If it is a coffee table book about cars, I suggest that you prepare, prepare, prepare and then get
ready. That is what I have learned from doing a couple of books for Bob Marvin who owns The Shed in
The first time I met Bob Marvin was at a car show in Sprague, Manitoba and he had a Yenko
Camaro on display at what would be classified as a small local show. If you are not a car person and don’t
know (as I did not) a Yenko Camaro is a big deal, there might not even be one in Manitoba and Bob has 7
in his collection.
I was writing for a car publication and did a cover story on the Camaro, when it was published I
took a few copies to Bob as a courtesy. That was my first visit to The Shed, little did I know that Bob
would become a good friend, and I would spend more than a few hours in the Man Cave that is an annex
to The Shed.
Bob was happy with his copies of the publication and a short conversation revealed he would like
a coffee table book featuring the cars of his museum. I went home and did my home work on
photographing classic automobiles, then I spend a few visits to Warroad scouting locations that would be
suitable for the cars. Then I prepared some more, I read everything I could find about photographing cars,
I did test shots of the locations I had scouted. To the point of having a dozen locations and noting when
the light was best at each one and how it changed during the day.
Then I developed a schedule of how I would shoot the 100 plus cars over 4 weekends, shooting
two days per weekend. This allowed us time for bad weather if it did happen, show cars do not come out
in the rain.
I was getting close to ready to do the shoot and I stopped by the Shed to check the details with
Bob, “Oh, we are having the floor redone in here, and the cars are moving to the arena on Sunday. I have
the car club helping move them. Lets shoot on Sunday” he said.
“Sure,” I replied, and began to make a plan. We began shooting at 8 am and finished just before
10 pm. We had completed the pics of about 80 cars, and I have nearly 4,000 pictures to select from. The
work on this book was only beginning, but preparation had got me through the first day.