Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Jacob George, a photographer from California whose unique path into automotive photography was shaped by familial artistic influences and a newfound fascination with the world of exotic cars, an interest that flourished during the recent pandemic.
In our interview, we'll delve into Jacob George's distinctive approach to automotive photography. We're keen to discover how he seamlessly melds technical skill with creative expression in his photographs. What ignites the start of his new projects, and what challenges does he face in the specialized arena of high-end car photography. Jacob will share his creative process and provide insights for those aspiring to make their mark in the world of automotive photography.
For a peek at Jacob George's impressive portfolio, don't forget to check out his Instagram page.
My brother was big into street photography and my mom studied photography in college. Naturally I found a camera in my hand eventually. Over the pandemic I started watching car spotting YouTube videos and seeing all these wild cars so close to home. My brother encouraged me to take my camera out to cars and coffee and start taking photos. There isn’t really a specific shoot that got me into car photography, but more so just being around these cars that I never thought I’d see.
This is extremely subjective, see the beautiful part of automotive photography is that it’s so multifaceted. I see so much work from many talented people that leaves me gobsmacked. But the photos that have a lasting impact on me are ones that make me go, “holy shit how did they do that” or “how did they think to get that angle”. Seeing photos like that made me rethink how I take photos. I’ve started to take a step back and think more critically about composition and textures as well as examine my subject more closely.
To be entirely honest. Doing shoots for auction/listing photos tend to challenge me the most. Unlike orchestrating a shoot with a car for beauty shots, auctions want photos of literally everything. It’s hard to remember to shoot every last object on a car. On top of that, nine times out of ten time is a constraint. I don’t always get to shoot when I want or where I want. But there’s money to be made so I gotta make do!
Probably SD cards or batteries.
I’m always trying new things and studying different types of photography. I sorta stopped following down the commercial photography path and instead went down the whole artsy rabbit hole. However when I shoot for a client I just try and under promise yet overdeliver. Managing expectations is a huge part of photography and the last thing I want to do is lose a client because their expectations were too high.
It’s definitely a mixture of both. It really depends on location and niche. In the motorsport community it seems to be very collaborative. Everyone loves giving advice and tips and I think that mainly has to do with the motorsport environment as a whole since everyone behind the camera is also a fan. On social media and in the supercars/hypercar community it tends to be pretty competitive. Again this has to do with social media. I’ve had people gatekeep techniques, shows and locations. Most of these people are social media based photographers which makes sense I guess. Nonetheless, the automotive photography community as a whole is very supportive.
Shoot how you want to. Social media has a tendency to reshape photographers creative processes. I see so many people at car shows/events only shooting vertically. I did the same thing for a long time, the only thing I thought about was how these photos are going to look on Instagram. I feel like for me that was unhealthy, however there’s many photographers who definitely benefit from this. Especially ones who shoot exclusively for social media content.
One of my favorite photos ever is by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch and it depicts the Ferrari of Stefan Johansson flying through the chicane at Monaco. Rainer took this photo while Johansson was downshifting, and captured massive flames coming from the exhaust underneath the rear diffuser. He also used a technique called zoom blur where you zoom in or out while dragging the shutter. This photo is just so extreme and perfectly conveys the brutality of F1 during the 80s.
This is tough, I can’t really think of three cars I’d want together in a single shoot that hasn’t been done before. But three cars I’d love to have some time with one day would be a Porsche 917 (any kind), any 50s/60s Ferrari at golden hour and literally anything at a race track. I’m not very picky lol, I just love shooting whatever I can wherever I can!
We're grateful to Jacob George for sharing his experiences in the field of automotive photography. His journey, driven by a profound passion and remarkable skill, is truly inspiring and replete with important learnings. Jacob's ability to capture the essence and beauty of cars is outstanding. We value the expertise he has shared about his art and look forward to his future endeavors as he continues to make a significant impact in the world of automotive photography.
Check out more of Jacob'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!