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  • How To Get Your Truck Into Mini Truckin' - Get Noticed

How To Get Your Truck Into Mini Truckin' - Get Noticed

How To Get Your Truck Into Mini Truckin'!

Galen Armenta
Aug 1, 2008
Photographers: Galen Armenta
Photo 2/18   |   custom Trucks get Noticed
So, you've been to all the big shows in your area, and have yet to see your ride in the show coverage of a magazine. Or even in a picture of another truck with yours in the background. We understand your letdown; we're the ones who have to cut hundreds of photos from show coverage everyday. Believe us, we wish we could run every last photo from show coverage, but we can't. We are the ones who have to answer all the "what happened" questions.
The day following the release of an issue of Mini Truckin', we spend most of the morning answering endless e-mails as to why so-and-so's truck didn't make it into show coverage. We're sorry, but not everyone's truck can make it into show coverage. We can take upwards of a 500 pictures at a show. Then, we have to go through each one and narrow down the choices. After that, we choose the best ones that not only portray what the show was like but show the best of the best in the magazine.
So listen up! We have compiled some tips on presenting your truck in the best way possible. Right now, you might be left asking yourself, what the heck is this guy talking about? I spent all last week polishing my truck.
What To Avoid
Well, here is the bottom line; it's not all about how well a truck is polished. It's about how the overall picture is going to turn out. Is there trash around the truck? Are there a million business cards on the outside of the truck? Are there flyers or objects on the dashboard? How close are other vehicles around you? The list can go on and on. As editors, we have to look for these things in order to put out the best magazine we can.
We understand it is hard to determine where you will be parked at a show, but try and stay away from these two situations: The first one is parking under a tree that doesn't provide 100-percent shade. The second is parking in such a position that the only angle is on the shadowed side of the truck. This makes for bad photos. Looking at the lead photo (on page 62), the owner has positioned the truck far enough away from the vehicles on either side, no matter what time of day there would be a chance to take a picture and end up with good results.
Under-construction trucks are a big part of shows, but the look of the truck is a huge part of how we choose photos. Take a look at these two photos: One is in a solid color, the other is spotted primer with some paint. Take the time to get the truck into one color. Try and make the truck as complete as possible, it helps in the overall presentation.
Photo 9/18   |   custom Trucks custom Chassis
Everybody takes pride in suspension work done on the truck, but the condition shown is the key. Primer is not as resistant to things like tire dressing, quick detailer, or any other solvents. Before rolling out to a show, re-primer the suspension and pack a Scotch Brite pad and a clean rag. Use the Scotch Brite pad to remove any dirt or contaminates that found their way onto the frame, then wipe it all away with a rag. If your frame is bare metal, the same technique will work to remove any rust that might have accumulated.
We know promotion of a company that hooked us up-or trying to help out a friend-is how we roll, but it doesn't make for good pictures. Pictures A and B are identical, except for the business cards. Notice how clean it looks without business cards, flyers, or any other promotional material. This also goes for side window trim and the front windshield. Remember, cleaner is better. Even trash around the truck has a bearing on whether or not it makes it in. If there is too much debris, we're not going to ask MT Art Director Chris to spend hours removing the trash in the photo.
This example is the big killer:
Stacking crap in front of your truck. It's great that you have extra parts to get rid of, but don't put them in front of your truck. Spend a few minutes and put that stuff on eBay.com or Craigslist.org; anywhere other than in front of your truck at a show. Also while we are on this subject, no one really cares about the trophies you won at the last 100 shows. Leave them where they belong-at home on the shelves in your garage, or wherever you keep them. The judges at these shows should know how to judge your truck, let it speak for itself. The overall presentation is what draws editors to your truck, and the more time that is spent on this will make the truck more appealing.
Tips To Shoot An Eye-Catching Pic
After digging through the countless letters and digital submissions of readers' rides, we've had it with images of cool trucks that we can't run because we can hardly tell what we're looking at. The Ridin' Around segment in Mini Truckin' receives lots of entrants, but a large number of them are unusable because of the poor photography. Don't take it personally, the photo bug doesn't usually bite truck enthusiasts-unless you happen to be at a bikini contest, then everyone seems to be a photographer.In an effort to help guide you, our readers, we've decided it's in our best interest to show you the basics when it comes to photography.
Keep your composition simple, clean, and cool. Be prepared not to get your images back. Spend the extra cash and get your prints in 5x7-inches, so the resolution will be good for print.
If you have a computer, send us a hard copy of the text, but also a disk containing the text and possibly the digital image. If you choose to submit your photos via e-mail, do not-I repeat DO NOT-resize the photos to make it easier in sending e-mail. Most email systems send up to 10 Megs of information in an e-mail. If you have to send four e-mails, we would rather see high-resolution photos then thumbnails that we can't run.
When you read Ridin' Around, look at how much text is used in the edit. Call out the products you want listed, and if you have a story behind the build, make it short and sweet. If your truck has a ton of modifications, list your mods in order of priority with the important stuff first. Make sure you supply your name, where you live, and the vehicle's year, make, and model.
These instructions will help you get your truck listed in our Ridin' Around section of the book. And who knows? It may even turn into a feature.
Photo 13/18   |   custom Trucks rear View
Make sure your truck is clear of poles, buildings, trees, signs, and any other obstructions that look as if they are sticking out of the truck. These things will draw attention away from the truck. Also, take the time to wash it-no gas station car washes-and make sure you clean or polish the rims. This is your chance to have your truck in a magazine. Take your time and make sure it's the best you can do.

Photo 14/18   |   chevy S10 out Of Focus
Focus is the name of the game. Make sure the image is sharp. Using a tripod will keep the camera still and eliminate motion blur, but the focal area of the camera is all up to you. Try not to park the truck around other vehicles or obstacles that will be in the background, or cause a shadow, or reflect in the paint or chrome. Remove anything from the truck that will add confusion to the image or clutter the truck or background.
Lighting is another key factor. Shoot the image early in the morning or late afternoon. This will light the side of the truck and will allow even light across the truck. You will want to stand with the sunlight behind you. Make sure there is no one around the truck to avoid any reflections of your buddy picking his nose. Picture A is way too dark, Picture B is too bright, and Picture C is just right.
Photo 18/18   |   chevy S10 cut Off
Don't cut the truck off. When you're looking through the camera, make sure you can see the entire truck inside the camera frame, and the truck should be centered in the viewfinder.



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