“Saturday Night Special” From The Sneeky Kids Clan…

I think I’ve been re-inspired lately. I’ve taken up photography as a hobby and somewhat of a profession over the years, but at some point, I think my want, or need per se, to develop my skills as a photographer became stagnated. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed doing it but there was definitely a point when it became a chore. As such, I sort of transitioned away from photography for a bit to try something new, and something I enjoy very much doing now, with video. The Vlogs took off and I was having so much fun with video and putting video pieces together that I kind of drifted away from photography. I noticed it right away. I think I’m good at noticing and understanding things within myself and I can sit here with eyes wide open now and honestly admit that I lost interest in photography. I continued to do it because I want to generate content for you guys/gals to see and I am in a very blessed position to see so many great things that I would be doing myself a great disservice by not taking photos of what I see. It would be like an open opportunity to capture memories that I would love to look back on when I get older and just completely ignoring that entire idea. Since I got back from Japan, I took a long break from doing anything automotive-content related. I put the Japan Vlogs together of course but the only other event I attended and covered was Wekfest Hawaii. WFHI was great but shooting that entire event just felt like I was going through the motions. It seemed more important for me to take the time to chat with the locals. I wanted to hear their experiences within this great hobby of ours in hopes that I could be re-invigorated by seeing this hobby through their eyes. It helped a great deal, I think, just being able to step in their shoes for a few brief moments to take things in from their perspective. I think being in different areas of the country and world help me to re-adjust my focus when it comes to being mentally-prepared to covering everything I see in the automotive industry. There are just so many facets of it, you know? As a hobby, it is a lot of fun to be able to be involved with builds and helping friends out with their cars but from a business standpoint, the industry can be very cut-throat. There are things that happen every day that I would rather not deal with or see, most I won’t talk about, but you learn very quickly who is an acquaintance and who is really a friend…

You deal enough with the sweet and the sour every day, after all these years, you tend to forget which one is supposed to taste good…You just kind of end up with a bad taste in your mouth altogether…

With all that said, however, I think I’m hungry again.

A couple months ago, I met another photographer who was very much on a different end of the spectrum than I. This person wasn’t even into automotive photography. They were just starting to really get into photography as a skill and hobby. In a very short span of time, this person picked up photography right away and was very, very adept at expressing their creativity using a camera. After spending some time with this photographer and talented individual, I myself became interested in shooting again. Just being able to see their control of light and how they were able to capture these photos was pretty inspiring. Like myself, this person also never had any formal training with a camera. It was a scenario where they just picked up the camera and started shooting with a willingness to learn. Everything else just fell into place after that. One day, during a random afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I picked up the camera and started shooting again….

Yuta was hanging out at the shop that evening and I showed him the photos. He asked me why I decided to go out and take the photos that you’re going to see below.

“I just felt like I wanted to shoot again. Kam’s car was outside, so I took pictures of it.”

Yuta responded;

“Oh hey, that’s good.”

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Kemritte Seang or “Kam” as we all affectionately call him, is a friend of mine who I met a couple years back through the “NO RUSH” shop. When I first moved into my office/hq, I used to stop by the NO RUSH shop to see what those guys were up to. Their shop wasn’t too much further away from mine so it was easy to just stop by to shoot the shit with those guys. They have some cool builds that they are always working on and one of the guys that shared the shop with them was Kam. He had a black RPS13 at the time but he later acquired this TE72 Corolla. He started tinkering with the Corolla and even ended-up selling his 240SX to focus solely on this car. I remember chatting with Kam but it was always very brief. I didn’t know him too well but he seemed like a nice guy. We would always hang out as a big group so I found it a bit peculiar when he hit me up on Facebook one day to see if I wanted to chill with him. I thought it was odd, I’m not gonna lie. He’s a Cambodian dude from Long Beach and I kinda had a “I hope he doesn’t rob me” type-of-vibe when I agreed to have him come over to the shop. I’m not saying that as a broad generalization either. If you guys have friends from Long Beach and who are also Cambodian (Or you actually are a Cambodian dude from Long Beach), you know these guys have a story to tell and typically aren’t people to fuck with. I like to think that I’m a pretty good judge of character so I was completely okay with him coming by. It just felt weird to have someone I barely knew come by and hang out with me. I generally try to avoid people at all costs, especially in my own private space. I just enjoy my personal time. If you have visited my shop before, you know that I am usually just sitting in front of my computer doing stuff. It’s an otherwise boring experience. I don’t know why anyone would want to bother being there…

