Blog Posts

Automotive, photography

Automotive Photography

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1960 Cadillac Lone Star Roundup 2017

I love cars. I’ve always loved cars. I think I missed my calling and should’ve been a mechanic, but I chose to take pictures of them instead. It’s a little cleaner and I can appreciate the mechanics of the parts through my lens, without getting my hands dirty. My day consists of taking pictures of luxury and high-end cars throughout the city of Austin. I am currently contracted through a company who provides photography services for Bentley, Rolls Royce, Audi, Maserati, and Porsche of Austin for their online inventory. I also shoot a few Mclarens, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis weekly. I love marketing, cars, and photography so, what better way to perfect my craft than to get out of from behind the confines of a desk to go and shoot these beautiful babies in the sunlight? I can’t think of anything better. They stay perfectly still and there is never any awkwardness or multiple retakes. After I shoot the photos, they are edited only to put in a store background and never altered to take away the true look of the car being sold. I shoot about 25-40 pictures per car and then they are uploaded to the vendor’s website for immediate view. The job has a lot of creative freedom and the best part is I get to drive every car I photograph. I also love to photograph vintage cars at local car shows. These classics are works of art and it’s amazing to see the time, money, and detail that’s put into them by their owners.

I am currently experimenting with photoshop and I have turned some of my work into digital paintings. It’s the creative outlook I crave and I am in the process of setting up an online shop to sell my artwork. I have a vast array of interests and it doesn’t stop at cars. I would love to expand my career to do more media photographs and editorials for Car and Driver, Motor Trend etc. You never know where the road will take you.

 

Here are a few samples of my work. These are the raw photos before editing that are then placed in a photoshopped background for the dealer.

 

 

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Back in a New York Groove.

December 2017

New York City streets feel alive under your feet and every day was a series of stops and starts with the hustle and bustle of life in fast forward. This is the norm in NYC and this is life in one of the largest cities on the planet. I love the change of pace and being in the middle of the epicenter of the world. It’s a cultural feast for the eyes around every corner. It’s my third trip here and I’m sure it will not be my last.

Arriving in mid-December, NYC is a magical, Christmas-themed, winter wonderland. Strolling down 5th Avenue to Rockefeller center on our first night, I had to see the famous Christmas tree at the ice skating rink. Later, we headed across the street to Saks Fifth Avenue to see the window displays of Disney’s animatronic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It conjured up my childish butterflies of sheer joy and excitement. It could turn the biggest Scrooge into a rosy-cheeked, perma-grinned, Christmas-loving freak in no time and all my Bah-Humbugs faded away. It was truly a magical experience. This was also my first experience to the Statue of Liberty and it was an emotional one. She was magnificent. The perfect patina goddess of Liberty welcoming our ancestors to the land of the free. My great-great Austrian born grandfather was one of those people, which set the course of history for everyone in my family and like many, many others. It was surreal to see her. The days filled with more adventures in East Village, NYU campus, and Washington Square. I could almost hear the protesters and the sounds of the folk masterpieces of Dylan during the Vietnam era as I set inside the fountain in the Square. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys on repeat playing in my head and found a big, red apple sitting on the rail. It was a total photo opportunity slash postcard moment that had to be taken. So much history, so much culture, so much to soak in and surely not enough time. Every day was like taking a breath and going for it. It’s a sink or swim kind of town and only the strong can survive it, but that’s life in the big city. You feel like a pro at life just walking through the city grid finding your destination or figuring out the hieroglyphs of a subway map, but that’s only the beginning. As they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. New York City is a city of dreams and of new beginnings. It’s a thrill getting lost deep into the streets of this concrete jungle, only to find yourself again.

New Orleans, photography

Down in N’awlins

October 2017

NOLA. One of my favorite cities on the planet. Every year, I make an effort to see different places and experience new things, but New Orleans always draws me back in. There is something so magical about this city and I feel like my senses are on fire the moment I arrive. The people and the surrounding different sections of the city are like microcosms of their own culture and yearly celebrations from Mardi Gras to the Po-Boy festival, always give people a reason to party. Everyone is so happy here and are high on life. New Orleans magnificent history is so interesting and the positive vibe I feel when I am there always puts a huge smile on my face. Some people may disagree with the city’s hedonistic fashion or call it cursed, but I love every ounce of it whether it’s considered good or bad, bring it on.

My favorite time of year is Halloween and there is no better place to be during the most haunting season of the year than the mysterious city of New Orleans. It is known for its history of Voodoo, witchcraft, and dark lore and the city encapsulates a supernatural semblance about it to a point that you can almost feel. My camera is on autopilot, developing a mind of its own capturing so many beautiful shots from the historical architecture, the people, and the food, that it’s easy to lose myself through the viewfinder. During Halloween, there is a vast array of events, but the best is the Krewe de Boo Halloween parade. It is a must-see event filled with different participating “Krewes” with their extravagant floats and costumes. It’s like a smaller version of Mardi Gras and you can reap the same benefits. I always leave with a bag full of candy, beads, and souvenir cups.  I also enjoy just walking around the city because every day, there is always something new to explore or an award-winning Halloween decorated patio to scope out. This year, I participated in a walking tour and I got to visit the beautiful St. Louis Cemetary No.1. It was truly amazing and it made me fall deeper in love with the city, I already cherish. The Big Easy will always be in my heart and I’m hoping to be lucky enough to return soon, but I’m guessing it won’t be soon enough!

 

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Lonestar Round-Up, Travis County Expo Center in Austin, Texas April 6-7th

This weekend the grounds of the Travis County Expo center were slammed with a colorful array of hot rods, pin-up babes, greasers, and cool cats running wild at the 17th annual Lonestar Round-Up. Chop tops, Deuces, and customs ignited my senses as the smell of gasoline and burned rubber filled the air. Jumping sporadically by the occasional engine revving and tire peel-out, I realized I was in hot rod heaven. The originality and creative power that these cars possess were pure works of art with exceptional detail. I could hardly put my camera down as I sifted through the rows of cars, fascinated and excited by the next. Being the music junkie that I am, I took a break from the cars and I went to check out the band. I managed to push through the crowd to the stage for some old school 60s-style, rock-and-roll by the Woggles. I was moved by the seasoned feel behind their whole style and look. These guys nailed the sound of an era. I loved it.

Moving along to the expo center, I had to gaze over and control my wallet by the numerous vendors selling everything from hats, jewelry, vintage car parts, cool T-shirts, vintage dresses, and leather goods. I also loved the local vendor’s custom gear shift knobs with everything from skulls to rat heads.  It made me miss the days having a manual transmission, but I’m sure most of these gear shifts would have reached the ceiling of my Toyota Corolla back in the day, but oh well, at least I would have looked ridiculously cool shifting. Closing out towards the end of the day, I made my rounds and snapped a few more pictures to chronicle the memory of another awesome year at the  Lonestar Roundup. I will be back again next year, admiring the next round of vintage cars, still wishing I was a hot rod Betty cruising the streets in my black and red Bel Air with my daddy-o by my side.

~ Stephanie Ford ❤

April 7th, 2017

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