Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Road To Cover

Chances are, if you follow the automotive show scene, you've come across a few cars that made you wonder why it hasn't been featured. Personally, I wondered the same thing every time I ran into Frankie and his incredibly clean RHD ITR. For years I consistently told him, "Dude, your car is ready and worthy.. You should try!" For one reason or another, that was always put on the back burner and never truly pursued. Finally, towards the end of last summer, I asked if he wanted to do a shoot and give it a try. As you can see, he agreed!

The day of the shoot, I could tell something was wrong. When I called to confirm, he really didn't sound to enthused. Since we had previously talked and agreed on the shoot day, he decided to meet up with me anyways. He later told me, "I was actually thinking about canceling, but really felt bad in doing so and that's why I went". Looking back now, I'm quite sure he's glad he decided to go.

A few days later, after going through and editing the photos, I emailed the "chosen few" to my friend and colleague at, Brian Chin, so that he could send them over to his contact at Import Tuner Magazine. Originally, my plan was to use these photos to show them what this car looked like and see how they felt about it. My thoughts then where that, while they were okay, my pictures weren't really that great and that if interested they would, and should, have a much better photographer take the final photos. Afterwards, I was more than likely going to just post the photos here and write a little bit about the car.

To my great surprise, Charles Trieu, Import Tuner's editor in chief, wanted to use my pictures. As you can imagine, I was absolutely ecstatic and very quickly shared the good news with Frankie! The rest , well - let's just say it was......"party time"! Well, sorta.... Once we settled down, the BIG question came. What kind of feature would it be? Cover? Maybe, but we weren't sure.. Don't get me wrong, we where both satisfied with being featured, but we still had to ask and so we did. When we heard back, we learned that getting the cover probably wasn't gonna happen. As disappointing this was to hear, we both had to look on the bright side and see that the feature was still on.

Having somewhat gotten over our heart break, we began to focus on the next task at hand. Take more pictures. I know what you're thinking.. More pictures? Yeah! See, when we first shot the car, we really didn't expect any of this to happen, and on that first day we actually had some issues. The car's back suspension was sitting too low and because of it, I couldn't really get good exterior shots. Furthermore, there where still a few mods yet to be installed.

What happened next is all bit blurry.. I believe it was after having completed the second shoot, that Charles informed us they had decided to have the fans vote for the cover car. In order to do so, they had to head over to their Facebook page like that and then like the picture of one of the four cars in the running. Personally, I had never heard of such a thing, but this decision totally opened the door for us.

Very quickly, two crowd favorites emerged - Ming's S15 and Frankie's ITR, with Ming taking the lead almost immediately, which came as no surprise. I mean, not only was that S15 amazing but Jonathan Domingo's photography was also top notch! Over the next couple of days, Ming and his S15 kept on consistently marching forward and were quickly building their vote count. Shockingly, the little ITR was not too far behind. Eventually, both the S15 and ITR spread such a lead over the other two competitors, that it was no longer a four car running. As someone put it, this had become "the battle between David and Goliath".

By this time, it had become clear that coming out on top was going to be no easy task. So Frankie and I did the only thing we could... Drive everyone we knew up the wall.... Well, maybe a little.... because, let me tell you, we were definitely blowing up people's phones and social media status feeds, telling them to continue voting. Thankfully, our friends came together in a way neither of us had ever seen before. Not only did they vote, but they also took it upon themselves to get the word out as well. We had people voting from all over the place, US, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, UK, Norway and so on! It was truly amazing!

The days that followed where nothing short of an extreme roller coaster ride. Little by little, we kept closing in, eventually catching up and passing him. However, with many days left, we knew we weren't out of the woods. Our lead was short-lived, because hours later, he took it once again. It seemed that we couldn't hold him off, no matter the votes or how big a lead we spread. We almost even gave up trying, but having come so far we knew that wasn't an option. Many nerve racking hours later, we took the lead once again and after that time, we never looked back!!!

Once again, I just want to say thanks to my family, friends, everyone one that voted, and Charles Trieu - because without all you, none of this would have been possible!!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black X

Last week, I had the pleasure of shooting this super clean Evo X for the guys over at Kaizen, which never seem to run out of awesome builds! Enjoy the pics!

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