My father was known for always having a video camera in hand during our family events and gatherings. Seeing dad so dedicated to recording and capturing our precious family moments made me want to follow in his footsteps, and I think this is why picking up a camera came so naturally to me. My other passion growing up was cars; I remember being fourteen when I attended my first car show. Naturally, this was the place that combined my passions, so I took my dad’s camera and photographed all the cars at the event. I sold prints of show cars for twenty-five cents each to my classmates who taped my photographs to the outside of their binders. It marked the humble beginnings of my career and I will always remember those early days.
The love continued, and by age nineteen, I had joined a local car club with my lifted, candied, and patterned-out Regal. We attended multiple car shows all over NorCal and I always had my film camera with me; photography had become my obsession.
I used to daydream of one day having my own Lowrider style magazine and making a living off of it, but I never did anything to make that happen because I was living comfortably. Looking back I guess it was fate, I was laid off from my job and forced to push myself towards my dream of turning my hobby into my career. I decided to start off by making my own calendar with Lowriders. I began searching for cars and models to shoot for my calendar. I found it more difficult than I expected as even though I had attended car shows most of my life, nobody knew who I was and it made it very difficult for people to commit to letting me shoot their cars. Lucinda Keohi was the first model and car owner that I shot, and I’m grateful to her for that and shortly after my shoot, doors started opening for me. Seven years later, I was offered a full-time job with Lowrider Magazine.
I am a living proof that if you work hard, follow your dreams, and push yourself even when you feel that success is beyond your grasp; you can make your dreams come true. They say that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I would have to say that’s true.
If you have what it takes and you have a passion for the Lowrider culture, we are looking for talented and creative photographers from all across the Lowrider world. Please contact Joe Ray via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.