Michael.A.LaCombe@gmail.com (313)402-5385

2011 North American International Auto Show


It’s been a while. I haven’t blogged in a little over a week, and in a way, it’s a good thing. So many great things have happened over the course of the past week that have kept me busy, highlighted by the subject of this post: The 2011 North American International Auto Show. I was hired by a very popular car blog to shoot the press preview for the 2011 NAIAS, and I owe it all to Twitter.

I’ve been on Twitter for a little over 2 years, and during that time, I’ve met so many great people. Twitter has been useful to me in ways that few people can understand, and its existence is entirely responsible for my stumbling upon this opportunity. In short, I follow the official Twitter page of the NAIAS. The founder of the aforementioned blog tweeted that he needed a photographer to shoot the show. The NAIAS page retweeted that tweet, I saw it, and the rest is history.

I had no idea what I was in for. It was a long and hectic day… and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I woke up at 3:30 am, and got downtown at 4:30am. The media center opened at 5, and we began working.  Basically, my job (as well as the other photographer there) was to shoot the press conferences. All the major companies had the conferences scheduled, and we had the schedules. When the conference started, the CEO (or whoever was presenting) would come out and speak about the companies achievements in 2010, and their goals for 2011. Then they would bring out a new vehicle, talk about it, and then we’d be allowed to come up and shoot it.

The reason the day was so hectic for me (besides starting at 5am and ending at 7pm) was that the media center was on the 3rd floor of Cobo. Additionally, the bloggers who hired me were live blogging the show. So I had to get the images to them immediately. I would run downstairs, shoot the conference, then run back up to the 3rd floor. I’d give them my memory card, swap it out for another, then run back down to catch the next conference. This happened over and over all day.

One of the ways in which I made sure I was able to get the best images possible was that I got down there early. If the press conference was scheduled to start at 2:30, I’d be at the location at 2:00. This got me in the first row of every single press conference, so I was already setting myself up for success. The down side was that I had to sit there for an hour. Eventually, when the press conference started and they brought a car out, I’d be able to shoot unobstructed pictures from my seat. Then, when they allowed the press up on the stage, I’d have the best angle to get up there first. So I was able to get a lot of unobstructed pictures of the cars, despite the entire scene being a huge dogfight.

All in all, it was a great experience. I’m thankful to be able to have my press badge as a sort of keepsake from the event. I’m also thankful to have this shoot on my “resume.” Being able to shoot the very first NAIAS event – before the charity show and before it opens to the public – is special. While it was a very hectic day, it was a learning experience and an accomplishment I can be proud of. It also was the first in a long line of great photography-related incidents that took place over the course of the past week, but more on that later.

If you want to see all of the images from the 2011 NAIAS, check out the Flickr photo album.


One response

  1. Wow, you captured some amazing images!
    I love your work ethic too. Work smart not hard! 🙂 Getting to the conferences early was a great idea.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:06 PM

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