In the realm of automotive photography, few names shine as brightly as Timmy Gregson. Hailing from the picturesque city of Kelowna, British Columbia, Timmy has carved a niche for himself, capturing the essence of luxury and speed through his lens. His work with August Motorcars, renowned for their expansive inventory of exotic cars and his collaborations with YouTube sensations Daily Driven Exotics have further cemented his status as a star in automotive photography.
For our interview, we'll take a closer look at Timmy's creative process. What goes into capturing the perfect shot of a car that's as much a work of art as it is a machine? How does he approach a new project, and what challenges does he face in this highly specialized field? Timmy will share his tips and tricks, offering valuable insights for anyone looking to break into automotive photography.
To check out more of Timmy Gregson's work, please check out his Instagram here.
I’ve been using a camera since I was a kid, messing around shooting bike videos then editing them with windows movie maker. I kind of lost touch with shooting when biking took over but when I moved out west and riding that way came to an end, I knew I needed something to dive into and get good at. I’ve always loved cars, to me they represent the ultimate freedom. It doesn’t matter if it's the middle of the day or midnight, you can get in the car, throw on some good tunes and go exploring. Because of the type of riding I did I was very comfortable in going very fast in tight sketchy spaces and my love for cars eventually merged and drew me to rally racing. It was then I knew what I wanted to do, but for anyone who knows the expenses that come along with racing is ridiculous so I needed a way to get money, or get in the room with the right people.
After working my part time retail job for years I had enough. Through tough times I would grab my camera and get out to shoot to blow off steam and ease my mind, but in doing that I began to fall in love with shooting. Over the next couple years I shot almost everyday, learning the art of photography and challenging my creativity in a way I never had before. This eventually led me to putting the pieces together and realizing I could make a career out of shooting cars. After work I would leave and go straight downtown and hunt for hours for nice cars to shoot (thankfully Kelowna has no shortage of them). Over the course of a few years this not only built my photography skills further but I built a network of the owners of all the nicest cars in the city, and met some amazing people along that path.
Looking back if I had to pick a defining moment that made me realize this was what I wanted to commit to. I heard of this guy named Jackson who had moved to Kelowna and that he had a super clean re-creation of the orange Supra from the first Fast and Furious. As timing works out about a week later we had our annual fathers day car show and he was there. I went up and was chatting about the car and he asked what I did for work, and for the first time instead of saying I worked retail I told him I was an Automotive Photographer. I’m not gonna lie, it felt pretty cool to say that, and he thought that was awesome and wanted to book a shoot with me. For some reason after that my mindset towards the whole thing changed. It set a fire in me that made me want to be the best. Of course now, years later I realize when it comes to creativity there is no “best”. At least once a week to this day I’m still learning new things, and that never really ends. Everybody has a different style and vision, the true joy I still find to this day is collaborating with awesome people and creating cool shit!
"The man who enjoys walking will walk further than the man who enjoys the destination” - Sam Sulek.
That's a tough one. I think you just know when you see it. I do think that composition, lighting, and angles are the most important ingredients for a great shot though. For example you could take a Honda Civic and if all of those things are on point it'll look sick, then take a Lambo and have a bad exposure, crappy angle and the shot just isn't set up properly you’ll really see the difference. However something I do enjoy doing when I can is taking a car out of its environment to have it stand out more. I took a Porsche Taycan to the top of a grassy mountain(on the grass, not the road) and shot it with the lake and valley in the background which I would consider out of its element, or a full blown Rally car downtown Vancouver. The point is they are out of place so already its drawing your attention in and then add a badass edit on top, that's a recipe for a banger right there.
It's hard to define your own style. I would say I just enjoy replicating what it looks like in your mind's eye when you see a cool car. Trying to replicate those daydreams you have when you think of a car you love and then turning it into a photo. I dabbled in photoshop a lot and pushed images pretty far but when I stepped back I didn't even like the result, I just liked furthering my skillset. These days I like to keep it simple and clean yet captivating; a fine line to walk.
