After attending my first car show at age 9 or 10 with my aunt and uncle, and then going to every car show I could after that, like most other American boys, I developed an interest in cars. I also inherited quite a collection of old car magazines from the fifties and sixties from that same uncle, which may or may not have lead to my interest in publishing.
In the early 1980s, I was going to more car shows and taking pictures of everything on wheels that caught my interest. In 1985, an older, and therefore probably wiser hot rod driving acquaintance told me that I should try to have some of the photos published. I replied, "they'd probably never use them." He came back with, "you know they'll never use 'em if you don't send them in." A few days after that, I sent a letter to STREET RODDER magazine, asking about their photo requirements for freelance photojournalists. The rest is as they say, "history."
Covering a stop-over in Maryland Heights, Missouri on the way to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, circa 1989.
I began selling feature articles to STREET RODDER magazine, with my first published photos being in the February 1986 issue of SRM. Over the years, I began doing event coverage, shop tours, and how-to articles as well. The list of magazines that have published my work now includes HOT ROD; MIDWEST ROD & MACHINE; TRUCKIN'; RODDER'S DIGEST; MUSCLECAR CLASSICS; STREET ROD ACTION; Australia's SUPERCAR; ROD & CUSTOM; CUSTOM RODDER; SUPER CHEVY; CUSTOM CLASSIC TRUCKS; AMERICAN RODDER; HIGH PERFORMANCE PONTIAC; www.SecondChanceGarage.com, www.Hot-Rod-Garage.com., and now RODDING USA. As I met more automotive aftermarket industry leaders, I also began doing product photography, how-to instructions, and catalog development for Pete and Jake's Hot Rod Parts, KC Street Rod Parts, New Port Engineering, Sun Specs, Morfab Customs, and others.
My freelance photojournalism career has allowed me the opportunity to work on hot rods in addition to simply taking pictures of them. More importantly however, it became a springboard to writing automotive how-to books. Now, more than 30 years after writing my first magazine article, I continue writing.
I now have my 1955 Chevrolet pickup home from its previous storage location. The Heidt's front and rear suspension has been installed. Still there is plenty of work to do. Perhaps I just need to take some time off from writing and spend more time working, instead of taking photos of others working.
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