Specializing in automotive and lifestyle photography, Brad Longworth is a professional photographer originally from Liverpool, England he's now based in Auckland, New Zealand. He's been travelling pretty much constantly since 2016 and has started and grown his photography business in this time. We talk to brad about his journey and his story behind the image.
Hi Brad, tell us about yourselfI’m Brad, an automotive and lifestyle photographer based in Auckland, NZ. What started as a hobby to document my travels quickly became a passion and then spiraled out of control and has now become my career… It’s pretty sweet. Having lived in Australia, most of South East Asia and now in New Zealand over the last 5 years, I’ve been working with a range of brands in order to improve their online marketing and social media content. From Aston Martin and Triumph Motorcycles to Quadlock phone cases and many clothing brands, I’ve sparked some awesome relationships and I feel like this is only just the beginning.
Whilst I’ve shot plenty of things to make ends meet, these days I focus more on the automotive space and thrive when shooting some fast-paced action and wild adventures. I suppose that’s the kind of niche I’ve settled into and that’s where most of my clients come from. Bridging the gap between automotive and lifestyle is what I like to do most and I hope that is something which shows in my images.
What's in your Camera Bag, Film, Digital or both?When Covid isn’t around, I generally travel quite a bit so I like to keep my kit as compact and lightweight as possible. I use a Sony A7R3 mirrorless body (with an A73 as a backup), plus the following:
- Tamron 28-75 2.8
- Tamron 70-180 2.8
- Sigma 100-400
- Sigma 35mm 1.4 prime
- Sony 85mm 1.8 prime
- Okko Pro CPL filters on all lenses
- Nanlite Forza 60 (with softbox) and a few Pavotubes for lighting
All of the camera gear fits in my Langly Globetrotter camera bag and comes with me on most shoots. The lights have their own bags/cases and only come with me occasionally.
My most memorable photo would have to be the one I got of a 1959 Ferrari 250 Testarossa, during a textbook sunset in Christchurch, NZ.
What’s your most memorable photo?
For those who don’t know cars, this is an iconic classic Ferrari which is worth many, many millions of dollars and is from one of the most exciting racing eras. Not to mention that they’re just stunning. The owner of the car contacted me as he wanted some images to showcase the final restoration and he was happy for me to come up with a plan of attack for it, so I rustled up a bit of a day-drive around some scenic locations; Sunrise failed due to weather (and a flat battery of all things) but towards the end of the day, the clouds and the sun began to align and everything was falling into place in the most perfect way.
We got to Gibraltar Rock (one of my favourite spots) just 20 minutes before the sun set and I started shooting as much as I could to make the most of the light. Even in camera, the images just looked exactly how they looked in my head prior to the shoot - it was perfect. Once the sun dropped below the horizon, we decided that we had enough to work with and we enjoyed a nice blast around the hills as golden hour gradually faded. There are few words which can explain the feeling of riding shotgun in a multi-million dollar, classic Ferrari with a roaring naturally aspirated V12 at high RPM… Especially after just nailing a bucket list shoot.
What does your next photography adventure look like?I’ve got a few things in the works at the moment but a couple I’m excited for are an adventurous camping trip on a couple of new Harley Davidson Pan America motorcycles and a pretty wild off-road adventure with a classic BMW R80 cafe racer in the sand. Hopefully there’ll be some international travel to shoot some prototype machines too, but I can’t say too much about that one just yet.
How has photography evolved since you’ve started shooting?I started out with a Nikon D5100 DSLR back in 2014 or so and although I don’t have the latest and greatest camera body even now, the tech has changed things dramatically. It’s incredible how more advanced and intuitive cameras have become even in that short amount of time. It’s become a lot more accessible for people to pick up a camera and create good results, even with less experience.
The social media + online revolution has made it super easy for people to learn and progress too. I’m pretty much self-taught and the likes of Youtube, Instagram and Facebook have contributed a lot to the things I know now.
Where will we find you when you’re not taking photos?If I’m not out shooting, I’m either sitting at my laptop planning the next shoots and speaking with clients or I’m out riding my motorcycle and exploring the beautiful place I call home now.
What advice have you got for the younger you, just starting out on your photography adventures?Jump into it. Throw everything you’ve got at it from the start and work on becoming the best you can possibly be. Don’t compare your work to others and don’t beat yourself up because it’s not as good as theirs. Be confident in what you’re doing and shoot the things you enjoy. Focus on creating the best images you can, not just making money. That will come naturally.
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