Photographer in Focus // Ronnie Renaldi
I’m launching this new series of article “Photographer in Focus” to share with you all the story of Indonesian automotive photographers who have been quite successful overseas. Frankly, I was quite surprised at first, to find out that some of my favorite automotive pictures on the internet were in fact taken by Indonesians. In this first installment of articles, I’m going to share a short interview I had with Ronnie Renaldi. Some of you might have heard of him before, being one of the most prominent Indonesian photographers in the supercars territory. His works can be found across different kinds of media, from US magazines to online media. How did it all started? Here’s his story.
Where are you currently living in and has photography became your major occupation?
I currently live in Denver, Colorado, USA. Photography is not my main job, I’m currently doing it as a freelance. I work full time as a Software Developer, specializing in Oracle database development. I hope one day I can pursue my passion in photography full time.
How did you get to be involved in this automotive photography industry?
It started when I bought my first DSLR, a Canon 20D, to take some pics of my car. I posted my car pics on the internet (few car forums) and received some good feedback. Then one day, a magazine wanted to feature my car (a highly modified supercharged BMW E46 M3). They had their photographer to do a photoshoot of the car. When the article was ready to be published, I told the magazine editor that I had some nice pics of the car also that I took myself. I emailed him my pics and he liked them and decided to published my pics in the magazine along the pics from their own photographer. From that, people started to know me as an automotive photographer. And I also always come to local car meets with my car and take pics there. And a few people asked me if I could do a photoshoot for their cars. My first paid car photoshoot was from a local car guy that knew me from the car meets.
I’ve seen quite a lot of your work published in media. Can you share your accomplishments?
My accomplishments can be seen here: link →
I’ve also seen a lot of your pictures and noticed that they were taken in Indonesia as well as overseas. Are you travelling frequently?
Not really since I still work full time and don’t have much flexibility on taking time-off.
I noticed that a lot of your works are always around automotive photography. Are you specializing yourself in this area? Perhaps a passion you’ve always had?
Yes, I love everything about photography but my true passion is in automotive and scenic/landscape photography. My dream is to become a commercial photographer taking some amazing automotive pictures at locations with stunning views. But taking pictures of cars all the time can be boring, that’s why I do weddings and pre-wed/engagements also once in a while.
If you have to pick one word to describe your photography principle/style, what would be it?
Artistic or exquisite
I think I saw a picture of your E55 as well and, boy that Mercedes’s sweet! Can you tell us more about that E55?
I currently have SL55 AMG and E55 AMG, the E55 is my daily driver. Both are modified but the SL55 has a lot more modifications than the E55. When the it’s done, we should do an article/feature on that car.
Can you also share with us the previous cars you’ve had and what modifications have you done to them?
I previously owned these cars: Audi B5 S4, BMW E46 323Ci, E46 M3, E39 M5, E60 M5. On some of the cars, the modifications include engine/performance parts, suspension & brakes, wheels & tires, audio system.
What’s your view on ‘good/proper modifications’?
Keep it nice and clean, classy looking. I love to have my car stand-out, a head turner but not over-the-top (not “ricey”, no big wing, outrageous bodykit, bling wheels etc)
Do you have any experience to share with the Indonesian amateur/hobbyist automotive photographers? Quite a lot of them these days are passionate towards automotive photography, and yet finding it quite difficult to build a career out of it. Wedding photography has a larger opportunity/market here.
That’s true that finding clients for automotive photography is difficult. I’d suggest to browse local car forums to find out about any car meet in the area. Then plan to attend the meet(s) so you can introduce yourself to the car owners in person and have them to know you. But don’t just come to the meet only once, come as often as you can. They’ll certainly have you in mind whenever they have any photography need whether automotive-related or not.
That sums up the short interview I had with Ronnie Renaldi. Big thanks to him for sharing his story as well as some of the breathtaking pictures he took. You can always contact him via his Facebook Page → or Website →
Want to be involved in our next “Photographer in Focus” interview? Simply send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).