Formula Drift, Round 7, Irwindale Speedway 2013


Last weekend was the 2013 Formula Drift Finals in Irwindale.
I was out shooting for Falken Tire unexpectedly, which is always a great thing. They’re a fun to team to shoot for and work around. Unfortunately though we didn’t have a strong weekend. All three drivers qualified Top 32, however both Justin and Dai were knocked out before top 16.

Saturday was my only actual day there to shoot. However I showed up on Friday to get my media vest early. The biggest problem with the Drift Finals is that there are a TON of people that apply for media passes. And I’ll be completely honest, most of them have no business being there. They’re un-experienced and represent no major company, no team, nor driver. There are people that I’ve met at these events that simply have their own auto blog and were able to get credentialed in.
To be clear, I’m all for people learning and working hard to advance in a competitive industry. However these inexperienced people tend to be rude, don’t follow rules, and have no common curtesy nor professional respect I find when I shoot a series like American Le Mans.

So rather than deal with a ton of people in the media meeting on Saturday, I showed up on Friday to check in early and then spent most of the afternoon seeing a few friends on other teams and with various vendors.

Race day was busy, as is every Irwindale race.
So, read on, check out a bunch of the shots I’ve selected to upload, and maybe I’ll see you guys out during the 2014 season!

Click the break to read on:

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Formula Drift Round 4: New Jersey


Just got back from New Jersey Formula Drift Round 4, where I was out shooting for Falken Tire again!

I wasn’t originally planning on being in Jersey for Round 4, but after contacting Falken on a whim it turned out they needed additional support that weekend. So that worked out great for me since I still had that weekend of June open and am always down to fly to a race to photograph.
So after what will likely be my last direct-flight to an East Coast race (you’d be surprised how many tracks I can fly to direct from San Diego) I met up with the video guys and headed out to grab a bite. This was actually the first time I’d really seen the Falken video crew this season. The other races I had be on, Le Mans Sebring, Atlanta Drift, Long Beach, etc, were all for other clients or Falken bookings where I was the only media support.

It’s always a blast being out with the team. They’re such a busy company that I don’t always get to see many people from their crew, which makes catching up on life less frequent. Plus, BS’ing with the video guys is fun since we can nerd it up and talk about cameras, software, hardware, and debate all the stupid things that none of my family or friends in SoCal really care about. Creative Cloud for Adobe?! Ripofffffff, what do you guys think? lol

The race weekend was great, and went by pretty quickly. Overall Falken did pretty well. Justin took second place. Darren barely missed third place, finishing fourth.

Next up I’ll be heading out to Seattle for Round 5 in Monroe, Washington. Looking forward to that since Falken has said I can go ahead and start being as artsy as I’d like with my imagery from the races. That “they have plenty of action shots” so I can feel free to be more creative with everything. So I’m stoked for that.

Also, I just talked and met with Sony Digital Imaging, I’m going to be testing some of their gear! This is pretty exciting. I was given a bunch of gear to test during the month of July! So I’m currently working with Black Flys sunglasses to set things up with their athletes for some awesome shoots with their athletes. Stay tuned. July is going to a lot of fun with all this new gear….

Anyway… on to the Drift photos!
There’s a bunch for you guys that just want to see a lot of photos of cars/etc. You will be able to tell the images that are straight from camera and don’t really have any heavy editing applied to them.

Oh, also, I’m trying something different for this blog and all the photos that follow are going to be 800 pixels at the longest edge… I’m trying it out to see if I prefer photos a bit larger than my typical 650 pixels at the longest edge. Let me know what you think in the comments about the size change. I’ll need to adjust the right column links though I realize.

More photos after the break

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Formula Drift Round 2: Atlanta


So I’m finally getting around to uploading the action shots that I took at Formula Drift Round 2: Atlanta.

I was out in Georgia two weeks ago or so for the race shooting for Falken Tire this time around. I was the only creative staff sent by Falken, which meant I would likely be on my own the majority of the time wandering the track and getting images out to the Falken team back home on the west coast for them to upload.
My flight to the east coast came just two days after my return from the east coast where I was attending my friends Aaron and Danielle’s wedding in Clearwater, Florida. I suppose I could have spoken to Falken about flying me direct from Orlando, but, that would have meant that I would need to bring even more gear with me to Florida on that trip since I would need different things at the race than I had brought to Florida for that trip.

Anyway, back in Georgia again, and it really didn’t seem as though it had already been over six months since I was there for Petit Le Mans at the end of the 2012 season.

This race I would be focussed on three drivers: Dai Yoshihara, Darren McNamara, and Justin Pawlak.
I was also able to continue my ongoing portrait series while out there, as you guys may have already caught in my last blog post.

Overall it was a great weekend. The weather was overcast and a bit rainy… which unfortunately makes for less-interesting Drift photos in my opinion. Colder track temperatures means colder tires means less smoke…. means boring photos. Hahaha


But… Vaughn DID run over a car on the track… that happened.

Haha, click past the break a ton of photos from the weekend. I decided to just upload a ton from the weekend. Enjoy. But sheer numbers alone you’re bound to at least dig one or two of them.

