Automotive Lifestyle & Commerical
A look at my automotive photography and retouching portfolio.
"Call out to All Petrosexuals! If you have a turbo blasting, corner gripping, monster on wheels let me capture your baby in the most epic way possible, through the magic of commercial stylized editing. Contact me through the form bellow for pricing and details, let's make something epic!"
Automotive photography has been a staple of my portfolio since I started shooting photography professionally. But I have yet to shoot an automotive series, something that feels long overdue. I have been working in Detroit Automotive for just over five years, art directing, planning and shooting photography for local agencies. In that time I've gotten to work with all of Detroit's Big 3, something the has turned me into a pretty excitable Petrosexual. But even thinking back to my childhood, cars always had a certain draw on me. The Mercedes-Benz W 123 was the first car I fell in love with, in a world overrun by Communist era Dacias, Olcits, and Aros. There was something about a 1980's Diesel Mercedes that made it stand out, mainly that it didn't resemble it's country of origin... unlike the Dacia.
The thing about growing up in an Eastern European country in the 90s was that people changed cars like we change socks. A large influx of 2nd hand foreign cars into Romania spurred a capitalist frenzie, where Romanians were buying and reselling their cars as often as every year. Many of my parents' friends took part of that craze, which allowed me to experience the West's latest 1980's automotive tech. All joking aside, the influx of sporty hatchbacks into the automotive scene spurred a great deal of fun when it came to weekend picnics in the mountains. You might not think much of a Opel Kadett or a Volksvagen Golf MKII, but throw that thing down a hill at 60 and you've got your self a roller-coaster.
My love of German cars lived on well into adulthood, drooling over Diesel Passats and Orange Striped GTIs, my first car was a Volkswagen Golf MkIV. My first Golf wasn't anything beyond average, but at least it wasn't a PT Cruiser. I really loved that car, driving it out into the country was my favorite weekend past time, just like back home. I would drive on country roads trying to find the windiest and best kept roads to put my glorious 115hp engine to the test. Corners were probably the least impressive things that car could pull off, even with its tiny body, the heavy frame just kept the car planted and going straight. But it made up for the lack of drivability with its ability to drop down hills like a roller-coaster; taking that block of steel up to 50mph and setting down a steep hill was one of the greatest feelings on Earth.
As I was experimenting with automotive shenenigans, I entered the advertising world working for Leo Burnett as a planning intern. My entry into the Detroit automotive industry was a tad weird, to say the least coming from a German-centric mindset. The industry was still reeling from the 2008 financial cluster-fuck and moods were paranoid at best, when foreign brands were innovating and trying to shift the paradigm of automotive, Detroit brands were trying to hold on for dear life. It was kind of bizarre seeing brands that ruled the world down on their knees, but being in advertising... everyone treated the situation like the "Room on fire" meme. From my perspective, I could see how foreign manufacturers were winning over America, with tech and comfort, while American manufacturers were still very much on the high margins, utilitarian platform state of mind. Thankfully over the years some American automotive companies learned this, and have put out some outstanding platforms, while others have stuck to trying to sell the same thing over and over.
As the automotive industry was shifting in Detroit, I started my second major gig in advertising at Doner, interning as an art director and becoming the studio photographer in my time there. While working there, I got to see a major shift in Detroit automotive. I started seeing beautiful American cars that I could see my self driving, technology overload standard in every model, and some mean sounding engines. I finally felt at home in the Motorcity. That is when I officially became a full blown Petrosexual. You could have your self an American made car that you could whip around corners and have a good time; something that used to be a rather niche thing for American cars, which previously were mostly good at going straight or rolling over.
I'm not saying foreign manufacturers didn't have their share of "meh", ranging from Dieselgate, to bad components, and poor electrical systems. But my cynical nature always made me feel like the entities I was working around had the potential of doing much more than they were at the time. Confidence in the American automotive industry was at an all time low when I entered the industry, and I am quite excited to see the resurgence of a confident automotive industry in Detroit. It will only mean faster, funner and safer cars for us all!
I'm excited to see where my work takes me in the coming years, and how my automotive work will develop as Detroit starts moving from a manufacturing center to a technology hub.