As a teenager I had a not-uncommon interest in cars. However it wasn’t until my mid 20s that I got around to passing my driving test. It was then a few years after that when I got around to owning a car. My first car was a Mini which, after a year of ownership, got handed to a tuning company for some upgrades to make it even more fun. After that I had a Mk1 MX-5, then a Lotus Elise and more recently a Lotus Europa S. A fairly consistent theme has been cars which aren’t terribly practical but, in my opinion, are fun to drive and aesthetically pleasing. It wasn’t until around the time I was starting to get into photography that I began to bother with car meets/shows – I’m not that interested in talking about cars but I do enjoy trying to take good photos of them. One of my weaknesses is in staging photos – I’m not great at choosing locations or selecting where to position a car, so I tend to stick with photographing cars where I find them at shows and meets.
Less than 45 minutes drive away from home is the Brooklands Motor Museum near Weybridge. They regularly host car events there of various different types and sizes (ranging from modest car club meets, right up to the insanely busy Auto Italia event). With the sheer variety of event there I found myself going several times a year and ended up joining as a paying Brooklands Trust Member – this means I can get in for free for most events (and vastly reduced price for those that charge), which is nice as I can happily just pop along to the small events even if it may only be of interest for half an hour. One of my photos from an event was selected by the BTM magazine as a winning photo for the year of photos taken by visitors and posted to their social media, which was lovely.
Having been a Lotus owner I’ve also been a member of SELOC for a number of years. A regular local-ish event is the monthly Newlands Corner meet, which I’ve often attended and usually take a number of photos at. Both due to having owned a couple of different Lotuses and attending a lot of the meets I’ve photographed each Lotus model quite a few times so it becomes a challenge to try capture something that feels new/fresh as time goes on. I’ve also gone along to a few other Lotus events, including The Lotus Forums national meet, and a couple of Lotus Europa S/SE owners meets.
The Pistonheads online forum tends to organise regular meets at car-related locations around the country (such as motor museums, manufacturer HQs, etc) so I’ve gone along to a number of those over the years. It’s a good chance to see, and photograph, a good variety of cars (both rare and not-so-rare) owned by car enthusiasts as well as any cars provided by the location itself. For a while there were regular meets at Virginia Water as well, although they were a victim of their success and became too popular for the venue to feel comfortable with.
This is a small classic and sports car show held in Thatcham to raise money for charity. It’s a delightfully informal show which always has a great turn out with a fantastic variety of cars, usually including at least a couple of rarities. While I was a Lotus owner I attended the show a few times over the years, both with my Elise and my Europa S, usually joining a few other Lotus owners for a small convoy from a nearby meeting point.
There are plenty of other shows I’ve attended over the years. Until they became a bit too insanely popular/busy I was regularly going to the Goodwood Breakfast Club meets, similarly the Wilton Classic/Supercar show. The Hambleden Classic/Sports car show has always been a lovely little charity show in picturesque surroundings.