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Portrait shots of Vaughn Gittin Jr, Chris Forberg, Ryan Tuerck, and Bil Baldwin


When I’m asked what I like shooting most of all my answer would be portraits. Which is saying a lot because I have the opportunity to shoot a LOT of different things from models to racing to weddings.
And while all those other things are a lot of fun, coming back around to portraits is where I always end up. It’s wonderfully simple an they’re WAY more interesting than a racecar on a track I feel like.

The Formula Drift season just kicked off for 2013 – and I’m sure many of you likely saw my blog post earlier this week about it. And during Round 1: Long Beach, I was on assignment from K&N Filters and AEM Intakes. One of the things I was required to shoot was headshots of various drivers that they sponsor. I immediately thought “Awesome! Now I HAVE to get photos with three of the busiest drivers at the track: Vaughn Gittin Jr., Ryan Tuerck, and Chris Forberg.
Now I’m not saying these guys won’t give you the time of day – that couldn’t be further from the truth. However as a photographer for one of their sponsors it’s much easier to get a few minutes of their time set aside specifically for you to photograph them.

Each of my portraits of these drivers only took me about 5 minutes to create. So long as I have nearly all my camera settings dialed than it’s just a matter of lighting being balanced, a few test shots, and a couple “real ones” where my subject can smile or do whatever they like…. then I’m done. Out of their hair AND I have both headshots for my clients along with an image and I can edit into the portraits you see above.

I also met and photographed Bil “The Bearded Man of Drift” Baldwin, who’s become a bit of a legend in the Drift world. I actually had heard of him through a friend of mine that knows of Bil from the “Beard Life” community, haha!

Me and Bil, right after his portrait the morning of the race!

Anyway, click past the break for the portraits I created of Vaughn, Ryan, Chris and Bil – along with some Behind the Scenes that my buddy Rex shot while I was working with Vaughn!

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Formula Drift, Round 1, Long Beach 2013


Three incredible drivers took the podium at Formula Drift Long Beach this past weekend.
Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara , Vaughn Gittin Jr., and Chris Forsberg took first, second and third respectively. And despite the dreary weather it was an awesome race weekend – but I do feel bad for poor Randyl Dawn who was stuck standing in the middle fo this champagne fight… she ran away shortly after this photo. haha!

I was out at Drift this past weekend shooting for my old employer, K&N Filters. Some of you who have been following my work for several years remember when I was on staff for K&N Filters and AEM Intakes. It actually wasn’t all that long ago – about three years. While on staff with them these were some of the guys I had to focus on the majority of the time I was at the track.
Well, on a whim I randomly hit up my old boss to see if they were in need of coverage for Long Beach. I’ll be working for Falken Tire on part of the season for Drift this year, however for the season opener at Long Beach I was not yet booked. Turns out my timing was perfect since K&N was just looking at what their options were for Long Beach images. And with Vaughn having a new tire sponsor, new livery on his Mustang, and new logos on his race suit, K&N definitely needed photos and headshots.

Perfect! I was now booked for the weekend, and I already had a good idea of the types of shots that K&N would be looking for.

But I was most looking forward to the headshots I was going to be required to shoot…


Portraits! This was an awesome opportunity to create portraits of some of the drivers for Formula Drift! And, of course, Bil Baldwin “The Bearded Man of Drift”! But, I’ll post that in a couple days in a new blog post. I have additional photos of the portraits and a couple BTS shots to share too. I rather that be it’s own post.

So we’re going to keep this post simple… Just a ton of photos, and a few captions here and there for good measure.
But keep in mind I was shooting for photos to be used in magazine ads (like this), so, they’re fairly cut and dry. Not as “artsy” as I might get with my Le Mans work. haha Specific clients need specific things.

Click to read on!

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New Tearsheets section added!

Last night I built a new section in my portfolio for tearsheets.

My work has been used in many K&N Filter ads and AEM Intakes ads that you can find in 20+ magazines in 10+ types of sports/etc.
The image above is an ad you can find in ATV Insider. It features racer and friend, Corry Weller of Weller Racing in Chandler, Arizona. I met Corry at the Quadcross AMA kickoff event in Glen Helen, Calif. This image is actually from that race. I have since had the pleasure of seeing and photographing her at many off road races here in Socal since then.

You will also see many images/ads created for drifting featuring Vaughn Gittin Jr., Rhys Millin, and Tanner Foust. Also images from Motocross, other ATV events, and Off Road Racing.
Actually, the first thing you will see are tearsheets from the musical artist Derek Jameson’s magazine feature that I shot. This was printed in Unzipped a few months ago. You may have caught my blog about it…
I’m also working on tracking down tearsheets from my work that has appeared in BMX Magazine and Rebel Ink.

So, if you have time, check it out here, or click the image above.

Find my work in various ads…

So I share with everyone who follows my work various updates on the many events that I go to and shoot. I’ve honestly lost track of how many different races and types of sports I’ve shot this year – which is pretty incredible. I’m sure that if I sit down and write them out, then I can figure out each and every one and their location.
Either way, I’m so busy shooting, editing, and getting work out to clients for projects that I do on the side (weddings, engagements, fashion, and models), that I don’t always have time to track down the many magazines that feature ads with my work.

