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stickydiljoe

'Stickydiljoe' aka Joey Lee is a freelance photographer, writer, and creator of The Chronicles.
Extras, Outtakes, and More Details From The Meguiar’s 2000s “Import Tuner” Shoot…

Extras, Outtakes, and More Details From The Meguiar’s 2000s “Import Tuner” Shoot…

I had an unnecessary amount of fun putting this project together. From start to finish I couldn’t have been happier with the results. To be fair, it was quite a bit of work and a lot of planning involved but it’s oh so satisfying when everything comes together the way I envisioned. Once I figured out what photos I wanted, how the cover needed to be laid-out, and all the little details, I had a good feeling it would be well-received. Everybody loves nostalgia, especially car enthusiasts. Just to be able to look back at a time when everything felt new and their were no rules is amazing. The early 2000s represented a very different time in the automotive tuning community. There were no ‘standards’ set and people were really free to express themselves with their cars. Now it seems like more of a popularity contest than anything. Everybody just wants to be ‘someone’ on social media. Everyone wanted to stand-out and be someone back then as well, but there was no social media yet. The only platform for comparison was real life interaction and you didn’t have thousands and thousands of people to compare yourself with everyday. There was less pressure amongst your peers because the sample-size was much smaller. Sure the styles were a bit over the top back then but honestly, it’s not like everyone has it figured out in 2021. We’re all just in a bigger pond now thanks to the internet. I don’t want to go too far off into a tangent about this entire subject so let me get back to the Meguiar’s project…

“Import Tuner” Shoot & I Might Get My Car Back?!… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #13

“Import Tuner” Shoot & I Might Get My Car Back?!… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #13

Yes, bald Joey is back for this very special, highly in-depth, look at my latest work for the Meguiar’s “Portrait of an Icon” series. The theme for this month is “The Furious 2000s” which obviously, is dedicated to the automotive culture during the 2000s. For me personally, I wanted a seamless transition from my 90s-era shoot to this one, which theoretically would have taken place in 2001-02. This was a very special time in the import scene because Import Tuner magazine and all of the insane cars they featured were all the rage. The Fast and The Furious had just come out so the import tuning community was still very much an underground thing. For the shoot, I wanted to pay homage to this period in time and re-create an Import Tuner magazine cover shoot. Luckily I had some great friends who were willing to help 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll have already seen the results from this shoot. Now you can take a look into my creative process and how we were able to execute this whole entire shoot from the very beginning. It’s a fun one and a rare glimpse into how something like this becomes a reality.

Meguiar’s “Portrait of an Icon” 2000s-Era Shoot…

Meguiar’s “Portrait of an Icon” 2000s-Era Shoot…

One of these is not like the others. For the next installment of the Meguiar’s “Portrait of an Icon” series, we leave the ‘90s and head into “The Furious 2000s”. When I first agreed to be one of the creators on this project and understanding it’s theme, the first decade I thought of was the 2000s.

This was a pivotal time for me and a turning point that lead me into a life of cars and also becoming a freelance journalist for various magazines catered to our community. I eventually would work for Import Tuner magazine but by then, much had changed. My favorite era of the magazine was from 99-2002. The cover spreads during that period are burned into my memory. My favorite being the LJ Garcia/Francine Dee issue.

When I came onto this project, the first concept I came up with was to pay homage to that magazine. What I needed was a studio with an infinity wall, the perfect car and a model outfitted to fit Import Tuner’s style for the time.

You’d think that finding the car would be the hardest, but right here in SoCal I had a gem in Sean Stell’s FEEL’S widebody Civic. He’s had the car since 2001 and he even had a set of Racing Hart C5s to match.

For the model, I called in a favor to an old friend and convinced her to come out of retirement to grace the faux cover. She had been on the cover before but in IT’s later years and always wanted to have a shot similar to the covers from the 2000s. I’m so glad Jenn Q was down to help.

My original concept was for it to be a behind-the-scenes look at an IT shoot with a stand-in photographer, model being prepped and Sean cleaning his wheel. What ended-up happening was me laying out an entire cover spread with a few sample pages inside to match the actual aesthetic of the magazine. I used all my favorite elements of Import Tuner from that era to re-create the cover and those who collected them will instantly recognize all the little details. I even create a calendar spread since those were popular then.

At a glance you wouldn’t even know that it wasn’t actually real. Thanks to all involved who made this possible, it was a ton of fun putting this one together and a dream come true for me to execute my vision.

Quick Pics From The Brew’s Cruise LB July 2021 Meet…

Quick Pics From The Brew’s Cruise LB July 2021 Meet…

I really hate to admit it but I think I’m in the midst of a massive writing block right now. I’m not really sure where it came from because I’ve been going through a lot of stuff this year which has helped me to be very creative, and I was actually writing quite a bit personally, but I think I’ve hit a little bit of a wall. Usually it’ll pass if I read more, which I have been doing, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. I suppose I’m just emotionally-drained and experiencing a hangover from everything that’s happening around me. Sigh. In any case, I’m trying different things to bring my mood up and I’ve been actively going out more to be social…

Final Bout Special Stage West 2021 Coverage… Part 2…

Final Bout Special Stage West 2021 Coverage… Part 2…

After I finally finished going through all the photos a few days ago and watermarking all of them, I came to the realization that I really didn’t shoot as much as I thought I did that weekend. Sure it had a lot to do with the heat but perhaps this two-part series isn’t the best representation of all that happened at Final Bout Special Stage West this year, lol. I’m not saying the photos are bad, they are far from it, and I’m not just tooting my own horn. What I captured is pretty good, it just doesn’t present the most diversity. The reasoning behind this is because I only went out on the track for one or two sessions and both times it was with run groups that featured the same cars. And when I wasn’t on track a different run group went out and the cars that I shot in the pit area are the same ones that came back from the same group that I was out on the track for. I wasn’t trying to do this but it just worked out that way. Mainly because I didn’t want to die. Carrying a big ass camera with a towel wrapped around my head in 100+ degree temps is no fun, no matter how much I want to be out there shooting. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that my body isn’t as resilient as it once was and I’m just more susceptible to my environment. I still feel like I’m more resilient than most but long gone are the days when I can sleep for four hours and be up for two days straight shooting or traveling from city to city. I’ve learned to pace myself now and understand that my body needs rest for me to truly successful in my craft. Most of you understand that as well and if you don’t quite get it because you’re younger, boy are you in for a rude awakening one day, lol.

