Car enthusiast, shutterbug, entrepreneur – School News Network

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name: Evan Clark
school: Rockford High School
Crowded: Car photo

Rockford — Like many, this Rockford High School junior was looking for new ways to get busy in the early days of COVID-19 shutdown and quarantine. He is currently the owner / photographer of the Mitten Project, a car photography business.

How old were you when this became something you were interested in, and what was the story there? “Since playing with toys, I’ve always loved cars. I’ve always had a matchbox car in my hand. And I’ve always loved being creative … painting as a kid When I first picked up my mobile phone when I was in junior high school, I started taking pictures with it. ”

When the school was closed for the first time in March 2020, Evan decided to combine the two benefits. He picked up a family camera that his parents didn’t use much and started tinkering with it. He practiced outdoors with various lights. He went to a car show. He started posting images on Instagram @ mittenproject. “Then someone asked me,’Do you take a (photo)?'” And I said, “What’s the shoot?”

Since then, Evan and his business have come a long way. During the school year, he takes pictures of about 5-10 cars a month. During the summer, it approaches 10 to 15 every month. His clients include companies and people who sell cars. But the majority want to buy a nice car and frame the image and share it on social media, or “just take a cool picture of the car because it’s fun to show people cool shots” It is an individual who is out.

He is now growing into a full-fledged entrepreneur with business cards, websites, tariffs, and even jackets with the Mitten Project logo embroidered on them. He says much of his business know-how is self-taught, with the help of YouTube tutorials and a bit of input from public relations expert Papa Craig. “I love learning things. From day one, it was really fun to learn how a business works. I try new things and go there to learn from that experience. It’s a lot of fun to make it your own. “

And while enjoying taking pictures of other subjects, Evan says the car is where his work can really shine. They look cool. Creativity is great for me because there really aren’t any rules about what you can or can’t do. Therefore, there are endless options depending on the type of image you want to create. … In my experience, the car community is also really cool. They are very nice and accepting. “

Photographer Evan Clark next to the McLaren 720S (courtesy)

Some related achievements: This business gave Evan the opportunity to shoot two dream cars. The first white Porsche GT3 RS with black pinstripes and yellow calipers was one of his favorite shoots to date. In the background. The photo came out sweetly. ”

He also traveled to Cadillac to shoot an exact replica of the original Ford GT40, a high-performance endurance race car made to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. “The exact replica of what was in the famous livery (taken a photo) was really cool, as there are only a handful of the original ones left … it’s a very unique car. It’s more than a Lamborghini or McLaren. It’s much more raw and like a race car. ”

Beyond the photography of these bucket lists, Evan says his greatest achievement is the level of business awareness he has achieved so far. “My photos have been reposted on some big Instagram pages from pretty big companies … it’s cool to get that attention from people who are bigger (audience) than I have.”

Is there a teacher who has had a big impact on your work and growth? Evan says graphic design teacher Melissa Burkeholder has “great influence” and helps her learn programs such as Adobe Photoshop and the more complex elements of both photography and graphic design. Photographer Burke Holder invited Evan to work with her at her wedding. This is his first professional people-based photography.

“The way she teaches, and what she teaches, is great. I learned a very complex program from her. I can ask her anytime and she is very kind.”

Do you have any plans to pursue this professionally? Evan says he’s still trying to narrow things down. He has always loved architecture and interior design, and his latest foray into graphic design is also intriguing. “I want to be a full-time photographer, but it can take some time before I can take full-time photos. Now that I’m learning graphic design and interior design, I’m definitely creative. And you can use your photography skills to take pictures of your house, or use your graphic design skills to render … I’m not entirely sure, but it probably includes some design or creative stuff. prize.”

The biggest lesson I learned from my involvement in this is … “Be creative, be yourself, and don’t base yourself on what you’re doing. You can enjoy what others have made, or they. You can evaluate what you’re doing, but you have to be unique, and make sure you’re enjoying (your job). “

Other Hobbies / Interests: Business takes a lot of Evan’s free time, but he also enjoys cycling, hiking, video games, especially car games. He also loves exploring the architecture of the new cities he visits.

Bonus question: You’re a car guy, so what do you want to drive? Evan is currently driving the 2009 Nissan Sentra, which was his parents’ car. He wants to find “something German” who needs a job for his “someday” car and work to make it his own.

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