Today, we're excited to welcome Alex Sczudlo, an emerging star in automotive photography based in Scottsdale, AZ. Her adventure into this dynamic world started unexpectedly with an iPhone-shot of a Huracan in a Las Vegas mall, a stark contrast to her upbringing in small farm towns. From those early experiments to upgrading to a DSLR camera gifted by her father, Alex's journey has been one of passion and discovery, culminating in her first professional gig and a growing business in the realm of luxury car photography.
In our interview, we'll explore Alex's unique perspective on automotive photography. We're eager to learn how she skillfully combines technical proficiency with artistic vision in her work. What sparks the inception of her new projects, and what obstacles does she encounter in the niche of luxury car photography? Alex will reveal her creative journey and offer valuable advice to those aspiring to carve out their own path in the world of automotive photography.
To see Alex's remarkable portfolio, be sure to visit her Instagram page.
The first car I ever photographed was a Huracan at a mall in Las Vegas while visiting family. I grew up in a series of small farm towns with the nicest cars being lifted pickup trucks. At the time I didn't have a camera yet and was using my iPhone trying to get all the angles and editing on picsart. I was only sixteen or seventeen still in high school and I was so proud of those photos sending them to my friends and family. When I look back at them today I grimace at the maximum contrast, clarity, and noise reduction I thought was a cool effect.
When I started college I began making the 100 mile trip from Prescott to Scottsdale every weekend to attend a car show, taking photos with my iPhone. For my 19th Birthday my Sophomore year of college my Dad gifted me an older used Nikon DSLR he had found someone selling while he was working overseas. I was so incredibly excited to have a semi-professional camera.
I immediately took it to downtown Prescott to try and get some long exposure photos. To my surprise sitting in downtown Prescott was a Lamborghini Gallardo. It was the first car I ever took photos of on equipment greeted then a point and shoot camera. Shortly after I landed my very first paid assignment for Publication photographing Good Guys Car Show for Highline Autos. From then on I dove head first into Automotive Photography and started growing my business.
A photo stands out to me when it has a unique editing style and good composition. There's foreground and background, there's more to the image than just the car. When I was first learning one of the biggest pieces of advice I received was, “don't be afraid to take a step back.” I would describe my editing style as colorful, bright, and warm while also being soft. Personally I love shooting in golden hour with direct light. I'm not a big fan of clouds or overcast light.
My most challenging photos have been those I've taken at 17 Mile Drive during car week when there has been fog. I find it very difficult to edit foggy conditions as they lack a lot of the color and contrast I'm so used to working with in Arizona. I find it difficult to make the car pop.
Besides my camera and lens my most important piece of gear is either my polarizer or my sensor cleaning kit, rollers in a place as dusty as Arizona means my sensor gets dirty fast!
I don't really see other photographers as competition. I think viewing everyone as competition makes it really hard to develop friendships. I'm confident in the quality of work I put out and know I have an editing style that is unique to me as I have been developing it for over 6 years. If someone likes my style they will book with me. It really comes down to the preference of the customer, not competition with others.
That being said, there is value to a photographer's locations and styles; it's what separates and creates value from one photographer from another. While I don't see other photographers as competition I would not diminish the value I bring to my customers by sharing some key aspects of my work. I still love collaborating with others though. I've developed some of my closest friendships through automotive photography.
If I was to give my younger self some advice it would be to have more confidence in my work and in the product I put out. I'm naturally a very shy and introverted individual so I found networking to be extremely difficult.
I don't really have a favorite photo, I have a few favorite memories however. I once shot rollers of a P1 from a P1. That was one of my favorite memories. I also shot rollers of a Huracan Evo for Forbes out of a Ford GT. I was able through friendships ive made to photograph 3 Huayra's together. Ive been lucky enough to drive cars such as a Murcielago, Brabus 6x6, and SVJ. Ive been able to tour and photograph private collections with cars I only ever dreamed of seeing.
If I could have any three cars they would be yellow over white Lamborghini LP5000 Countach, a matching LM002, and a De Tomaso P72 yellow over tan.
We're thankful to Alex Sczudlo for opening up about her journey in automotive photography. Her path, fueled by a deep passion and impressive talent, is genuinely inspiring and filled with invaluable insights. Alex's knack for capturing the elegance and character of automobiles is exceptional. We appreciate the knowledge she has shared about her craft and are excited to see her future achievements as she continues to influence the automotive photography landscape.
Check out more of Alex's work and download the TCN app today and immerse yourself in a world where automotive beauty meets high-end technology. Stay tuned for our regular updates, and let's drive into the future of automotive enthusiasm together!