I love cars. I’ve loved cars since I was a kid. I guess it’s something that a lot of boys get into, but it’s something that has stayed with me for the rest of my life. I guess I started to be interested in cars as a slight to my father. My dad was in the Air Force, and worked in the aviation industry much of his life. I spend my childhood being dragged from air show to air show. All over. My dad is one of those people who can spot a dark speck thousands of feet in the air and say, “Oh yeah, that’s a Beechcraft 17S Staggerwing D” or whatever, it was always this random selection of numbers and letters to me.
That said, I’ve always thought cars were beautiful. They are kinetic sculpture, as much art as anything hanging in any gallery. The older I got, the more I appreciated the lines, the curves. Obviously my interest in cars grew in tandem with my interest in girls. Both were equally exotic, gorgeous, mysterious and very inaccessible. But I could have posters of both on my wall.
I’ve looked at pictures of cars all my life. From magazines like Hot Rod and Car Craft, to posters, calendars and later on the internet. I remember seeing old black and white photos of flathead Fords racing on local drag strips, or seeing the latest impossibly gorgeous Boyd Coddington creation, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that world.
Originally I was drawing cars, with people like Dave “Big” Deal and George Trosley being the people that I copied. Then, obviously, I discovered photography.
It’s tough photographing cars. First, there are all the reflections you need to worry about. I can see myself in almost every reflection. Bumpers are the worst. I’m a sucker for a cool, classic Cadillac chrome bumper, but I’m usually in the shot at least three or four times. Finding an interesting angle also can be difficult. Some cars are just naturally photogenic. Ever seen a bad photo of a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa? Or 1968 Mustang GT 390 Fastback? I didn’t think so. Other cars, however, need a lot more coercion to draw out their best side. Ever seen a good photo of a Fiat Panda? Exactly.
But I believe you can take a portrait of a car just as much as you can take a portrait of a person. Both have personalities that can be captured, both have a certain style that demands to be showcased, or a history that deserves to be shown. And I’m passionate about trying as hard as a can to do exactly that.
I really do love taking pictures of cars.