We passed the terrible twos

So only three years ago this entire site that just started with an idea went live. It’s a weird combination to be a procrastinator and still be insanely impatient. We didn’t really have a set launch date, but I knew I needed to learn html and get this site going asap. This is going to be a little recap of looking back, where we are presently, and looking forward for the next 3 years. So if you don’t like reading go ahead and wait for Rick’ys feature which will be coming up soon, this article DOES have 4 photos but they aren’t anything you’ve seen before…actually 2 of them are photos you probably haven’t seen in 3 years.

When this idea about starting a blog came around I asked for help from anyone that knew html. Ricky and I had a few meet ups talking about basic layout ideas, possible first features, what we wanted to do this for, and obviously the most important thing…a name. Naming something is one of the more frustrating things anyone can do, from band names to the name of a company – if you want to be taken seriously it can’t just be some random thought that means nothing. Finally we came up with “Gear-Trends” and Ricky got started on a logo that night. I started to do some reading on starting a site but honestly this blog wouldn’t have been done so fast without the help of my buddy and his girl all the way out in Florida; a huge thanks to Johnny Alamillo, and Devi Blackwell who helped me out a crap load on learning basics, linking me to great sites with info, and even initially setting up the first template to the site. Spending nights on a computer and dreaming about html codes and freaking out over something that really had no deadline took a toll but was entirely worth it when this site went live

This blog was the first of its kind locally, which was more of a reason on why I wanted to get things going much faster. This site was geared (no pun intended) towards the local import scene, at the time its all Ricky and I were involved in – a way to showcase some of the nicer cars from down here…then we decided to branch out and basically shoot anything worth checking out here in the valley. For the most part the site was going to have a limited “staff” – I did want to have a separate group of people in charge of writing the articles, doing any changes to the website that we might want, and of course I would want to focus on photography for the most part. Well after a while I decided to go ahead and give writing a trial run…you know til I found someone to do the writing. Yeah that didn’t really go as planned. I guess in the back of my mind I knew I liked to write, something I hadn’t seriously done since back in my high school days. Although this type of writing was something new to me, I made sure people always could tell it was me writing – which was one of the most important things I felt I could easily do and most of my English always praised me on. If you’re passionate about something make sure that it shows, sure I could write out more technical articles, more specs on the vehicles, a plain run down on the shoot and the car and owner…but where is the fun in that? If you feel nothing during or after reading something, what EVER that feeling may be- then the writer has failed. Yes this is just an automotive blog, but I still see this as a way to have my voice heard, and what better topic to write about then something I’ve had an absolute passion for since I could remember.

In the 3 years that the site has been up I’ve met some great people, shot some amazing local cars, gone to some fun events, and I’ve also noticed its help both Ricky and I improve as photographers. The only way to get better at your craft isn’t about reading up on it; you can read all the books and know the history of photography- but if you can’t get your vision out – what’s the point? You go out and you shoot, as much as you can and you try things- sometimes they don’t work but you are still learning in the process. I’ve started to appreciate the way a great background and location will really improve a photo – shooting in a parking lot like we used to is definitely a thing of the past and something I laugh about now. For anyone whose followed us from the beginning I want to thank you all, we’ve had times where things just flat line a bit but somehow traffic stays steady and people stay extremely supportive and look forward to each feature we put out. I wanna thank all of you, all our friends, old and new that have shared the site with others, people we’ve met this year that have helped get the site some exposure whether it be facebook or just by word of mouth. The year has just started and we’ve already been able to put out some features that I am proud of. I know I’ve said it in the past and even though we were very close to getting it done a while back, which fell through due to flakes, we’ll be getting some stickers and possibly other forms of merch out for the local automotive enthusiasts. So again thanks for making it a great three years and if you have any suggestions, you have a car you’d like us to check out, go ahead and hit us up via facebook and we can make this year one of our best.

Like I said earlier this site has helped Ricky and I improve as photographers, and just to go down a trip to memory lane here’s a photo back from my first feature to my latest

This first photo meant something more to me then just another hatch- I have always regretted the day I sold my old 98 hatchback, so when I saw OG’s civic in person I knew it had to be the first feature up. The car was shot in McAllen and I did some off camera lighting. A few of the other guys there hanging out at the shoot were talking about grabbing some food and we all checked out some of the shots in camera- it seriously seems like just yesterday that all this happened. Looking back at old shots I cant help but think about how different I would do it, there are a few technical things about this photo I cant stand to look at but that’s me- I’m my own worst critic. Also note how small we used to upload our photos…yeah…haha
OG Throwback

And now to my most recent shoot, although the previous photo was done with some off camera lighting and this was done all natural lighting I still feel that there is an improvement. I’ll admit to being a fan of the Rx7 since I first saw Torretto’s iconic car grace the silver screens- honestly I thought they were just a bigger Miata…sue me. Finally I saw one locally, and although Derrick likes to say that this car was in really rough shape when I first saw it with the clear coat peeling, mismatched paint on the panels- it was still the first Rx7 I had seen in person.
Derricks Rx7

Here is one of Ricky’s photos from his first feature that went up a while after we got the site going live, remember what I said about us shooting in parking lots? HAHA now looking at this photo I know Ricky would do things different. This also marked the first time we featured one of Mel’s cars, and being the type of car guy he is I knew it wouldn’t be the last.
Mel's First Feature

And here we have a shot from Ricks most recent shoot, which he’s told me is his favorite automotive shot to date – and I don’t blame him. I’ve seen him grow as a photographer over the past 3 years, his style of shooting and editing has greatly improved and I couldn’t think of a better photographer I’d want to be doing this site with. Its crazy thinking he used the same camera in both shots – a testament to the saying that it’s not always the gear, its the photographer who uses the gear.
Mel's First Feature

Thank you for letting us be your source for local automotive goodness and although the valley sometimes gets a bad reputation, every now and then someone here builds one hell of a ride- and you can expect to see it up here on our blog at one point or another. Cheers!