I used to crawl around the floor, often in the dirt, always looking for that one shot. Studio shoots always started off by painting the cove for a couple of hours before I could even think about lighting. Prior to the studio, there was the logistics of the shoot such as arranging for the car to be there, sometimes booking a model and, of course, if that were the case, I'd also have to book a make-up artist and hair stylist. Oh, and then there was wardrobe. Usually budget restraints and/or a lack of clued-in stylists meant I'd have to go through the agony of fishing around several women's stores at the local mall on the day before the shoot. Even after I'd broke through the usual language barrier, it was a fuckin' nightmare trying to explain to the girl in "Bebe" why that bikini top she kept insisting on wouldn't work for photographic reasons. On top of all that, during a typical shoot, I'd have to juggle the people I'd hired (including the model), the car owners and, from time to time, an advertiser while trying to get shots for the cover, the model interview and of course an eight page feature on the car. Studios are only open for so many hours! All this to say, after a few years of playing the one man photo band, doing it all myself with no time to do it, I got a bit fed up and eventually burned out.
For the past couple of years, I've added one more to the list of monthly "rentals" and hired freelance photographers to get what we need.
These days, unfortunately at times, I'm crawling around budgets, contracts and a ton of meetings instead. I guess it's the other side of the job, a part of management in corporate America. A mile away from anything creative, although there is definitely some form of art to juggling buyouts, expenses or just about anything with a business dollar attached to it.
I love what I do, but the fact is, I'm never satisfied. We've built a fantastic team of regular contributors these days that supply us with some really jaw-dropping images. And after a month of pondering and editing loads of awesome shots, laying them out and building another great-looking issue, I'm left almost jealous as I somehow miss doing what I thought I hated to do. It's weird, while I've never lost my passion for great car shots, I find myself remembering how much fun I had trying to capture them myself. Maybe it's one of them "time heals" or "true passion never dies" type scenarios, even if it is extremely cheesy. Either way, building such a great issue has rekindled something and I think it's time to dust off my gear and give it another crack. Enjoy