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Shooting the Kentucky Derby


Shooting the Kentucky Derby

Liam Spradlin

For the past week or so, my time has been almost exclusively dedicated to the 140th Kentucky Derby.

But the Derby is about much more than a single two-minute race. The audience this year is estimated at close to 165,000 on Derby day, and there were seemingly just as many events going on in and around Louisville.

A swell of visitors to the city filled parties, galas, balls, and other social events, and for the third year in a row, I got the opportunity to shoot some of that action, along with the Oaks and the Derby.


There's something revitalizing about shooting the Derby. There are plenty of social events throughout the year, but the atmosphere in Louisville during Derby season is electric. With a record crowd, there are tons of different people doing different things at Churchill Downs, and they're all interesting. There are also dozens of photographers running around CD this time of year, and the great thing is that no two of us will capture the same image in the same way. It may be exhausting, but shooting an event like this is also a lot of fun.

I've chosen a few photos below for those who want to see some of the things I shot. From "A Taste of Derby" to the Survivor's Parade tot he race itself, there was plenty to see.