“One of my fondest childhood memories is my regular trips to the races with my father. I loved to watch the horses race, but I loved even more to watch the motley cast of characters betting on them,” says Martin Amis. “As a photographer it was a very obvious subject to focus my camera lens upon.”
The photographs Amis made over more than ten years at racehorses across the South of England are the subject of a new book pertinently called The Gamblers. Published by RRB PhotoBooks, the book is an affectionate portrait of the racing crowd. Hailing from a quirky mix of class and social backgrounds, the gamblers – as well as the images – displays moments of humor, tension and jubilation.
Amis immersed himself in the scene, shooting with a variety of cameras and strategies. And he often placed bets; he came to the races to find the next big winner – and to find his next photograph.
Speaking of his childhood memories at the races, Amis says, “The stench of beer and tobacco would fill the air, bookmakers’ chants of the latest odds cut through the gamblers lively conversations as I helped my father place his bets. I loved every moment and continued to gamble and enjoy horse racing into my adult life.”
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