Final Bout Special Stage West 2021 Coverage… Part 1…

Final Bout Special Stage West 2021 Coverage… Part 1…

This year’s Final Bout Special Stage West event seemingly came outta nowhere for me. I knew they were doing an event out here on the West Coast this year but didn’t realize it was happening in July until I saw that their event in Oregon was going on the week before! It was a bit of a bummer for me personally because I’ve always wanted to shoot at PARC since it is such a scenic location. Just the idea of cars shredding through this beautiful forest-looking environment seems really cool to me. That and I’ve never been to Oregon before so it would have been a perfect time to get away for a weekend. Of course, I didn’t know the actual date of it so I missed it. That just happens sometimes when I’m just stuck in the shop working on a myriad of things. I wanted to make sure not to miss the California stop of Final Bout so I contacted Simba to see if he could squeeze me and Der in last minute for some media passes. Normally this would probably not be a good idea to bother someone during the week of an event, but I’ve shot a couple of Final Bout events in the past that have worked out pretty well so I’m sure there is some mutual appreciation there, lol. I wasn’t sure he’d respond but he was actually pretty prompt and was more than willing to accommodate us…

Life As Seen Through A Manual NYC 35mm Reusable Film Camera… (Part 2)

Life As Seen Through A Manual NYC 35mm Reusable Film Camera… (Part 2)

Film dump from last month featuring many of the people and activities I was around which I shot with the @manual_nyc 35mm camera that I’ve been playing with lately. Seems like the last roll was better in terms of color but this was shot with Kodak Portra 400 unlike the Fuji film previously. Also half the shots were ruined because I somehow managed to get the camera strap into them, lol. Friendly reminder to myself why I never have a strap on my dSLR. Enjoy…

Meguiar’s “Portrait of an Icon” 90s-Era Shoot and Unpublished Photos…

Meguiar’s “Portrait of an Icon” 90s-Era Shoot and Unpublished Photos…

Earlier this year, I was contacted by Meguiar’s and invited to be one of five creator’s to be on their “Portrait of an Icon” campaign to celebrate their 120-year anniversary. I was honestly a little surprised at first to hear from them since there are so many good content creators out there in the industry but was deeply honored when I got the details of what the project was all about. It was to be a generational piece, spanning five-decades from the 1980s to the 2020s, each themed according to the time period and the main caveat being that there had to be a “Meguiar’s Easter Egg” hidden in the photo. Each photo must have one of their products, that existed during that particular generation, present. It didn’t have to be blatant or in your face, and just had to appear somewhere within the photo. Think “Where’s Waldo” type of hiding, which is basically hiding in plain sight. The more it blended-in with the photo the better. It didn’t take a whole lot of convincing for me to agree to be a featured artist in their campaign because I was presented with absolute freedom to do whatever I wanted. Over the years, I’ve been offered and turned down a number of projects because I felt it was too restrictive in what they wanted and expected from me. When I feel that type of creative ‘stunting’, if you will, I shut off and just can’t find myself wanting to produce anything. This project was the opposite of that. I could get a check and have creative freedom doing what I enjoyed? I’m in…

Time-Traveling Back To The Nineties… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #12

Time-Traveling Back To The Nineties… CHRNCLS Vlog 2021 #12

On this episode, I take you guys back on the road with me on three different photoshoots throughout Southern California for the ongoing project I’m working on for Meguiar’s. You guys got a short glimpse of the 80s-themed shoot I did for them with a E-AT Civic a few episodes back and the next one I’m shooting is dedicated to the 1990s. If you’re a Honda guy then the nineties will undoubtedly be your favorite era. That’s when Honda made the best cars and the import scene was still in its very exciting early infancy. Being that it was a shoot focused on that era, many tiny details had to be incorporated into the shoot that were plucked from that time and obviously, the cars themselves as well. In-between shoots, we also found some time to stop by Unit B to celebrate our good friend Kristian Wong’s birthday. This is a good one and I hope you get overwhelmed with that nineties feeling while watching!

Cinematic Vibes From Re-Hashed Japan Photos…

Cinematic Vibes From Re-Hashed Japan Photos…

It’s honestly been a very cathartic experience working on this new book. I feel like I should have started earlier in the year but it is what it is. Here is another batch of ‘throwaway’ photos that I don’t believe I ever used for anything because I was just randomly shooting in the moment.

The last few months I’ve been watching a lot of movies and studying color grading and tones from different movies throughout the world. I decided to play around with these random shots from various years during my stays in Japan and really like how they came out. I tried to keep them all similar so they flow into one another as you scroll through.

I think if there was a central theme to this set, it’d be ‘quiet’ or calmness, almost to the point of loneliness, which is a feeling you’ll experience often when in Japan. Maybe I’m overthinking it, lol.

If you’ve noticed I’m writing even more than usual lately, it’s because I’m in booking making mode and I am like DEEP inside my own head right now.