Photographers prepare to capture 144th Kentucky Derby
Photographers from around the world are arriving in town to capture the 144th Kentucky Derby, preparing long before the first post time.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Photographers from around the world are arriving in town to capture the 144th Kentucky Derby, preparing long before the first post time.
Behind the lens and that simultaneous shutter sound, are Kevin Coady and twin brother, Kurtis.
"Settings, settings settings," Kurtis Coady said. "You're going through the cameras as fast as you can with your settings as they're coming down the stretch."
Their company, Coady Photography is the track photographer for Churchill Downs.
"I have the best seat in the house and I really do. I'll be standing at the finish line in front of absolutely everybody else," Coady said.
A team of 25 is working the Kentucky Derby. "Everybody that's here that works for me really are the best photographers in the country as far as horse racing goes."
They're welcoming more of photography's finest from around the world. "Man, there are some great photographers out there. There really are and this is where you get to see them."
Coady Photography has first dibs on location, preparing in January and mapping remote control cameras and editors all the way around the track.
"We have about five to ten minute turnarounds. So, as soon as the horse crosses the finish line, the media will immediately start seeing photos from us all across the world."
With accounts at the majority of America's racetracks, the third generation company started in 1962. "I got a phone call from Churchill Downs and I thought, I'm going to get this. So, I ran outside. They said, 'you're the new track photographer at Churchill Downs' and I was just hysterical."
Kurtis Coady moved to Louisville three years ago.
"Everywhere I've ever been in the U.S. this is probably the best place I've ever lived," he said.
Coady and his team set up shop from their small editing office with easy access from the track. "Just hearing the horses go by, for some reason, being at Churchill is just an experience every day. It doesn't matter if it's a Wednesday. It's just the greatest thing ever."
However, there's something about Derby day and that shot that happens fast that you only get once.
"Only on big races, you start to second guess yourself. Like I know I need to do this but wait, maybe I don't. You have to clear your head. Like I do this every day. Just do what you normally do."
The photographers are in the middle of the action. Yet, they're somehow in the background, letting their images speak for themselves after history is made.
"It's so important to me that they get to enjoy the experience and be a part of it as well as appreciate the history they get to see right in front of them."
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