Hyundai Grandeur in Venice, Texas

Hyundai Grandeur in Venice, Texas

In many ways the Hyundai Grandeur shoot was different from my other work because Hyundai wanted me to attach my name to the pictures and the video of their latest car. Usually I remain invisible from the product; a hired gun who shoots and moves on to the next job.

Essentially they asked me to endorse the product. I liked the model a lot, so I had no problem with that.

I was sent to Dallas. The location involved shooting at the Civic Center – for the high tech photos – and a place known locally as little Venice for the old world images. The ad agency Innocean chose Dallas, ironically, because the city has a very European feel to it, including canals and spurious Rennaisance-style architecture. So there I was shooting the Hyundai Grandeur with Venice as a backdrop in the hot dusty heart of Texas. Hilarious!

Much of the shoot was just a stone’s throw from the book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK. I passed the place every morning. Each time I’d see day trippers taking pictures of each other on the grassy knoll, acting out the macabre scenes of JFK’s final moments.

Hyundai Grandeur, Dallas

Hyundai Grandeur, Dallas

Hyundai Grandeur, Dallas

Hyundai Grandeur, Dallas

It was after the shoot that Hyundai asked if they could use my face on the billboards. They then made a video peppered with Korean script and asked me for my face to go on there as well. So that’s my mug staring out of the video.

It was the only time this has happened to me. Car companies usually pay celebrities to drive their cars around, posing in them. Lexus used Kylie, Alfa Romeo used Catherine Zeta Jones; J Lo is another favourite. But Hyundai wanted me! Initially I thought it was some kind of joke, but then realised they wanted a well known photographer for their shoots.

Different folks for different strokes eh?

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