but you might not realize all the aspects of this action sports genre and the opportunities for photographers. Even if you already specialize in one type of motorsports photography, you could also branch out to any of these events:

  • NASCAR and Stock Car Racing
  • Oval Track and IndyCar Racing
  • Drag Racing
  • Formula One (F1)
  • Off-Road Rallies
  • Demolition Derbies
  • Dirt Track Racing
  • Sports Car and Touring Car Racing
  • Truck Racing
  • Sprint Car Short Track Racing
  • Kart Racing
  • Monster Truck Rallies
  • Motocross
  • Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP)
  • Motorcycle road rides

And there are a few other motorsports-related opportunities for photographers and videographers who specialize in capturing action…

  • Air Racing
  • Powerboat Racing
  • Hydroplane Racing

Now, let’s look at the various types of motorsports photography you could shoot to help you diversify and find a unique edge with more business opportunities…

  • Races and Events: photographers who specialize in high-action can focus on capturing all the aspects of race day–from pre-race tune-ups, pit stops, the roaring crowd, the excitement of the race, and ultimately to the winner’s circle. Opportunities abound for both action shots and candid character profiles or behind-the-scenes views.
  • Portraits: driver and rider portraits are prime possibilities for motorsports photographers. Set in a studio, in a garage or track-side, take driver photos in their racing suits and consider having them hold their helmet. Or capture motocross riders with their bike. Driver or rider portraits are required for entry and programs for some motorsports races and events. A great driver portrait could also provide additional income, printed as posters for their fans.
  • Race Cars, Trucks, and Motorcycles: stunning portraits of motorsports vehicles are another avenue for revenue. Some have spectacular paint schemes with vivid colors and graphics. For some motorsports teams and fans, these photos are the most highly prized. Set up your gear on a busy, winding road known for motorcycle riders and take action pictures.

As mentioned earlier, think about other unique opportunities for motorsports photography like behind-the-scenes documentation of building the cars, capturing the camaraderie of the race team, or pensive moments before or after a race.

Now, let’s dive into how you–and other photographers looking into expanded revenue streams–can make your mark as a Motorsports photographer. Zenfolio delivers advanced tools and resources designed to help high-volume photographers generate income and make clients happy while you spend more time behind the camera at events instead of behind a desk editing photos and processing orders. 

Motocross driver in blue helmet racing white vehicle on dirt track

Rev Up the Revenue Engine for Your Motorsports Photography

If you’re like most photographers, running the camera is easy, but running the business might be more of a challenge. As your ecommerce partner, Zenfolio helps you accelerate your motorsports photography business. Zenfolio invested millions of dollars, with the help of our developers, feedback from photographers like you, and our years of experience, to build an advanced technology platform that makes it easier for you to build your business.

The Zenfolio suite of ecommerce tools empowers motorsports photographers to sell their art directly to clients in a smooth, streamlined workflow. Many aspects of the selling process after a shoot are automated and require little or no extra effort on the part of the photographer to get downloads, prints, and photo products into the hands of your clients.

Take advantage of opportunities for selling a variety of products directly to your motorsports clients from your own online store–no third-party or outside resources diverting clients out of your photography business domain and sales flow. You easily set up and customize your online store within your website, set prices, and have options for both auto-fulfillment and direct delivery of products including:

  • Digital downloads of photos and videos
  • Photographic prints 
  • Fine Art prints with canvas and aluminum options
  • Photo products like mugs, magnets, buttons, and keychains
  • Holiday greeting cards

Zenfolio simplifies the process of setting up an online storefront and managing sales transactions with a user-friendly interface and technology tools that make the more complex parts of ecommerce easier. Here are some Zenfolio resources and solutions that help you streamline the workflow of serving and selling to your motorsports photography clients.

BookMe Scheduling: During motorsport events, offer drivers the ability to quickly and easily book coverage of their drives for a specific time slot, or for the full day or race weekend. BookMe integrates with your website and syncs with your calendar so clients can instantly see your availability, service types, and packages you offer. Clients can even make full or partial payment at the time of booking.

Shareable Client Galleries: When a booking is set, a client gallery is automatically created behind the scenes. When you upload motorsports photos or videos to a client gallery, they can proof, comment, share, and order directly from the gallery. You control gallery access and security with custom presets.

Online Store: Set your own prices or use Smart Pricing to make recommendations based on your local market. Preview the shopping experience in your online galleries to understand what your clients will see when viewing their photos. Accept popular payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, credit cards, and PayPal.  

