Security Guard Steps Into the Light of Automotive Photography
New-York-City-based artist, filmmaker, and fine-art and commercial photographer Ken Brown got pulled into the world of automotive photography quite serendipitously. We spent some time with Ken to find out how. Click here to view Ken’s website.
Q: How did you become an automotive photographer?
A: When I was 16, I got a job as a security guard at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California. On the side, I would photograph the cars and various events the museum organized. I did this for fun and just for my personal portfolio. Later, when I was 22, I decided to quit my job at the museum, and soon afterwards, the president of the museum called me and told me he had seen my photos and liked them. They were going to put together a catalog for the museum, and he asked if I would be interested in doing the photography for it. I decided to take on the project, and it became a full time job. I ended up working at the museum for 10 years total.
Q: What were some of the more interesting projects you did at Blackhawk?
A: I actually did a lot of taxidermy photos. The museum had a paleontology exhibit with snakes, raccoons, spider specimens, and many other taxidermied animals stored in their archives. I shot all these things late at night. I had to do it, because when else would I get a chance to do that type of thing?
Q: Do you consider yourself a car person?
A: My dad had Triumph Spitfires, three Corvettes, and he built a Cobra, so I’ve always been around cars and really appreciate them, but I’m not a car person per se.
Q: After having photographed so many cars, including some very rare ones, have you developed a taste for any particular ones?
A: Yes, mostly cars designed by Zagato or Allemano. I pretty much like anything Italian, although I’ve also developed a strong taste for the French designer Saoutchick. He designed the Mercedes Benz 540K and the Delahaye 175S which was phenomenal.
Q: Is there any particular time period whose design appeals to you most?
A: Yes, let me answer that in two ways, one photographically, and the second personally.
Photographically, one of my favorite to shoot is the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato.
As for my personal taste, I love the ‘55 Chevy.
Q: What’s the difference?
A: By personal, I mean cars that I’d want to own myself. I wouldn’t want a very expensive, fancy car, because you couldn’t enjoy driving it around. I’d never spend a million on a car and not drive it.
Q: What do you drive now?
A: Nothing, actually, since I live in New York City.
Click here to view Ken’s website.