You Don't Suck As Much As You Think You Do (And Neither Do These Guys)

You Don't Suck As Much As You Think You Do (And Neither Do These Guys)

I have a horrible habit of being really hard on myself when I hit a snag in my shooting or processing. Anytime I'm in a rut, things can go haywire. I get depressed, don't feel like working, and become pessimistic. I know it's the same for a lot of other shooters too.

One way I get over it is to go back and look at images from way back before I was shooting professionally.

During a recent trip down memory lane, I thought it would be fun to ask a few of my friends in the industry to do the same. What follows is a gallery from some of the best in the business.  Each of the following photographers is a professional with years of experience and they were all willing to share their progress with all of the internet. Besides, isn’t it great that I get to use a public forum to embarrass some of my friends?

I've gotten their first photo, (or as close to it as possible) and something recent that they're proud of.

One glance at the following images will prove even the best started somewhere.

I'll start with my own:


One of my first photo from about 7 years ago


Something more recent from my trip to Japan with RIDES Magazine


An old photo from the legendary Webb Bland


Webb's latest work for Fiat.


Early work from Oliver Hirtenfelder


Newer work from Oliver.


Dale Martin's early work.


Dale's more recent work.


Early work from Jeremy Cliff.


Jeremy's more recent work.


Early work from Nick Schultz.


Nick's more recent work.


Early work from Armin Ausejo.


Armin's more recent work.


Early work from Clifford Sutrisno.


Clifford's more recent work.


Early Product Photography from Jeff Creech.


Jeff's more recent Product Photography.


Early work from Gabriel Milori.


Gabriel's more recent work.


John Zhang's early work.


John's more recent work.


Early work from GF Williams.


GF's more recent work.


Early work from Dejan Sokolovski.


Dejan's more recent work.


Early work from Ronaldo Stewart.


Ronaldo's recent work for Vossen Wheels.


Early work from Gijs Spierings.


Gijs' more recent work.


An early rig shot from Matt Magnino.


Matt's more recent work.


Early work from everyone's favorite German, Frederic Schlosser.


Frederic's more recent work.


Early work from Clint Davis. (on film too!)


Clint's more recent work. (He still loves this composition.)


Early work from Joshua Coleman.


Joshua's more recent work.


Early work from Johan Lee.


Johan's more recent work.


Early work from Patrick Lauder.


Patrick's more recent work.


Early work from Linhbergh Nguyen.


Linhbergh's more recent work.


Early work from Josh Mackey.


Josh's more recent work.


Early work from Pepper Yandell.


Pepper's more recent work.


Early work from Brad Sillars.


Brad's more recent work.

There you have it. Some of the best at what they do, side by side with where they started.

Next time you're doubting yourself pull this post back up and remember that everyone starts somewhere!

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Look at all my frands <3

also, started from the bottom - now we here.


Haha! Impressive. They've all improved a million.

I secretly think Patrick Lauder's and Pepper Yandell's "before" shots were more interesting (if technically a bit rougher), but don't tell anyone.

Hang on, that came out a bit wrong. It was not meant as a criticism of any of the two fine photographers - far from it - just a celebration of the experimenting of someone "fresh" and just starting out :)

Is it me or are the early works out of order from the recent work? Frederic for example, the 2 cars that look like a snapshot are his recent work? Or am I reading it wrong?

Andrew Link's picture

The captions are under the photos.... Frederics recent work is the moving Porsche.

Andrew Griswold's picture

Dude, this is incredible and a great reminder that everyone starts somewhere. Some unreal examples in this and really refreshing to get reminded the big guys are no different than you and I.

I love that early work photo from Webb Bland of the Mercedes. There are several that looked just as good when they started as they do now.

Jeffrey Eatley's picture

I do this alot me with work... and I love the Mackey shot with motion blur but not in the car windows. That rocks. Now guys... How did you get from point A... just learning to Point M and working in the automotive field?

That is because they all started as photographers but ended up as "PS composers". It's like starting on a bike and finishing in a SUV. Still, Fredrick is my favorite!

Ross Jukes's picture

I agree with an earlier comment, one of the biggest things that appears to have improved is their PS skills, not complaining though, they all look amazing, though I would like to know 'how they got there'. My own work has to improve a lot to even get to the point where some of these guys started :/

trying to one day reach the level of the aforementioned friends

I like your work a lot.

thanks a lot... I needed an article like this.

BLK PXLS's picture

A perfect example of having the eye the for composition and subject before having the technical expertise and better gear. A lot of the early work looks like kits lens with the star light flares and overall sharpness. But as the photographers grew and the knowledge of lighting the images became sharper and life like. They became better in post..i look back on my images from the t2i days and Im like WTF was I doing it then...i just needed time to grow and mature into a "photographer" not a picture taker.

This is so inspiring - it made my evening! Thanks!

No Easton Chang ?... God of Car Photography.. disappointed defiantly would of thought he would of been on this List with some of his inspiring Photographs.

There are some internesting before and after shots in here.

Andrew Link's picture

No one is saying Easton isn't one of the absolute best. He's a friend of mine and would have participated in this post if I had reached out to him. However, I think you missed the point of this post... It's not a ranking of great shooters, it's a sample of some of them and how they've progressed from their first photos to their current work.

i wasn't meaning i was ranking them i just thought it would of been really good to see some of his older work compared to now. Its good to see everyones progress from when they started to their current work and also the cars between those times.


Adam T's picture

So what your saying is your should hire a retoucher :) Sorry I'm just looking at some of those early works and notice that I can make them just as crazy as the noticeably touched up commercial stuff.

to be honest, you can chose not to hire a retoucher in the commercial industry, you can opp to chose to retouch yourself like what webb does. but there are some of us that rather stick to being a true blood photographer and hone our skill in the art of lighting and leave the politics game to the retoucher. if a photographer were to do everything.. 24 hours a day wouldn't be enough. the previous post of 100k invoice is a simple example. a car job's invoice is WAY more complicated than that. I know because I do it nearly on a daily basis. it's called pitching for a project hence daily basis.

LOL clint's quite a classic. you aint too bad yourself too Andrew link.

Andrew Link's picture

lol thanks Andy!

Some of those early works are pretty modern models..