Decades of Wheels case study
a car museum roars to life
Decades of Wheels is a car museum located in Baxter Springs, Kansas, a friendly little Kansan town. Baxter sits right on Route 66, making it a perfect stop for passers-through on the historic route. Still in construction as of this page’s authoring (February 2019), the final project- taking up nearly a whole city block- will include two restaurants, a bed and breakfast, and of course, CARS!
Adding car photography to my reportoire
The museum, once fully finished, will feature a monthly-rotating display pulled from a collection of 400+ vehicles. We’re talking a bit of everything: historic cars, muscle cars, souped up cars, movie cars: everything from a gold-leaf hand painted classic hot rod truck, to the original 1960s Monkees-mobile, to a Daddy Dave modified modern beast, to the motorcycle Steve McQueen rode in one of his famous films.
I’m including this as a case study because it’s fun and diverse, including not only the cars themselves, of course, but also stage photography, event journalism, social media content, and billboard campaigns.
Decades of Wheels has hosted a variety of events, including parades, car shows, a visit from “street outlaws” star daddy Dave, and a grand opening (part 1) weekend which featured national performers, multiple stages, a motorcycle show and more.
The museum launched a series of billboards scattered throughout the Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma 4 states area, which featured my photography work with models and classic vehicles on this large scale marketing campaign.
Cars & models
Paying an homage to the pin-up car photos of years past, we worked on a series of images that added models to compliment the already-beautiful vehicles.
Behind the scenes
Here’s some shots to show the work that went into the above shots; couldn’t have done it without our producer Dave, makeup artist Dena DeMint, detailing work by Robert Stanley to keep those cars beyond shiny (I curse at Robert a lot, shinier means more reflections), and background retouching work by widichamp.
Some of my work has entailed work that celebrates the finer details of the vehicles: a headlight here, a custom painted emblem there. Here’s a few from a moody set I did in year 1 of my work with Decades of Wheels.
the journalistic side
As with many of my clients, one of the roles I shift to is that of photojournalist. Here’s a few favorite candid images from various DOW events.
concert photography- Steppenwolf, Grand Funk and more
Decades hosted a 3 day event for their first opening weekend (celebrating the opening of their restaurant, phase one of the museum, and the progress and community support they’d gathered this past year). The biggest part of the weekend were the concerts: a huge stage featuring legendary acts such as Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, Band of Heathens, and Granger Smith. My favorite moment was being back stage with Steppenwolf to capture what I’d assume to be the last band photo of their career, posing with their records. Wow.