It’s everyone’s dream-come-true to turn their hobby into a career. Just ask automotive photographer Ben Revzin.
What started as a middle school hobby evolved into a four-year portrait business, and has since grown into a full-blown auto enterprise. From pickup trucks to supercars, and everything in between – Ben has snapped them all and he doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
So put down your DSLR, roll the car back in the garage, and read on for a few ins-and-outs of automotive photography from a pro.
What does an average workday look like for you?
When I’m shooting a car it’s fairly straightforward. I eat breakfast while looking at other car photos or watching videos about the particular car I’m shooting to get me even more excited. I double check that I have all my gear, camera, lights, snacks and a few bottles of water for myself, my assistant, and the car owner – they get thirsty too.
Once I get to the location, I walk around the car, unlock and lock it to see how the car changes, whether it be the headlights turning on, mirrors folding in, or interior light coming on.
I shoot the car for about an hour, look over the files on my MacBook, shoot some more, and then go out to eat and edit. Once I’m home, I backup the files to an external drive, upload them to my server, and send them to the client.
What’s the biggest challenge to finding the perfect shot?
It’s the small details. You may only want to focus on the car but if there is even one leaf on the ground near it, it can kill the look and then you have to clean it up in post-production. I try to get the shot as great as I can in-camera.
Any crucial photo tips or tricks you’ve learned in time?
Make sure to shoot in RAW format and wear comfortable clothing; some of the best angles to shoot a car are also the most uncomfortable ones. And if you’re going to shoot with artificial lighting, do it at night, as the light is easier to control – you’ll need a powerful studio light to overpower the sun.
Black & White or Color?
Tough question. I shoot mostly color but if the car is black or white, I might go B&W depending on the background.
Digital or Film?
Digital. I’ve only shot two rolls of film in my life.
Are some cars more photogenic than others?
Definitely. But I think with proper lighting and a unique background, any car can look good.
What does your gear kit look like?
I started with a Nikon D90 with a Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 lens, a Nikkor 50mm F/1.8, an SB-600 Speedlight flash, and three CowboyStudio monolights.
I’ve since upgraded to a Nikon D800 with a Nikkor 24-85mm VR, which is mostly for rolling shots, a Nikkor 50mm F/1.4G lens, an AlienBees B800 and B1600, and I still have the 3 monolights.
Do you have a favorite car? And a favorite to photograph?
My favorite car right now I think is the Pagani Huayra. I’d love to shoot one – or a Bugatti. My favorite car to photograph so far has been the Lamborghini Aventador.
Does your photography have a driving force behind it?
My vision is to get a viewer to feel a connection to the car, whether it’s to a small detail, an elegant line, or feeling freedom thru the rolling shots.
You can learn more about Ben Revzin Photography at his website, here.