Taylor Lanning: I took the best photo of Tai Woffinden walking on the bridge. My goals are PGE Ekstraliga and football World Cup

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The last days are very happy for Speedway in the UK. Simon Stead’s riders managed to defeat Poland in the final Speedway of Nations match and after 32 years they are again the best national team in the world. Taylor Lanning had the opportunity to capture these wonderful events for the British. The 19-year-old guy is undoubtedly one of the most talented photographers of the young generation, and his works are admired by a large part of the speedway community. In the following material, he tells us about his passion, indicates his favorite photo and tells about what sports event he would like to photograph.

Taylor continues the speedway tradition in his family. His grandfather Dave was a highly acclaimed commentator in Great Britain. Father, Phil Lanning, writes about speedway in the trade press. The youngest of the clan, in turn, decided that the camera will be his working tool.

– My grandparents bought me my first camera for Christmas when I was 10 years old. I started to really enjoy being able to take pictures. When I turned 13, the Facenna family who run the club in Glasgow gave me the opportunity to take some pictures at the Glasgow circuit. From then on, I knew this was what I wanted to do. So I took the first speedway photo during the first heat of the Glasgow Tigers – Newcastle Diamonds match – Lanning’s story begins.

– Grandpa and Dad had a huge influence on what I do now. I don’t know which way I would go if it weren’t for my family, who have been dealing with speedway for many years. I am lucky to be from such a speedway family – he adds.

Due to the fact that grandfather and father of Taylor both worked and work in other forms of sports journalism, Taylor had to find himself authorities in the field of photography. His skills were quickly recognized and at an early age he had the opportunity to train under the supervision of employees of great British titles.

– Of course I am still learning because skills come with time. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many good photographers, and these are always great lessons. I learned a lot from Roddy Scott of The Sun. Lawrence Lustig and Marc Aspland from The Times also contributed greatly to my development – continues our interlocutor.

Lanning is one of those photographers who like to combine sports and art photography. His photos often show not only the match events. Interestingly, the 19-year-old is most proud of the photo he took of the speedway rider off the track.

– I have several stadium seats that I know are suitable for a given type of shooting. In some places, group photos are better, and others are better suited for dynamic photos. However, I like to look for new places to take more artistic photos. This is my greatest passion. Hence, the photo that remains my favorite is the one I took of Tai Woffinden as he was crossing the bridge near his home. This photo highlights what I care about in my photos, Laninng explains.

It’s no secret that the work of a photographer is also associated with considerable costs. At first, Lanning took pictures with an ordinary camera, but over time, like speedway riders, he expanded his equipment base. It turns out that now the photographer’s equipment of the British staff is worth over PLN 80,000. – I invested around £ 15,000 in hardware. All travel costs should be added to this. When I was younger, I traveled a lot to gain experience quickly – he explains.

Despite the fact that Lanning’s photos are used by many industry titles, the Briton does not only photograph speedway. Due to the fact that speedway itself is hard to make a living, like many Polish photographers, it does not limit itself to other disciplines. His photographs are also appreciated in the world of darts. Taylor is photographing, among others, Rob Cross, the 2018 world champion.

– It is very difficult to live only on speedway. This is why my target sports are Dart and World Superbike. However, these are not the only disciplines that I am interested in. I hope that I will also have to photograph the struggles of other athletes in the near future – believes the photographer.

Of course, Taylor has many dreams for his job. One of the smaller ones that may be implemented soon is taking pictures of PGE Ekstraliga matches. In the future, however, he would like to be able to take pictures of the biggest sport events in the world.

– Such a dream is to photograph the World Cup, but the first goal is to take pictures at PGE Ekstraliga matches. I also believe that the recent success of British speedway will contribute to the development of this sport in our country. Gaining a larger global audience would strengthen the discipline, concludes Taylor Lanning.

Sebastian Sirek