It may not be obvious by looking at me, but I sort of fancy myself a race car driver- that is to say that I not only like to drive, but like to drive really fast. (Just an irrelevant fact I thought I’d share since I’ll be talking about cars.) Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can get to the real point of this post- photographing the real estate billionaire, turned car collector, Michael Dezer and his car museum in North Miami, the Dezer Collection, for Forbes Life Magazine.
When the photo editor first reached out to me about the assignment, I have to admit I was a little nervous- after all, my forte is photographing people, not cars. However, I felt confident I could produce what was needed for the article and thankfully, there would be a portrait of Mr. Dezer involved. It was communicated that Forbes would be looking for images of a good portion of the entire collection (approx. 1600 cars/trucks/motorbikes/scooters/bicycles/airplanes etc.) In order to see exactly what I would be up against, I went to scout out the museum. And boy, was I in for a surprise. What seemed like a pretty nondescript warehouse (which didn’t look all that big from the outside) just seemed to go on and on and on and on, with (tons) of James Bond cars and Batman cars and other various Hollywood cars and vintage cars and micro cars and military vehicles and airplanes and scooters and motorbikes and bicycles (I’m sure I left some out)….it literally took me an hour just to walk through without stopping.
The next morning, when I met Mr. Dezer at his home in one of the Trump Towers, (a high-rise he helped develop and owns, I believe) he led me to his (self-proclaimed) man area, over-looking 360 degrees of North Miami Beach (he can see both downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale) where he houses a small collection of Vespa scooters. This is where we began our shoot.
Next, we moved onto his new project, the Porsche Building- a high-rise he was just breaking ground on, which will include a car elevator as its primary feature. We drank strong espresso as I mentally prepared for the large task ahead- photographing his extensive car collection.
I could continue to narrate the shoot, as it was certainly interesting. Frankly however, I’m tired of typing, so I will let the photos speak for themselves.