I’ve been shooting cars professionally for about five years now, and I’ve been fortunate to take on some pretty amazing opportunities. Some of the vehicles I’ve photographed have really stuck with me, along with the experiences they brought. Whether it’s hanging out the window in 50 degree weather or enjoying the still, warm air of a summer’s night shoot, each photo session has its own memory. I’ve shot slow, old cars, wickedly fast modern cars, and the lot that exists in between. There are still many more cars on my list, but one of the biggest constants that I’ve found in this area of photography is that the people are the best part.
The people are what make it all special. Between the countless hours of hard work in the garage, the car shows, the world of online car communities, and the shops that work late and on weekends, it’s the people that make it possible. Don’t get me wrong–I love the cars more than I can put into words. They’re amazing. However, some of the individuals who I’ve met through cars are my best friends; and they’re people I otherwise would have never known existed if it weren’t for a common interest.
This was as evident as ever when Dustin and I met up with Sannie and his girlfriend Tricia last weekend. Sannie (otherwise known as @prservere88 on Instagram) had suggested meeting up a long time ago, but with both of our busy schedules, it took a while to facilitate. However, upon finally meeting in person, we felt as if we’d known each other all along.
The plan was to meet up and have a casual shoot of the 510. Sannie spoke feverishly of how much he looked forward to seeing the Datsun, and even about how inspiring my work was to his own photography. At the end of the day, the funny part is that he inspires me just as much! It’s a fantastic feeling to meet someone so likeminded and so down to earth. It’s hard to come by those who you can just pick up a friendship with, as if you’d been friends before.
While Sannie photographed the 510, I stood back and shot some BTS photos, and had a look at his E30. I personally think it’s a beautifully set up car. It’s simple, clean, and there’s plenty to look at. One of my absolute favorite aspects of the car is the interior. Houndstooth never looked so good! He’s also got an assortment of ACS accents, plus a rad center console cup holder. Seeing as I don’t have cup holders in any of my vehicles (and the E38’s cupholders notoriously don’t work), I saw the luxury in that part.
As I listened to Sannie talk throughout the shoot, it became clearer that he and I have similar goals when we photograph. He explained that he was very interested in the relationship between man and machine. As I’ve always felt the same way, it was easy to converse about the importance of conveying emotion in our work. To create content that is both human- and auto-centric is a skill in itself, one that both Sannie and I strive to achieve.
This sort of laid back hangout/photoshoot date was something I haven’t done in a long time. Usually when I shoot, I have a timeline, a place to be, and work to get done. Sometimes it’s nice to have experiences like this where I’m able to slow down and just enjoy the company. It was so much fun to watch another photographer shoot the 510 (as I’m usually the only one doing it), and it was even more fun to connect with fellow enthusiasts. I genuinely hope that I continue to meet people like Sannie, because there needs to be more of them!
If you’re an automotive enthusiast, I want to ask a question: What do you think is the best part about the community? Perhaps you disagree with me and think the cars are number one. I want to hear your opinions!