I wouldn't say I’ve had any specifically tough photoshoots, but I will say shooting Rally's is tough man. I work closely with my buddy Ian (@thiessenshoots) who is a very talented photographer as well and basically comes on all my shoots with me. We’ve shot a number of rallies together now and it's always an absolute logistical nightmare. Trying to capture 30+ cars and make it look clean, navigating around traffic with that number of cars and finding a road long enough to shoot them all and parking lots are pretty much the only place to park with that many people so cool photos and creative control are fairly limited.
Some guys are all about the photos, others are just wanting to get to the restaurant, others don't understand how rollers work and a hundred other things compound and at the end of the day you go home hoping you got as many bangers as possible. But even with all that I absolutely love it. I’ve met some truly awesome people on rallies over the years and I’m sure that won't stop anytime soon!
The crazy part is you could legitimately become a professional photographer with a phone these days. A few years ago I bought a battery grip because I have bigger hands which has been amazing and I wouldn't shoot without it unless my camera was on a gimbal. But I recently got a Magicrig cage and it doesn't fit with my grip so I had to lose the grip and I actually just enjoy the cage now. So that would be the only thing, otherwise I truly need everything else to get the results I want.
While I can definitely have moments of being competitive, I’ve come to learn that there's enough of the pie to go around for everyone. I like to be in competition with myself and always trying to understand mistakes as I make them and course correct moving forward. I like to take inspiration from other photographers and as I learn more I see things I wouldn’t have seen before which I can then implement and see if it works or not for my style. I think learning the tools(editing software) allows you to get creative with the tools you know you have at your disposal. YouTube is your best friend.
With trends always changing and new styles created I think just keeping up with new things you see and taking things you like in other people's work and experimenting with new creative styles or outlooks in your own. With Automotive photography, in an ideal situation you basically control every variable from the car to the environment to the lighting and angles etc. Changing up your usual spots and going somewhere you think would be hard to get a good photo and just let your creativity take over is a fun thing I like to do. It challenges me and makes me always find new ways to work with the environment and that usually leads to cool things!
I think everyone has an inherent need to be the best at whatever they are passionate about, but not to beat everyone else, to become the best you can be so that regardless of the variables you're ready for anything. I definitely do see it on social media though, people wanting more clout and more attention but I think that's just something that comes with the territory and reality of social media. The human ego is definitely a finicky little bugger.
If I had to say anything it would be to just learn how to use all Lightroom and photoshop have to offer sooner. I can’t really think of much to be honest, every chapter in my career was important to fill a piece of the puzzle that is where I am today. Something that I did, but can not overstate the importance of is your network. The old cliché saying “your network is your net worth” could not be more true. People like to think they achieve things on their own but it truly is your network and the people you surround yourself with that make things happen. I can look back and say with certainty I would not be able to do what I do everyday without great people around me.
I don’t have one favorite photo but I do have favorite photos from different times in my career. Like I'll look back on a group of photos I took in 2017, 2018, etc. and although I can noticeably see changes throughout the years, I have favorite photos from each of those eras. They are photos that at the time made me think “this just leveled me up” and funny enough they usually always come after a creative rut.
This is a question every car guy will hate, you pick three but then you remember 4 more you absolutely love and its a slippery slope. BUT if I had to choose just 3, absolutely number 1 is a 991.2 GT3 RS, absolute perfection, then a Huracan Performante and last but not least a 458 Speciale. Those 3 specifically because they are so different from each other and also I love them. The GT3 RS aside from literally everything being perfect is the flat 6 engine, then the V8 of the Speciale which is literally a work of art, I understand why they put some Ferraris in museums, and the bull of a V10 in the perf, which is an absolute weapon and just badass.
Thanks for sending these over! I’m glad I got the chance to answer them. It made me reflect a lot on the last half decade or so and realize more than ever that this is what I love doing! Cheers.
We'd like to sincerely thank Timmy Gregson for sharing his experiences and insights with us in the world of automotive photography. His journey, filled with passion and skill, is both inspiring and informative. Timmy's ability to capture the beauty and power of automobiles in his photography is truly impressive, and we appreciate him taking the time to discuss his work and passion with us. His contributions to the field are notable, and we look forward to seeing more of his captivating work in the future.
Check out more of Timmy'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!