Auto or Self-Fulfillment: To make things easier, Zenfolio has partnered with professional-grade labs for auto-fulfillment. When your clients are ready to order their motorsports photography, the order is sent to the lab for production, then shipped directly to your clients for a completely hands-free process. Or choose self-fulfillment to manage the process and delivery with labs you already love working with.

Advanced Technology Tools: Save tons of time on tasks like image grouping and culling with, finding faces in a crowd with People Filter, automated seasonal marketing with Client Campaigns and more Zenfolio solutions.

night photography of a rider on a green bike showcasing freestyle motocross

Strategies for Pricing Motorsports Photography Packages 

How do you price capturing an image or video of an exciting motorsports event? The possibilities and combinations are as endless as the amount of fingernail biting during a race. Let’s start with the type of motorsports events and photography that your clients are looking for. Studio portraits often require a different pricing structure than on-location shooting at motorsports events. Documenting the crew at work or shooting the action of the race for one or more individual drivers would have their specific service requirements and pricing.

For motorsports races, events and exhibitions, photographers will need to prepare to travel on location and bring all the appropriate gear. Factor in costs like travel, hiring assistants and having extra or redundant supplies of batteries, cables, memory cards and storage drives. The last thing you need is to miss the expert taking a critical turn at a race due to a lack of preparation.

Are you charging a blanket session fee to cover a motorsports performance or competition that might come in the form of a day rate or event rate? Perhaps you offer drivers coverage options that include a single race, entire day, or weekend. Maybe you have arranged to capture program headshots or portraits of motorsports drivers or riders in a race and you charge by person. Or you could decide to cover an event on your own time and plan to earn income just from selling downloads, prints, and photo products to drivers and their fans. Unless you are experienced in how to price photography for motorsports events, you can try out different approaches and see what fits your business needs and priorities best.

About experience, if you are gaining a reputation as a proven, skilled motorsports photographer, you can obviously choose to price your qualifications and photo or video deliverables accordingly. Motorsports photography pros with an established portfolio and following can charge a premium. Photographers with the overhead of a studio or staff typically price their services higher than somebody just getting started in the motorsports world. 

However you charge motorsports photography clients, be sure to clearly and effectively communicate pricing and demonstrate your value. Zenfolio client marketing campaigns give you an automated approach to set promos or discount codes for a particular motorsports event or “season” and schedule promotional messages to clients, including reminders, all at once.  

blue monster truck in air about to flip over at truck rally

Take the Checkered Flag in Selling Your Motorsports Photography

Photographers specializing in any genre have lots of technology options in the world to choose from. You can set up your website with one resource, use a separate resource for photo or video storage, sharing and downloading, and yet another platform for online selling. However, that requires juggling multiple subscriptions, various hardware and technology requirements, and figuring out how to let your motorsports photography clients know which resource to go to for viewing, sharing and buying photos or videos.

You can set a speed record getting your photography business up and running with Zenfolio–a single, streamlined solution that is designed from the ground up to not only make doing business easier for motorsports photographers, but also making your clients happy to do business with you. By keeping all end-to-end functions of a photography business on one integrated platform, motorsports photographers can more easily and efficiently manage each process while keeping clients in one branded environment.

Motorsports photographers can create beautiful online portfolios to showcase your work and attract new clients with effective search-engine optimization and social media integration with platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Motorsports photography clients and motorsport fans enjoy the simplicity and convenience of booking options, accessing a private or public gallery to proof, comment, share and even purchase in one spot, and getting downloads or direct delivery from labs. 

Photographers have control of every aspect of the process, from setting access and permissions in client galleries, watermarks, online store products and pricing, and payment methods. You also have the ability to get various reports and data for every step of the process like client gallery views and activity, website metrics and revenue reports.

Shift Your Motorsports Photography Business into High Gear

Choosing to specialize in a photography genre is a serious decision. As a motorsports photographer, Zenfolio will help you keep the pedal to the metal and clicking the shutter while much of your business runs itself. Your clients and site visitors will stand and cheer as they discover that working with you is way less stressful than wondering who will win the next race and they can easily navigate through booking, payment, ordering products with their favorite moments, and ripping open their shipped orders. Keeping your motorsports photography clients happy means they might become a diehard fan of your work and come back to order after every event.


  • Cheryl Dell'Osso

    Cheryl is the Director of Content Strategy at Zenfolio and the Owner/Photographer at Portraits by Cheryl and Seniors by Cheryl in Raleigh, NC. Cheryl has mentored countless new photographers looking to build successful photography businesses.

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