High School Art Teacher Moonlights as Auto Racing Photographer

by | Nov 2019

A shot of an auto race by White Bear Lake Area High School teacher Shawn Gritzmacher

Photo: Shawn Gritzmacher

White Bear Lake Area High School teacher Shawn Gritzmacher talks about his work as a professional auto-racing photographer.

You’ve seen the work of White Bear Lake Area High School’s talented students in our magazine. It will come as no surprise that the teacher who nurtures their artistry, Hugo resident Shawn Gritzmacher, is a gifted artist.

Gritzmacher’s primary art is photography. He is the owner of Shawn Gritzmacher Photography, and he specializes in covering auto racing. Because auto racing primarily occurs in summer, Gritzmacher’s teacher’s schedule works well to accommodate his art. He is a staff photographer for media outlets IndyCar and DREAM Digital. He is also a staff photographer for Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For DREAM Digital, Gritzmacher primarily covers racers Josef Newgarden and James Hinchliffe.

How did Gritzmacher come to this specialty? “I’ve always had a casual interest in racing, and I paired it with art,” he says.

“To a visual artist, auto racing is an intense extrasensory experience. The color, sound and speed have incredible appeal to me as an artist. I use my camera to try and capture the amazing beauty and excitement,” says Gritzmacher.

“My work as a teacher and an auto-racing photographer feed each other. As a professional photographer, I can tell students what it takes [to be a professional artist],” he says.



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