“How about a 458 Speciale, 991 GT3 and a McLaren MP4-12C…all in white.”
Those were the words I heard through the phone when the owner of DRM Motorworx returned my call about a shoot we’ve been trying to put together for over 6 months. This was a huge change from our original plan, which was a single shoot of their R8 shop car. I can’t even begin to explain how I was feeling when he said that, as we’re based in a city where these three machines are considered more of a myth.
With all three cars locked in, it was time to get serious about this shoot. We started by putting an itinerary together, as well as a storyboard of shot styles and a list of unique locations for the shoot. With everything in place, we set the date for two weeks out on a Sunday. As the date started to close in, everything seemed to be working out as planned… or so we thought. We had an empty warehouse and parking deck lined up for use, as well as a few inspired shot layouts we were excited about. But most importantly, everyone had cleared their schedule for that given Sunday.
Our desired shots required a couple hours of light painting, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to help capture each shot. So with the whole day blocked off for us, we were more than ready to tackle this epic shoot. That is, until early in the week prior to the shoot, when I looked at the weather report and noticed there was an 80 percent chance of rain for Sunday…our Sunday. The initial thought was, maybe by Saturday the report would change in our favor, right? Well, Saturday rolled around and the report went up from 80 percent to 100 percent chance of rain for Sunday. I wasn’t the only one worried; Danny from DRM called me that morning asking if I had seen the weather report. Extremely tight on time, we were in desperate need of a backup plan.
After talking it over and bouncing some ideas around, we agreed there was no time like the present. It was a long shot, but it was almost our last resort. Sure enough, Danny called me back and we were lucky enough to lock in all three cars for that same day. This was great news, we were at least able to proceed with the shoot, but the new problem was that our desired locations were no longer available as planned. To make things a bit more difficult, we were also on a time restraint, as we couldn’t pick the cars up until 3:00 pm and needed to return them by 7:00 pm. In a scramble for time, we resorted to using DRM’s facility and hoped we could pull it off in only 4 hours.
My plan was to make the best out of what we had to work with. After a 30 minute drive and snagging some rolling shots from the pick up location to DRM, it was time to get to work. We began lining up the cars and getting the equipment ready. The McLaren MP4-12C was the first car to get the light painted treatment. After an hour of solo time with the MP4-12C, it was time to pull in the 458 Speciale to get light painted. Being so photogenic, we took two different approaches with the 458 Speciale, so it took a bit longer than expected. Unfortunately, after suffering from a few technical difficulties with our strobes and receivers, we weren’t able to grab the solo shot of the GT3 we had hoped for. But even with our strobes out of commission and only having the shop’s overhead lighting to work with, the best part of the evening was our final group shot setup. That shot not only made my night, but reminded me why I love what I do so much. Although we weren’t able to get everything in as planned in our 4 hour block of time, it was still one of the most epic shoots I have been a part of.
Ever since I dedicated all of my time to automotive photography, I dreamed of having the chance to gather all of these incredible cars together in front of my lens. Even with the unexpected date change, location change and technical difficulties, I’m still very happy with the way the photos came out. We are photographers- being able to adapt to plans changing and things failing is just another day in the life.