April was a fairly busy month which I like, a little downtime is nice but i prefer to have a hectic busy shooting schedule.
4-6 This shoot was a departure for me, it was a food shoot for Heavy Hitters Magazine, they were profiling Ajos Y Cebolla located at 1648 Tyler Ave Ste D, South El Monte, CA 91733 (626) 279-6511. If you want to Get some amazing mexican food that is not your typical try it out, but come hungry as the portions are huge. After the shoot I didn’t eat the entire next day. It was nice though to shoot something different from cars. It was a lot of work, the shoot lasted about 5 hours but I was fairly happy with the results considering I’ve never shot food before.
4-9/10 The season opener for Formula D professional drifting series was held on a portion of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit in Long Beach, CA. This is a challenging event to cover since it is a temporary circuit there is fencing on both sides of the track with some holes cut in the fencing for photographers. Jon from the idagency always does a great job in cutting a lot of holes to make our jobs easier. One nice thing about this event is that the pits are close to the track so I don’t have to walk all over the place. The first event of the season is always nice in that you get to see people you haven’t seen for a while. I was happy when I saw Nick the Motorsports Manager for Falken tires and he gave me the VIP pass for the 2010 season. Falken has a great hospitality area for the team, dealers and friends of Falken where they provide drinks and food and a place to get out of the sun. This is very much appreciated especially at the events where it is hot and I don’t have to wait in line to get drinks and food.
April 19 This was a shoot for Lowrider Girls Magazine, the location was a barber shop in South Central LA, I’ll be honest when driving through the hood I was a little nervous, but luckily the shop was not in the bad area. I love shooting for Lowrider girls because the Editor, Tanisha is always on scene so we can work together to get the best images possible. also the makeup artist Kim is great. This shoot was two parts indoor and outdoor with a lowrider. The first part went fairly quick and easy inside the shop. For the second half we had a lowrider, I was wondering where we were going to park the car but she shop owner said that parking it on the sidewalk is ok. I was a bit hesitant because try that anywhere else but south central and you’ll be getting hassled for permits and the police for parking a car on the sidewalk, but no problems and the shoot was finished with good results.
4-23 This day was for mini Mini-Truckin. I was shooting in a studio that they use. The truck was really nice kinda a late 50’s early 60’s scallop paint scheme. It was for a cover and feature and we were using a model that I photographed before Helen Fancik, she is a pleasure to work with and I got some really good images that day.
4-27 RV magazine cover shoot
The month started off with a quick trip to vegas for Honda Tuning for an s2k photoshoot. I used my location outside of sloan, A fairly simple shoot spent more time driving than the shoot took. I did car to car for the action, over the past few years Ive done so many rig shots im sick of them so Im doing more standard action.
The next couple of weeks I had a few shoots that were nothing memorable. On the 18th I had European Car shoot that was a real pain in the ass to schedule. The car was a highly modified Lotus with a carbon fiber body supercharged/turbocharged engine. Based on what my editor wanted I decided I wanted to shoot this on Glen Mountain Road the all the owner did was whine about having to drive his car 60 miles, whine about dirt on the road etc etc. Even the day we schedule the shoot at the last minute he decided that he didn’t want to go. So I made the drive to calabasis. One thing I really hate about what I do is dealing with self important self absorbed douchbags who think their car is the most important thing on the planet. Give me a break its just a car. Well we went to the location that he wanted to shoot and of course it was not that great, I really didn’t care after dealing with him for 3 weeks of canceling shoots all I wanted to do was get this finished. It came out OK but if we would have gone to the location I wanted it wound have been a lot better
The 20th I had to cover the Remix car show for heavy hitters, it was fairly easy because all I had to do was shoot the exotics.
22nd team menace mitsubishi shoot in LA
23rd lowrider girls photoshoot
24th Super street model shoot at Gearheinz
26th Super Street model shoot at DME
27th Heavy hitters bmw show at Oakley
29th Honda tuning in la
30th lowrider girls in la
It was nice to have a week of no shoots to get caught up. The next assignment was Nov 10,11 at Buttonwillow raceway for the Super Lap Battle for Import tuner, super Street and Honda tuning. Super Lap Battle isn’t exactly a race in the traditional sense, its not wheel to wheel racing. The point of time attack is to get the single fastest lap time in your class (the best run of several heats throughout the day is your winning time). At the Super Lap Battle runs in different classes: Street, Limited and Unlimited. The other event was the Import tuner Evo vs sti challenge, this is a time attack but just for evos and Subaru sti’s.
