There we stood, myself, Phil Luyer, Rick McDowell and Jordan Leist. Just hanging around the stage when the man on the stage turns around and bellows over the microphone. “Hey you photographers, which one wants to come up and take some photos of the presentations?”
I turned to the others and they were gone. Like a midnight apparition, ghosts in the night. Disappeared into thin air, leaving me standing there alone.
”You’ll do John, come up here” the voice bellowed again gesturing me to climb the stairs.
The year was 2006, the place was The WA Hot Rod and Street Machine Spectacular at the Burswood Dome, and the voice came from the one and only Richie Howlett.
The next year, I started photographing the cars of the show as the official unofficial show photographer.
13 years later, that abandonment by my colleagues led me into longest running photo gig I have ever had and the introduction of magazine coverage of events.
Over the course of those 13 or so years, my coverage of Car Shows has been published by Street Machine, Cruizin and Australian Street Rodder here in Australia, along with Custom Car, UK Street Rodder and Hot Rod & Custom Magazines in the UK.
Over that time I have had the opportunity to cover Bright Rod Run (9 years), Motorvation, Power Cruise, Gazza Nats and Midwest Show and Shine for publications, I have photographed some of Australia’s best muscle cars and Rods and met some amazing people.
A few years ago, I dropped out of the car scene photography to just do the WA Hot Rod and Street Machine Spectacular and the Cranksters events. But this year, now the show is done, I have decided to hang my camera up as far as the car scene and shows go as and Event photographer. It’s been a blast, I got behind the scenes, special privileges that allowed me exclusive access after the crowds had gone home, opportunities for editorials and personal projects. Met a lot of great people that even today still stop for a chat and many have become great friends.
But my life is going in a different direction these days, with plans in the pipeline and other projects on the go that don’t involve the car scene. It’s time for someone else to take over. I end with no regrets and a sense of pride what I have achieved with the photos I have taken over the years.
So for now, I’ll still go to events, but only as a spectator. It’s time for me to just look and admire. but before I sign off, here are this years WA Hot Rod and Street Machine Specatular (& Koolsville) photos
I hope you like them