asiab3 asked: Along with your slight blur, which I love, all your car review shots have a sense of realism that I love. Not in a art history sense, but a sense that if I owned that car, that's where I would go with it! Do you scout your own locations?
Man, I hate to ruin the glamour awesome… I went into this job as a writer, with a journalism degree. When they found out I love and know photography, it kinda developed that I went in that direction. Of course, I still write, and I’m pretty decent at it, I might add.
But it was weird, despite knowing cameras and shooting, I had no idea how to shoot a car. So, I hung out with the Motor Trend Magazine photographers, Julia LaPalme, Mike Shaffer, William Walker, and the photo dept. head, Brian Vance. I learned how they shoot for MT, how they stage, prep, and position the car, etc.
And they’re the best in the game…
Me? Yeah, I can shoot, but let’s be honest. I’m not a Photoshopper at all. I can do a couple basic things, but my work just doesn’t stand up to theirs at all.
Yes, I do scout my own locations. I’m laughing as I type this, because really, it’s like, “shit, I got two cars to shoot this week. Where can I shoot that I haven’t shot before?” Furthermore, even though I work a few cubicles away from the bigtime MT photogs, I don’t have their budget, or their time (also, while they’re shooting Bugatti’s and Ferrari’s, I’m shooting Camry’s). I’m kinda locked to within a 150-mile radius to the office. These guys travel all over.
To me, I think that is what you mean by the realism. ALL of their shots are gorgeous and kind of inaccessible to normal people, but my shots are like, “hold on, that empty parking lot looks good!” Know what I mean? So, yeah. Thanks. :)
*edit: Also, I have a completely different audience at Automotive.com than the Motor Trend audience. They do smokey burnouts and track stuff with awesome exotics. No boring cars! Me, at A.com, we’re writing for the consumer who doesn’t understand what “torque” or “direct injection” means. Maybe they’re just shopping for a hybrid or a minivan or something. When I shoot a vehicle, I keep in mind an audience and the vehicle’s perceived targeted demographic (BRZ, Miata on windy roads, economy and family cars in denser, urban areas, etc.)…