So Kam comes by and I have nothing to entertain him with, so I just turn on a movie. I don’t remember what movie it was exactly, it might have been “Life After Beth” (great movie by the way) with Aubrey Plaza, but that was pretty much all I had to offer. Needless to say, a few years later, Kam is still here and I’d like to think of him as a pretty good friend of mine. I think I enjoy his automotive endeavors because he has a very different approach with his builds than most people these days have. He is legitimately one of those people that just thoroughly enjoys cars for themselves and just likes to have fun with whatever he is working on. It is difficult to find people like him these days because everyone is so hell-bent on being “somebody” and getting noticed by people with no faces or real names on the Internet. I’d like to think of him as a throwback to the car guys I met when I first got into this hobby. They just did things for fun and because they wanted to. They just enjoyed their cars. There’s a certain type of purity about that in which you really wouldn’t understand unless you actually were or knew someone like that. The cars were very much a reflection of whatever they were interested in at the time. They didn’t want any attention. If attention came or whatever recognition came from what they produced, they would enjoy it, but never demand it. We need more people like that…

Kam’s TE72 Corolla isn’t perfect. It is far from it actually. And it is also a car that you probably wouldn’t expect to see here on a site that was once thought to only house really clean, very well-built Hondas. His Corolla is exactly that, HIS. It is a culmination of every wild idea he has ever had combined with bits and pieces of inspiration he absorbed from some of his favorite builds in Japan. I think it appealed to me early on because I’ve always liked these old Corollas and low key always wanted to own one. Seeing the gradual transformation of his car has been a very interesting and fruitful experience. It isn’t everything most would do to their own cars but I love that he didn’t try to be different for the sake of being different. He just slowly built the car in his own vision. It is a little rough around the edges but so is the owner. The best part about the car is that he actually pushes it pretty hard. He’s an amateur drifter who beats the living hell out of this car with no worries of doing anything harmful or damaging to the car. If anything were to happen to it (plenty has already), he would just tear it apart and fix it. Simple as that…

I don’t expect everyone to understand the car, or Kemritte since you don’t know him, or like the photos of the car. Take a look at them, if you like it, great, if not, go about your day. I came back from lunch one afternoon, saw it outside, Kam walked over and showed me some new stuff that he added to it, and so I decided to snap some photos of it. There are so many little interesting bits and pieces on this car that I hope the photos help to illustrate that. His Corolla is a constant work-in-progress and he always seems to have something new in his pocket to tinker with. Enjoy the photos below. I actually shot these during the middle of the afternoon but processed them in a way where it looks a little dated and weathered to match the motif of his build. The visual noise was added after for effect…

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Thanks for looking!!…

To see more, follow Kem on his Instagram account (@saturdayxnightxspecial) or his Tumblr page HERE…

7 thoughts

  1. Love seeing builds were can till the car is a direct reflection of the owners personally. The shots definitely do the car and owner justice. Nice Gundam keychain charm on the dash.

  2. What’s going on brotha, glad you could find your love for photography again.
    I’m not sure if you make desktop wallpapers available anymore, but if you made some for Kam’s Corolla that would be awesome. Love this car.
    Take it easy.

  3. as a cambodian from fresno…i know how he feels when people think we’re gonna rob them or worse lol.

  4. Great work Joey. Don’t loose that passion for taking pictures. I think Editing video is so time consuming that that It becomes a little distracting form editing pictures. I admire the pictures but love the stories that go along with them just as much.

  5. Pingback: “Saturday Night Special” From The Sneeky Kids Clan… Part 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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