A Triumph of Triangles – A Magazine-Style Photo Shoot with a 1957 Triumph TR3

Our friend, Leonardo Carrizo, is a multi-media storyteller who travels around the world capturing the story behind the destination.  In this stateside 2-part blog entry, Carrizo take us behind the scenes of a vintage car photo shoot with Fuji and Lumopro gear!


It’s Sunday June 11, 2017.  Instead of packing for Monday, when I’ll be leaving the USA for a two month photo-travel adventure to Ecuador and Spain, I’ve decided to setup a car photo shoot. I called my friend Chris, who is the owner of a very cool 1957 Triumph TR3 that I wanted to photograph. Chris is always willing to let me photograph his amazing collection of cars and motorcycles.  In addition, his daughter Morgan was willing to model with the car. Chris also brought a friend, Jesse, who helped with the car (and lights). It doesn’t get any better than this! Actually, it does! Midwest Photo let me borrow some equipment for my trips and I wanted to try them out before I left the country. In this post, I’m going to walk you through my creative process for this shoot.

I like to have a story, at least in my mind, for every photo shoot. In this case, I approached this opportunity as if I was shooting for a car magazine client or an advertising agency. The fact that Morgan was there added personality and character in the scene. Her presence would create a more dynamic photo scene because now I have the chance to create a better story line. In other words, I could attempt to create a personal experience for the viewer. I wanted them to see themselves in the image.

Since every element in this shoot gave me a sense of strength, the environment should do the same. For example, this 1957 TR3 is now considered a vintage car because it withstood time; it has a cool patina to prove it. I interpreted that as strength. Similarly, Morgan’s look and style showed toughness. Therefore, I wanted the environment to complement this idea and an airplane hanger as a background works very well for this. The environment is also part of the story line. It provides another important characteristic to the shoot. I always look for big open spaces where I can take advantage of the horizon, sky and sun.

So basically, I was working with: a vintage car, cool girl and an airplane hanger… not much 😉

Once I had the Fuji X-Pro 2 in my hands, it was like going back in time for me. The Fuji X-Pro 2 is a mirrorless rangefinder camera that feels like a classic 35mm rangefinder camera.


Midwest let me use a new Fuji X-Pro 2 and it was the first camera I picked on the shoot to warm up.  Once I had the Fuji X-Pro 2 in my hands, it was like going back in time for me. The  Fuji X-Pro 2 is a mirrorless rangefinder camera that feels like a classic 35mm rangefinder camera. I loved that feeling! I paired it with the Fujifilm 35mm f/2 WR lens and I was in heaven. Here are a few simple images straight from the camera doing a walk-around the car.

I didn’t get too fancy with the Fuji X-Pro 2 as we were only working on poses with Morgan and exploring the car. Notice the lines and angles created by her arms and legs as well as the diagonal lines created by the car and tilt of the camera. Whenever possible, you want to create lines and angles which can produce triangles in your photographs. This provides direction for the eyes to follow within the frame.  It can also create depth if you have a foreground element and the lines lead towards the background, hopefully to another visual element. As much as possible try to avoid flat images. I took a few detailed images inside the car with a shallow depth of field to give you the general sense of the car.

Even though I only played just a little bit with the Fuji X-Pro 2, the camera made a good impression on me. I knew I was going to have with it me during my trip and I was looking forward to doing street photography and travel with it- check out my blog from Quito. Now let’s go back to the car photo shoot.

We were shooting around noon on a sunny day with no shade so the light was very strong and from above. Not the best time of day or quality of light for portraits.  Earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon would be better to take advantage of softer shadows, warmer colors and the lateral direction of light. As a photographer, you can get frustrated in these situations. You have to work with the light that’s available when you are shooting and just be prepared creatively in any lighting conditions.

As I said at the beginning, I was thinking this was an actual photo shoot for a magazine so I had my small lighting kit ready. In the next post, I’ll talk about how I used a reflector and a LumoPro flash to improve the lighting and create more dramatic environmental portraits.

Check out Leonardo’s work at his website and Instagram!

Also, check out this interview of Leonardo from the MPEX Blog!

Leonardo will be teaching, Photo Destination: The Galapagos Islands at Midwest Photo’s Learning Studio on Saturday Feb 17th. Register here!

Midwest Photo

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