I decided to make a brief post before I leave California again in a few hours and share with you all a couple ads that are running this month.
The above shot of Team Fun Center Suzuki was one that I did about two months ago, or so. I remember being at the track much longer than anticipated due to mechanical issues. That same night I had to get down to Newport for a fashion show, haha.

Keith Little I shot during AMA Quadcross in Glenn Helen a few months back as well. I took so many photos that day that the only person I specifically remember is Corry Weller from Weller Racing – and that’s because I’ve seen her at many other races recently.

Rhys Millen of Redbull Racing is someone I had the pleasure of meeting during the Long Beach Formula Drift event. I came back with some really amazing images from this event. I would encourage all of you to click on the link to my portfolio (top of the page) and check out my Racing section for more of my drift photos. So cool to watch, and pretty incredible to be 5 feet from these cars and drivers as they come whipping around the turn right in front of you – well, from where I stand as Press anyway.

This particular shot of Carl Renezeder I took out in Nevada during one of the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series events that I was at. I’ve shot Carl many times since then and have posted shots of him driving multiple times in my blog. Carl’s a really nice guy, and one hell of a driver. Watching him out on the track truly is impressive.

So, there you go! A few examples of my work that’s been in print recently. You can find these in multiple magazines including D Sport, Import Tuner, QUAD, Truckin’, Off Road Truck, Bagger, Cycle News, Parts Mag, Drag Specialties, Moto Playground, Thunder Press, Transworld, Modified, Sport Truck, Super Street… etc. There are least 6 different style ads running right now with differents – maybe closer to 10, I’m not positive.

So, now I’m about to pack up a few last minute things and head to the airport..
I’m leaving the state again in a few hours – this jet-setter lifestyle, man, it’s rough… hahaha

Catch you all this weekend.

Wheels are overrated anyway…

Yesterday was all about rolling your vehicle… today was about losing your wheels… tires.. and other important parts of your suspension, haha.
The driver above actually completed an additional lap and a half at least before opting out of the race after his tire flew off his buggy.

Now take a close look at this shot of Robby… see what he managed to snap off his trophy kart during his race?

Now this driver didn’t lose a tire or wheel… However he ran most of the race with this “hood” popped up and blocking most of his view. Hats off to him though… as he didn’t lose his position through the entirity of his view being obstructed. Hahaha.

Now there is nothing wrong with this truck…
Actually, this is to share another test of extreme motion blur.

I have a lot of time this weekend to experiment with panning, exposures, etc. I have all the shots I need from Friday – so now it’s time for fun stuff.
Yesterday I played around with 1/80 of a second. Today I was determined to beat that.
The shot above is at 1/40 of a second, at 110mm… completely handheld. Came out pretty gorgeous actually. The bad part is that this kind of motion is almost too extreme for any sort of advertising usage… so, it will most likely stay in my portfolio rather than going to print.

Speaking of print… I think I have a shot of Corry Weller from Weller Racing in the July issue of QUAD in the K&N Filters ad… someone go check for me…

One more day of racing at Lake Elsinore for the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series tomorrow. Should be a lot of fun.

Derek’s feature in Unzipped Magazine

The July issue of Unzipped magazine features a story about singer/songwriter Derek J.

For those of you who watch my blog, you’ll already know that this is a photo spread that I shot with Derek a few months back.
Derek and I have been great friends the last 10 years – wow, that went fast. And when he was approached to be featured in Unzipped, Derek came to me to do the photography. I was extremely flattered that Derek wanted me to do the shoot for him – he pointed out that he was more comfortable working with me than some random photographer. Either way, I was excited to help.

For those who aren’t familiar, Unzipped is gay men’s magazine. So if you don’t know that and go to pick up a copy, you may be in for a surprise. Just as much as people were surprised when I said I had some of my work featured on AVN’s website a month or so ago (AVN is Adult Video News, haha – see past blogs).

The spread features four different shots from our shoot that afternoon. The above one is also included, is my favorite, and will also be added to my online portfolio shortly.

I’m incredibly proud of this feature, and of Derek’s accomplishments. While our lives are very different, our core value sets are very similar – which is probably why we’ve remained friends over the years.

Please, if you’re interested, check out the feature in Unzipped.
You can also listen to some of his music and purchase his cds on iTunes and MySpace – I shot his most recent cd art, too


I have a number of other images featured in various ads. Probably in over a dozen magazines or so… I’ll have to start putting together a list. But here’s an example of a full page ad from this month’s D-Sport magazine.

The image features Tanner Foust at the podium after his second place win at the Long Beach Formula Drift, and also his Rockstar Energy Scion TC. Both images are from my work at the LBFD back in April. You can see some of those images in the Racing section of my portfolio.

This ad, and other like it are in various magazines including Import Tuner, D-Sport, Modified, Truckin’, Super Street, etc… they feature my work from the Long Beach Gran Prix, Long Beach Formula Drift, Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series, Quadcross, Motocross, Superbike, etc…

I’ll get a better list together and update you all soon.

Good night everyone!