cars

Lambo’s in Paris

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts flew me to Paris at the back end of last year to create a story around their customer driving experience. Hard to say no to a gig in Paris! It really is an amazing city. Shooting the new Lamborghini Huracan with pro drivers, a stunning hotel and an open brief made for a pretty cool assignment.

We were blessed with perfect weather and a hotel with a real history behind it, especially around the 2nd world war when some pretty important players lodged there. With the hotel’s rich history in mind, we parked two spanking new Huracan’s at the entrance. Old v new. White v colour. Italy v France. It really didn’t matter how it was interpreted. The shots all looked wonderful.

When we hit the streets, the local crowd went wild. Granted the boys were revving the engines whenever they could. The echo was crazy too… through tunnels and bouncing off buildings. We couldn’t have gone unnoticed if we’d tried!

What I love about projects like these is shooting in a new place. Fresh ideas. Fresh spaces. You don’t even have the option to press repeat. I spent a day walking around downtown Paris, spotting sites, backdrops, colour and iconic landmarks. Paris has so much to offer. We tried driving shots around the Arc the Triomph but it proved just too chaotic and has some pretty strict traffic rules.

I think the icing on the cake must have been shooing at Place de Costa Rica. I found it during my recce and it just seemed to scream Paris. A friendly Parisian on a bike couldn’t have cycled into the shot at a better time…

Wk.

Kuwaiti car culture

How much magic can you fit into ten consecutive and insanely long days?

The answer is lots! I was fortunate enough to spend a decent spell in Kuwait just before the summer, building a portfolio of local imagery for one of Kuwait’s largest car retailers. As is the case with many brands, the Kuwaiti marketing teams for brands like BMW, Land Rover, Mini, Rolls Royce and McLaren all struggle with the international imagery supplied by their respective HQ’s. Stunning the images may be but they’re simply not relevant to Kuwait as the country doesn’t have green countryside, rolling hills, lush forests, fresh snow or fields of tulips and sunflowers. My job then was to find out exactly what Kuwait has on offer.

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Wouter Kingma Blog for Kuwait Car shoot04

A recce trip end of last year left us with a wish list of locations including urban cityscape, open roads, desert landscape, roof tops, rock formations and heritage sites. The country certainly has a strong offering of backdrops… you have to put in the effort to find them. I recall flying over Kuwait city on the way in and peeking through the window for exciting places to shoot. Admittedly, then I felt a little panicked. Clearly, a quick fly over wasn’t going to cut it but thanks to our great fixer, Adil, we managed to find a cool mix of locations to work at.

Briingggg… went the first of many 4am alarm calls. I’m always keen to shoot cars during the very early morning light. Starting with static shots and studio flash, I moved onto car-to-car photography as the sun just started to peek over the horizon then, if the location justified it, I would shoot a few more static shots before taking a much needed coffee break. Sales of Starbucks surely peaked during my stay. Next, I would download my cards, check the images, have a quick recap with the client at the dealership then wash, prep and change cars to start the very same thing in reverse during the afternoon and into sunset. This for ten days straight left me pretty exhausted having clicked just under 29,000 frames in total!

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Wouter Kingma Blog for Kuwait Car shoot03

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Needless to say, Kuwaitis love their cars, luxury ones in particular and better still, customised and personalised. I got to shoot some pretty fast and exclusive models so whilst I can’t guaranteed leaving without any speeding tickets, I’m pretty sure I left behind some iconic car images that tick all the boxes.

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Wouter-M4-Kuwait-150Quick selfie using the iPad and CamRanger app

My final memory was during the return flight home. Looking out of the plane window, I recognised certain landmarks and spotted locations where we’d shot. This seemed like a cool way to finish off the shoot. Kuwait certainly makes for a great drive and is home to an awesome bunch of people. Thank you!

 

Wk.

This is why I love car shoots

For some reason the bulk of my work entails the shooting of cars and in particular, luxurious and fast ones. So when a SUV brand got in touch about shooting their big car out in the big dunes, it felt like a nice addition to the mix. Any excuse to hit my favourite desert location… The Empty Quarter.

For this gig, we produced a short behind the scenes video of the two days we had the new Infiniti QX80… sharing why we get up at 4am, why it’s important to work with pros and why it’s always worthwhile going the extra mile to shoot in the second largest desert in the world. Yes, The Empty Quarter is a long drive from Dubai and requires some serious desert driving skills but with a great team it is very doable.

At the end of the day, the agency gives you a brand new, often pre-production, car which has a back to back media and launch schedule. The car, needless to say, needs to be returned in one piece! We did just this… along with a collection of stunning images.

 

Wk.

Freedom Pizza Digested

Freedom Pizza (formally known as NKD) is a brand to watch out for. It’s an Canadian franchise brand introduced to the region by Ian Ohan, a driven entrepreneur overflowing with energy and ideas. Love spending time with him! He brings so much to the scene, is always on a positive energy high. You see this carry through in how they run their business and in all their activities.

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Over the coming weeks, NKD will be giving away a chaffy Charger, together with presenters at Dubai92 and the Autodrome… a chance to burn some rubber through branded pizza boxes. Before you know it, there are multiple players with multiple messages. With a brief that read… (more…)

Bentley GT V8 S and stunning Oman

When it comes to beautiful landscapes, Oman never fails to deliver. And similarly, when it comes to beauty on wheels, nor does the Bentley GT. We had three days to create a set of regional images for Bentley’s latest model, the 521 bhp Bentley GT V8 S, three days to work magic with this stunning car.

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I’ve been commissioned by Bentley a number of times and it’s always proved to be sheer, exhilarating visual excitement. As it panned out, it was a pretty high performance gig, involving a fancy hotel, stunning road and these luxury wheels. I could get used to this… (more…)

Sharing the love for car photography (workshop)

In the years that lead up to my starting my own business, being involved in different training  workshops featured quite heavily in my life. I wrote various courses for Accor Academy and my time at the Land Rover / Jaguar regional office in Dubai had a 30% focus on training. ‘Dipped in Green’, in particular, developed into a memorable three days brand experience. To date, I still meet participants who refer to it with fond memories. At the end of last year, I also held a Canon photography workshop, and if all goes to plan, we’ll see more of them soon.

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So when Motoring Middle East called to see if I was interested in running a car specific photography workshop, I jumped at the idea. I’m always keen to share and help others take it to the next level… and when it comes to car photography, I’m sure I have a few… (more…)

Ferrari Berlinetta F12

I must say I felt pretty privileged to be the first photographer to shoot the new Ferrari Berlinetta F12 on a racing track. It’s the most powerful machine they’ve ever built and with 740 bhp, she really is a high performance beauty as well as being stunning to boot.

Wouter Kingma Blog - Ferrari at Yas for F1201

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Together with the FF and California, we got to have a go at the Yas Grand Prix circuit in Abu Dhabi. As most of you know, I love getting up close to the action and my preferred way to shoot a car is from a car, that is lying in the trunk of a lead car with the subject nice and close behind. At modest speed, it’s all about hand signaling brand viagra canada their position back and forth… back, forward, right, left. Working with pro Ferrari (more…)