Here we go again – Ben is digging through his archives…
I tend to do this every now and again, especially when I ease into my “slow” season. Going back to old photoshoots and events. This week, I wanted to share some of my favorite OG Riverside photos I took 5 years ago. I hope you all enjoy – Ben.
The night before Riverside, there were some pre-meets happening around town. After they all ended, our friend Sinh Nguyen invited me to what would be my first ever group photoshoot as a photographer. These next few photos are largely what got me started in automotive photography. Peep a wild Steffan in the photo above – suh dude!
This was also my first gas station impromptu photo shoot. Nowadays, I reserve these kinds of shoots to night time only. Also, throwback to when Sinh had the black, bagged Z.
From left to right: Steffen’s Accord, Garret’s Subi & Sinh’s Z. Shots were taken inside of our local CARTA bus station after hours.
We ended up sneaking Steffen’s Accord under the arch at the aquarium that night. Unfortunately, this area is now barricaded to where you can’t pull cars up there anymore.
Sinh is one of, if not the largest inspiration for me to push harder into photography. I captured him in the wild doing his thing with his Sony A7Rii – a camera that I now own as well.
See the guy directing traffic? That’s Mason Gavin. He’s one of the main reasons Riverside exists. I’m grateful to call this guy my friend. Mason, if you are reading this, thank you for all you do for the community. You and the team at Riverside are all real MVP’s.
If I remember correctly, Scottie’s car is closest, James Church’s VIP’dOut Genesis is in the middle and Nathan Hay’s Focus is in the back.
This was the first show of its kind in Chattanooga. Living here all of my life, it was so unique to see this incredible mix of cars.
I mostly took photos of my friends cars that attended the show. Most everything else in this gallery will be specifically folks I know, but it’s all quality stuff. Dustin Evans brought his Acura, which was a relatively new build at the time.
This was like the 2nd or 3rd iteration of this Speed3. Tyler Miller had this car stanced out, then track style (as pictured) and then later, lifted. This car definitely went through some changes over the years, but this part was special. Check out the custom fender flares!
I’m pretty sure this was the first R32 sedan I had ever seen on air suspension. C.J.’s R32 now sits on BC Forged wheels with a more track focused stance.
Adam’s ITR was in its “green phase” at this point. Since then, it has seen orange, and now blue. Wishing I had a better photo with Danyelle’s Fit next to it. Both cars are at the top of the Honda game, as far as I’m concerned.
I did a throwback feature on this car not too long ago. Nate Cagle’s Datsun. Still not another one quite like it and I doubt there ever will be.
Jhonny’s G35 caught my eye that day. I remember it was my first time meeting him. Super cool dude – he poured his heart and soul into this G35. Everything on it done to the nines.
This was also the day that I first got to spend time with Donte and his Bosozoku Supra. This was the first iteration of the car, it is now a different scheme and I can’t wait to shoot it – hopefully soon!
After the show, I was invited to an abandoned facility for a private group shoot. To this day, it is in my top 3 shoots of all time. Not top 3 as in how the shots turned out, but top 3 because it was so memorable. I’ll never forget that day.
This car was super interesting. Carlos brought out his Kia Forte Koup – to this day, the only Forte I have ever truly enjoyed. This car was mind blowing at the time.
Another car I have recently featured on the site, Alex Perrucci’s Protege. I met Alex that day and we have been friends ever since.
Here is Nathan Hay’s Focus. This car went through several changes throughout the years and I’m pretty sure this was the last. Craziest Focus around at the time.
After we got done with the photoshoot, we made our way back to the pavilion. Once there, I took golden hour shots that I still look back at. This photo of Matt Herring’s G37 is still one of my favorites even 5 years on.
Riverside 7 will take place on April 2nd, 2022 – mark your calendars!
Text & Photos by Ben Battles