Driving on I-5 to Buttonwillow
Since the the 10th was an early day I drove out on the 9th to spend the next couple nights at the luxurious motel 6. This is one of the worst hotels I stay in, the beds are like sleeping on a rock, the whole area smells like cow manure and there are flys everywhere. The front desk even provides guests with fly swatters.
Group shot of Evo/Sti competitors, well at least the ones that were still running, this year over half of the cars had mechanical problems.
One of the cars for Import Tuner
The evo Sti day was a little more work what the super lap battle. After a full day of shooting, my self and other photographer Luke Munnell had to shoot 8 vehicles as well as do a 8 car group driving shot around the track and an 8 car group shot. A lot to get done in a short time, being winter and it gets dark so early and the event ended at 3pm there was a lot to shoot in just a couple hours. Luckily I have done this type of shoot several times over the years so for me its no big deal.
Nov. 12 drove to Walnut Creek, Ca to attend my Tanta Tina’s funeral…that’s all I’m going to say about that.
The week of Nov 16 I had 3 shoots. First one was the 5 Zigan for an rsx photoshoot at their warehouse, for Import tuner. A simple shoot but one that had to be done quickly. My arrival time was 10am and had to finish by 1130 because the container was arriving to take the car back to Japan, plus the car could not be driven anywhere since it was a race car and the location was not the best especially at mid day. So the boring race car in the warehouse because we did not plan better to shoot it at the race track. Oh well it came out nice though
on the 19th went to kraftwerks in Ontario, Ca for an environmental portrait of Oscar Jackson and his son for Honda tuning.
Nov 20 for Import Tuner, had to shoot Alex Pfeifers drift car at Irwindale Raceway. Shoot was scheduled at noon but when I got there he was still applying the stickers to the car which took almost 2 hours to do. No big deal but there was deadline because there was a race scheduled for 3pm. I used my Dynalites with the external battery supply which gave me 100 watt seconds of power. Considering I had only 20 minutes including setup and teardown I was pretty happy with this shoot.
My next assignments were during Thanksgiving weekend for Heavy Hitters Magazine. My editor say we had to be at the location at 9am in West Hills on Thanksgiving Day. I told him that ill be there but had to leave by 1pm so I could get to my parents house in south Orange County. If this was any other mag I probably wouldn’t have worked on that day but Heavy Hitters always provides me with great content and the shoots are always a challenge more than the typical car feature. It was a fairly simple shoot we had to do group shots of the cars then shoot each individually and then shoot the house plus any detail shots that we saw. Oh did I mention that the cars were 3 Lamborghinis and an Enzo Ferrari. So pretty nice shoot
On November 27th I had another Heavy Hitters shoot this one was going to take place over 2 days in two locations. The subject was Prince Oliver from Germany. First we shot at his warehouse in Santa Monica where the bulk of his collection is stored. Upon arriving we were greated by the armed bodyguard who was pretty cool and fit the stereotype of every German badguy from a Bruce Willis film. Anyway at the warehouse I was surprised to see so many American cars I was expecting to see a stable of exotic European Cars. That day was a 5 hour shoot, I shot interview photos, the cars in the warehouse and photos of the prince along with his bodyguard with the Rolls…
On Monday November 30, was round 2 with Prince Oliver. This time we went to his house in Beverly Hills where finished the shoot. There we photographed the house, the other cars including a perfectly restored Gullwing Mercedes and a few setup photos of the Prince and his fiance.
Before we started working, the Prince invited us to breakfast. Since he is German, I was hoping for a meat fest with piles of sausages, etc. but what we got was a healthy breakfast, after the maid (dressed in a traditional maid uniform) served the food he said that there is no fat or cholesterol in the food, oh well…It was really good, just not what I was hoping for. The shoot went very well and I was very happy with the results. As usual it was a lot of work but it was worth it especially when I saw how it was layed out.
The article as it appeared in Heavy Hitters
Shoots for the rest of the year were nothing special. Since this time of the year there are not a lot of photoshoots I take a lot of time off plus I used several of my furlough days. After this year I needed a break but it will start again in January with 3 weeks in Japan for the Tokyo Auto Salon and feature shoots. Japan will be a separate posting