The Struggle

It was in the middle of June 2016 and I was trying to get someone to do a real photo-shoot with me. A real photo-shoot, by my own definition is one where I get paid a decent amount of money that goes both towards my time and my investment in my equipment. This is a much more difficult task than most people think. There are too many people that are trying to be in this industry, which results in the market being over-saturated with mediocrity. Seriously, there are so many kiddie photographers charging $25 for a photo-shoot, which also includes the price of a flash drive encrusted with fake diamonds on it, that it’s not even hilarious. This hurts the market and the livelihood of professional photographers, or at least I had thought. These cheap services and photos would only affect those that had a similar product than what said person was offering. What came to my realization is that I had to offer something more niche-d, something out of this world compared to a few quick snaps with my iPhone and a free editing app. This is when everything came into play and I started experimenting even more. Sure, I had a few eye catching shots that I’ve done before but not something to the caliber of what I was trying to do at the time, so I didn’t think that it would account for much credibility in the eyes of a paying client. All I had was ambition and “potential”. Thankfully, I had a buddy named Mike, who I had taken a few photos of his car before which he really liked, refer me to one of his buddies: a guy named Carlos who happened to own a Cobra. This gave me a credibility “boost” versus me shooting random people messages asking if they wanted to do a photo-shoot.

The Solution

After going back and forth trying to schedule a date for about a month, it was finally set late July of 2016. I was on my way to Carlos’ house to meet him for the first time in person and roll out from his house to Downtown Dallas for the photo-shoot. We arrived into Downtown Dallas around 9PM. The first spot that we arrived at I asked him if I could arrange the car myself after we both got out of the Cobra. Without hesitation he handed me the keys. I didn’t think he would say yes, nevertheless so easily, so it shocked me at first. In my mind I’m thinking whether or not I should tell him this was pretty much my first time driving a stick. But I didn’t until about halfway into the photo-shoot. I knew what each pedal did so I pushed the clutch in, put the car in first gear, took my foot off of the brake and slowly took my foot off of the clutch- I ended up stalling it- so I tried again and got it..Fun Fact: At the same time it was a small parking lot with a wall 15 feet in front and I couldn’t stop thinking about those Mustang crash videos that seemed to be the trend at the time which made me think to not “F**k this up”. When I finish and as I open the door, Carlos warns me about the side exhaust to not burn my leg(s) when stepping out. A couple security guards come out before I could pull my disassembled equipment arranged in such a way that it wouldn’t fit another method in the small area of the trunk. Long story short we had to did not use that spot because we were kicked out. No worries, I had about 10 other locations that I found specifically for this photo-shoot. So we used up the other ones till there were enough images to make up each the final set. We ended up getting kicked out of another location after about 20 min of being there- but by the time security came I had already gotten all of my images at this point, so it didn’t matter. On the way back to his house he stops in his neighborhood to get money out of the ATM and asks me if I want to drive it again- you can infer what my answer was. I think we arrived back at his house around 2:30AM. The actual shoot time with location transfers, dismantling and piecing everything together several times took a little over 4 hours in addition to around 15 hours editing and piecing the images in Photoshop. Not a bad way to start out I must say. Thank You to Carlos for putting his trust in me shooting and driving his car.