Snider developed a passion for big rigs at a young age, crediting road trips from his then-home in Florida to visit relatives in Roanoke, Va.; stopping at numerous truck stops along the way. He remains to this day a big fan of cabover-style tractors, which is why a goodly number of his calendar photos – including this incredible red machine, shot on location amid the rolling hills of Virginia – include trucks of that now-largely bygone style (at least here in the U.S.)
Use the arrows button to large--these photos are worth it.
For the 2017 Chrome & Elegance calendar, Snider said he switched up his format. Forgoing the studios and set-piece locations used in previous editions, he instead traveled the country coast-to-coast – from California to Oregon, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia – to find unique trucks and spots to photograph them within. “Shooting in the studio actually takes more time,” Snider explained. “It takes more lights and a lot more labor.”
Going on the road, however, requires top-notch location scouting and good “light management” as Snider calls it. “You get a small window of light within which you can best capture the truck,” he explained. But oh how that can produce results, such as this one in front of Oregon’s unique state capitol building.
Here’s an interesting location shoot: the now-closed prison used for the classic 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption (perhaps one of Morgan Freeman’s best movies). Though the film is a prison-drama purportedly based in Maine, the prison location itself is in Ohio. The prison closed in 1991.
At the other end of the architectural spectrum – worlds away from that gothic prison in Ohio – is Milwaukee’s art museum, which provided an almost futurist backdrop for this long-nose conventional Peterbilt. “In many ways I ‘reverse engineered’ this year’s calendar,” Snider noted. “I went out to eye-catching locations instead of creating them in the studio.”
Snider uses fashion models in many of his truck photos in part to pay homage to Pierre Jacot, the original creative director of the Peterbilt Motors Co. "Class Pays" advertising campaigns and calendar shoots from 1975 to 1994. Snider deliberately picked this location spot near the Golden Gate Bridge because Jacot lived just on the other side, in Marin County. Snider had hoped to invite him to this particular location shoot; sadly, Jacot passed away earlier this year.
Getting a chance to capture “road shots” like this one in Klamath County Oregon is one of big things Snider liked about traveling around the country to create the 2017 Chrome & Elegance calendar. He captured all of the images in roughly three months’ time – largely in April this year – and hopes to craft a few “trucks in the snow” photographs for the 2018 edition.
Only half of the photos in this year’s calendar incorporate fashion models with the trucks; the other half focuses on just the trucks themselves. “That allows us to do different things by not having a model; we don’t need a ‘village’ of support people to get her ready,” Snider said.
Snider also made sure to change the direction the trucks pointed in with every shot in an effort to present “new” perspectives with every scene. “Every time someone flips over a page, we want them to see something completely different than what they saw before,” he explained. “It also provided us with more versatility in how we approached our location shoots.”