I’ve helped out on a few car photo shoots. My fingers are still recovering from frostbite after spending a day on Dartmoor with Simon Clay. He was shooting a Volkswagen Touareg and I forgot my gloves. It was cold. It was wet. My fingers hated it.
That’s me in the photo. That’s me in the Touareg, warming my fingers. With apologies to Michael Stipe.
Simon Clay is a great guy to work with. Not only is he warm (unlike my fingers), easy-going and professional, he’s also clear on what he wants from a driver. Wear dark clothing, maintain a steady speed, and never, ever looking at the camera. Never.
It’s harder than you think. Imagine if somebody says “don’t look now” or “don’t laugh, but…”. You’ll almost certainly look or laugh.
It’s the same with looking at the camera. Just concentrate on the speed, keep your eyes on the road ahead, don’t look at the… drat, too late. The photographer won’t discover your ineptitude until they get home to edit the photos. One job. You had one job.
Here are ten examples of drivers who didn’t get the memo about diverting their eyes from the camera. Say ‘cheese’.
Is that Goldeneye’s Boris Grishenko in a Daihatsu Sirion? He’s testing the handling to the limit, so he must feel invincible. Or something.
Does that look like the face of a lady who’s enjoying herself? No, it’s a glimpse into the soul of every Mitsubishi Mirage owner in the UK. That’s what it feels like to discover that you bought the wrong small car.
Peek-a-boo. He thought he could hide behind the Celerio’s A-pillar. He was wrong. Caught you looking.
This chap is obviously enjoying the ride and handling of a car that shares a platform with the Ford Fiesta. Either that or he’s thinking about the payday when he sells the photos to LV insurance. Have love, will travel.
All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out faces. The Skoda Fabia Estate is one of the most practical and underrated cars you can buy. This chap is wearing a forlorn look that suggests he would rather be at home watching paint dry. Just think how many tins of Dulux you could cram into the 505-litre boot.
There’s a hint of Roy Keane in this epic beard. If Keano told you the Hyundai i30 N was more thrilling than the Volkswagen Golf GTI, you wouldn’t argue. He might have a point.
That’s the face of a man who has just realised that he will be associated with the slightly embarrassing ‘M1 CRA’ number plate. That’ll teach him for looking at the camera.
It’s like a scene from The Apprentice. The show in which the candidates seem ill-suited for the task at hand. You know, like driving without looking at the camera. She gets it. He doesn’t. You’re fired. Thanks for the opportunity, Lord Sugar.
Is that a grimace or a grin? Either way, I really fancy a Toyota Corolla T Sport. I’m sure this lady enjoyed taking the car to the 8,200rpm red line. Nice.
To be fair to the Touareg driver, he’s staring right down the barrel of the, er… camera. Short of adjusting the touchscreen infotainment system or checking his mirrors, he had little choice but to look at the camera. He doesn’t look as cool as that chap on Dartmoor, mind.
In truth, this is one of those ideas that sounds good at 3am, but loses its lustre after 700 words. Still, that won’t stop PetrolBlog from using the 10 of the best platform for looking at the best cars for goats or the best cars if your name is Derek.