It was 2007 and photographers didn’t have iPhone filters or Instagram’s small images to make them look good, they had skill. The world of automotive photographers was packed with photographers exploring and expanded the boundaries of creativity, and we were all chasing Steve Demmitt.

Image by Steve Demmitt

Steve was a friend, he was my competition, he was the reason I stayed on set longer when photographing a car, for his work was an equation that we all stared at, hoping to solve. But for all his accomplishments, he remained kind, soft spoken and humble.

One-time Steve and I thought it would be fun to create a fictitious photographer, of which we would both be. We named this photographer Pedrosso and marketed him. What was funny is that he would get calls from concerned clients worried I had stolen his images and I would get calls from clients worried that he had stolen mine. It was a bit of a mess, but it was a time in my career that I hold dear.

Image by Steve Demmitt

We proceeded to create work together and produce photoshoots for fun, however, I began to see that Steve lived in a different world. He was art. He saw things in ways that other’s minds could only imagine. While his work was admired, it was the expanse upon our photographed foundation that I will always remember him for.

We have lost Steve, but he lives on in our photos. He is the lighting that graces the roofline of a concept car, he is the motion that moves a race car, and he is the color that shines from an import car. He is our art.

There is a line in Harry Potter that reminds me of what seeing his work meant to me:

“It was beautiful magic, wonderous to behold.”

Image by Steve Demmitt