I hope You remember that we started a new serie in our Oldtimers Magazine. In this series of articles called Classic Car Photographer we will speak with automotive photographers from all over the world! In this interview You will read a story of Richard Le Photography!
1. Tell us a little bit about you:
Richard Le: My name is Richard Le and I’ve been residing in Sacramento California for about 15 years now. Originally from New Jersey, I moved to California with my family back in 2001. I was always fascinated by the many different body lines of cars and the way they sounded on the track or the streets.
2. Did you go to school to study photography?
Richard Le: I did not go to school to study photography but I did learn a lot of what I know from watching YouTube videos and getting advice from other photographers.
3. How long have you been a photographer?
Richard Le: I started doing it as a hobby, just like many others, but I’ve been doing it full time for about 5 years now.
4. Do You remember Your first photography? Could You describe it?
Richard Le: My very first paid shoot was from a local automotive shop that had found my work through social media. I remember it was a BMW E28 M5 that was turbocharged and was fully modified from the ground up. I had no lights and no special equipment other than my camera. I knew absolutely nothing about photoshop at the time and was basically running & gunning with hopes of getting that money shot! It came out to be okay and the client was happy. Being that it was a last minute shoot and not thoroughly planned, I’ll admit it was extremely nerve wracking!
5. What or who got you started in photography?
Richard Le: I can’t quite remember exactly what got me started but having played the older Gran Turismo video games had some influence on it. I remember after every level that I played I kept watching myself in replay and was always amazed by the different angles. It was cool to see but then I had wanted to create those images for myself so that eventually lead to me shooting cars and trying to mimic the shots I saw from video games.
6. How would you describe your style of photographing?
Richard Le: I guess I would try and describe it as moody and grungy, or at least I try to do so every time. Some say it looks somewhat dreamy and sometimes animated. Lately, I’ve been focusing more on the raw, natural scenarios and lifestyle images.
7. What’s in your bag? What camera do You use generally?
Richard Le: Currently I am running with a Sony A7RII fitted with a 24-70 f/4. It’s usually linked up with a Manfrotto tripod and quick release. For lighting, I’m using a Westcott Ice Light 2 for night images but during the day I’d either use available light or may have a silver reflector on hand. I try to keep my gear to a minimal as I don’t like lugging around a bunch of gear every where I go.
8. Why cars?
Richard Le: Well it’s probably because of the many different characteristics that each one brings out. I enjoy working with them all and every time is a new experience. But I’ve got more of an appreciation with the older cars as I’d rather work on say a ’70 Chevelle vs a Lamborghini Aventador. Much of it has to do with the story behind it. I enjoy talking with the car owners and hearing about all the fine work and details they went through to make their dream car into a reality. But hey if you loaned me a Lamborghini, I wouldn’t complain :).
9. Have You been participating on some events as Classic Car photographer?
Richard Le: I’ve attended quite a few events but not as the official event photographer. I wouldn’t mind doing so but just haven’t reached out for it.
10. Let’s say that dreams come true. What is Your dream-car – that You want to photograph?
Richard Le: It’s difficult for me to say what my dream car would be but the one that’s coming into mind would be a ’67 – ’68 Mustang GT500 aka “Eleanor”. For me it was all because of the movie, “Gone in 60 Seconds” with Nicolas Cage. I think I was in middle school or early high school during that time. That had sparked my interest for American cars and I’ve been dying to get my hands on one since.
11. What plans do You have for the future?
Richard Le: For the future, I’ve considered getting into videography and maybe start making documentaries or short films. I feel like my imagination can reach even higher limits with feeding more emotion to the audience and to have them get a dramatic sense of how it felt during those actual moments. As far as photography goes, I’m looking to venture off. I’d like to settle down and possibly become a brand manager for a certain manufacturer or some sort.
It’s fun to work with a bunch of different cars, labels, magazines but it can also get very tiring. I’m getting close to my 30’s now and I just don’t see myself running around like I did in my younger days. Lol, I make myself sound so old but really I think I’ve done much of what I set myself to do and I’m happy with it all. Now I think it’s time to reach out for different goals. There are many things out there I haven’t done and I just feel like I’m capable of so much more.