By Josh Hway, Dynamic Photowerks
Minnesota has its reputation around the country for being cold and miserable, a reputation that the movie Fargo infamously helped set in. However, Minnesota is not just a frozen wasteland where everyone freezes to death: it’s actually a lively place full of people passionate about cars.
Being from Minnesota myself and working hard at being a professional automotive photographer requires a certain level of motivation to get the job done well, especially because I am partially limited due to the vast difference in seasons.
This time of year makes it tough to schedule any outdoor car shoots with the cold and salty roads no one wants to be out on, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t always wanted to. In fact, if you can bear the cold and get over the salted streets, winter can be a beautiful backdrop to any subject matter. My goal for this shoot was to exploit that of old-man winter and catch some snow falling.
This shoot focused on a friend’s Ferrari he had just purchased that week, a 2011 458 Italia coupe finished in Giallo Modena yellow paint with black leather and yellow stitching to contrast the interior. Since this was the very first Ferrari my friend has ever owned, we were both ecstatic about getting some photos of the yellow stallion ASAP. I obliged.
Our winter shoot was centered in Minnetonka, a suburb of Minneapolis and a little closer to home as to not get in over our heads with the impending flurries. One of my concerns during any shoot is the well being of the subject, in this case, a bright yellow Ferrari still on summer tires.
Before our shoot, I scouted out a couple of spots nearby and made sure the roads were at least ice and snow free. Google mapping a couple of locations led me to find the perfect spot, a bridge that had no traffic at the time due to road construction on the other side. This meant that we could park in the road and not get run over or be asked to leave by the police, very real possibilities otherwise.
At 6 pm, our meeting time, I was waiting for the car to show up in a nearby parking lot. After a while of still no Ferrari, I got a text from the owner saying, “Getting the car out of the garage and down my driveway was terrifying!” Luckily, the car was fine, and we were finally shooting soon after. And then the snow began to fall. The snowflakes made for great photos, but we soon realized the Ferrari was never going to make it back up the driveway it had slipped down only an hour earlier.
While I finished up one last shot we talked over our next move with the car. He couldn’t bring it home, we were not going to park it on the street, most every thing was closed by then and the roads were getting worse. So finally, as I wrapped up the shoot and collected my gear, we got word from a friend that happily said we could park the car in his shop for the night.
After just a quick 10-minute drive, we arrived at the shop and even managed to do a couple doughnuts before we parked the car safely in a locked, heated shop for the night. Another successful shoot under the belt and we even managed to catch the snowflakes falling. Job done.