Danica and the Fans

Fans and media surround Danica Patrick after the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. photo by Tom Burton/Orlando Sentinel ©

This photo of Danica Patrick after her first official stock car race is goofy in a fun way because of the guy on the left side of the photo, pushing his way in to get a photo of himself with the celebrity driver. There’s no way to know if his photo was any good, but you can tell he is enjoying the chase.

The “media scrum” around the famous person of the moment can be scary and these days there are a lot more civilians in the mix. The camera technology makes it easier and cheaper for anyone to get photos. So what’s the difference between the official media and the civilians?

Well, the official media has probably done this before. They can walk backwards and make photos at the same time. And sometimes, the media is even civilized with each other like during this interview with the defending NASCAR season champion Jimmie Johnson. But other than that, the differences become more subtle.

Jimmie Johnson after Daytona 500 qualifying. photo by Tom Burton/Orlando Sentinel

There was a time when the official media photographers and the amateurs were miles apart, both in skills and access. But the lines are blurring and getting closer. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s certainly crowded. The best journalists – as they always have – will be looking for opportunities where there isn’t a mob.