Dubai, UAE. Wouter Kingma spent the day with a fleet of GT Speeds, the fastest road-going Bentley ever produced. Certainly not your average photoshoot.
Guest Author – Wouter Kingma
From my trusty old Land Rover Defender to the fastest road car Bentley has ever produced; from one marked world to another. Having a job where playing around with gorgeous cars is all part and parcel certainly has its benefits.
This luxury set – a couple of Bentley Continental GT Speeds no less – was handed over to me recently along with a sign-my-life-away disclaimer marked full of exclusions: no drifting, no road rallies, no speed tests, and so on and so forth. The simple brief asked only that I treat the girls gently and return them in one piece together with a CD full of grand imagery. ‘I’ll do my best’, I thought, hiding the broadest of smiles.
So here I am sitting in the back of a chauffeur-driven Bentley – a Flying Spur to be precise – immersed in the world of the wealthy and surrounded by super soft leather, massaging seats and deep pile carpet. There’s no shortage of space for my lengthy legs and my MacBook sits on my lap as I get on with some post editing and client calls. In the name of work, I occasionally look out the window to keep an eye out for dramatic backdrops.
“Say Henry,” aka Austin my pro driver, “can we catch up with the convoy please and take lead position. I’d love to take a few photographs here.”
“Certainly Sir” he replies and puts his foot down in our 616bhp beast.
This is what is called doing a car shoot the British way, namely with true class. As Austin flies me to the front of the GT Continental convoy, I gear up to hang out of the window and shoot some dramatic driving shots of the gorgeous GT Speeds. All at insanely high speeds: well, we all need an adrenaline rush from time-to-time.
One pretty full day of shooting was soon under our belts. We had covered the brief and delivered all that was expected yet we still had some time to shoot some additional imagery. These moments are like gold dust since they provide an opportunity to have a play and push the boundaries.
We decided to hit the Dubai Autodrome for a few laps: no brief, no guidelines. Instead, fast stunning cars with a bit of backlit flaring going on. Bentley has always been very conservative with its advertising artwork but perhaps these images will create a movement within the creative team. Who knows? It may even attract the young and wild at heart to the marque.
Which feature did I enjoy most? Oddly enough, it was the heated seats. At 5am I found myself on a remote road in the middle of the desert, and the outside temperature hadn’t even hit double figures. We’d packed all the studio lights and all else required into the boot, but had forgotten to bring that all-important warm extra layer: I even resorted to using the sunrise predictor app on my iPhone at one point. With 15 minutes to kill before the sun appeared, I tucked inside the Speed and popped the heated seats on…
…ahhhh! It’s the simple things!
One pretty spectacular day later, it was time to hand the Bentley back and return to reality with my old Defender. Telling my buddies afterwards what I’d been driving was met with replies along the lines of, “What? You didn’t call me? What the ****?!”
Sorry boys. Maybe next time.
– Our thanks to Wouter Kingma