This months Photographer Spotlight ” Mach1Media “. Jonathan Daniels and Tucker Harris are 2 of the premier automotive photographers in scene. We caught up with Jonathan Daniels for a 1 on 1 interview. Pictures are from both.
ST: Introduce yourself. Let people get to know the man/woman behind the lens
JD: I am Jonathan Daniels, one of the founders of Mach1media. I am 26 years old and have been a serious automotive photographer since I was 18.
ST: When did you get into photography?
JD: I got into photography in middle school. So I would say 11-13 years old. Growing up in Arizona, my friends and I would go out into the desert in our neighborhoods and build bike jumps out of the dirt. This was before every kid had a phone, and my method of getting home on time was one of my parents old flip phones that had a clock and an alarm, and no service. It also had a camera with a ton of filters; inverted, black and white, sepia, monochrome, etc. I would use that to take pics of us jumping or riding around, and fell in love with taking “cool” pictures. Cool being used lightly. After that, my family handed me the camera on family trips, and I took that job very seriously. That transitioned into what I do today!
ST: Do you have any covers and if so, how many?
JD: Yes, we at Mach1Media have a handful of covers over the years. At this time we have 8 covers.
ST: Who are some of your influences?
JD: My influences have fluctuated throughout the years, as I feel I keep finding other photographers or artists that blow my mind and motivate me to push harder and harder. Some current influences are; Mark Riccioni, Webb Bland, Philip Rupprecht, David De Martis, DW Burnett, and Lisa Linke.
ST: When you go do a shoot, what’s in the camera bag?
JD: Canon R5, 24-105 F4, 50mm 1.8, a brick LED light, cleaners and puffers, my SD and CF pouch, batteries, chargers, headache pills, advil, and usually my wireless headphones.
ST: Describe your lighting when and if you decide to use it.
JD: Normally we try to use natural lighting if we can. If we have to use artificial lighting, we have some alien bee strobes that can go remotely anywhere with us, as well as a canon 600ex hotshoe flash for various indoor work.
ST: Describe somethings when you are at a show that makes a truck standout to you.
JD: It’s hard to describe it, but presence. You know a truck is special when it beckons to you from afar. Sometimes you spot a detail, a body line, the fitment, how low it is, or the color itself, so it isn’t necessarily the same thing that will make a truck standout, it will speak to you.
ST: Do you have a favorite shoot you have done? Describe it.
JD: One of my all time favorites was at SEMA 2019. We were wandering around on friday after the show with two giant lifted show trucks. We were pressed for time to find a cool enough spot that checked off all of our wishes, and our friend in one of the show trucks suggested we just pull off in the middle of the strip and shoot. We all agreed it could work, so we did it. Right in front of the Aria hotel on the strip. Two trucks setup in the left turn lane getting pics taken. Two trucks became four. Four became 13. We had SEMA show trucks lining both sides of the central median in the middle of the strip, all parked just hanging out. Everyone was having a blast, the police didn’t mind, we saw all of the other SEMA show vehicles driving past us and got some wild photos. To this day I haven’t had a shoot work out so well for how random it was.
ST: What are your thoughts on the current and future state of the industry?
JD: The current industry has me excited for the future. A lot of photographers have been getting comfortable and are letting quality slide, which has made room for up-and-comers who are really hungry to prove themselves. I love to see new faces killin it! As far as the automotive industry, the EV takeover is upon us. While it makes me ever so slightly fearful for the lifespan of internal combustion motors, I am excited to see what hybrids come out of the American market. The option for big V8’s and substantial electronic motors to exist is there!
ST: What advice would you give to new photographers?
JD: Don’t stop shooting. Stay true to your art and yourself. If you mean it, you’ll make it.
ST: Last minute thoughts you would like to give to the street trucks community.
JD: I’d love to say thank you to Street Trucks as well as everyone in this community and our supporters. To have such a large family means the world to me. I can only hope we have the opportunity to continue to create art and share it with you all!