Photographer Blog>> Tram Tran

Four years ago I picked up a DSLR so that I could have great photos for one moment of my life.

That moment had nothing to do with cars, crashes, drivers, brides or grooms. It had to do with…

…my daughter.

I wanted to photograph my children in the best way possible. I decided to pick up a DSLR because I wanted to learn how to shoot. I didn’t think it would take four years before that would happen. Though during those four years, I had to use the camera right?

The first initial reaction was take pictures of my car and at the time I was rolling in a 2006 Subaru STi. It was lightly moded and I had tons of fun shooting it.

Soon, I was finding out that this hobby can get expensive. The more I was shooting, the more equipment I wanted. I slowly realized that learning to take good pictures also has its upsides as I started to book a few jobs shooting birthday parties. Sadly, the monetary outcome wasn’t very good.

At my cousin’s wedding, I just happened to be snapping a few photos and later noticed that my photos weren’t that far off from her wedding photographer’s pictures.

My cousin and her husband even used a couple of my shots for their photo album. I thought to myself, weddings are the way to make some extra cash. At first, it didn’t sound very appealing and it can be very stressful dealing with people (mostly brides and mother-in-laws) on their most important day. It is not something you can make a mistake on. I bought a few wedding photography books and Gino Lucadamo’s Digital Wedding DVD.

After researching, I shot a few weddings as the second photographer to learn the ropes.

From that moment on I fell in love with wedding photography.

The best part of the photography community is that everyone is out there to help and mentor you.

Most of my learning has come from Konstantin Golovchinsky from

One day, he told me something that changed my whole view on photography. He said to me, “So you can take a sharp picture… Now what?” while I was looking at some of my photos which I was extremely proud of.

Now what? I thought my photos were excellent.

Konstantin went on to say that anyone can eventually learn how to take a sharp picture but a true photographer can shed an emotion and tell a story through his or her photos.

At first, I thought it was a negative criticism about my photos but as I thought about it more, it was about the photos showing a different perspective.

Even though I loved shooting weddings, a part of me still really wanted to get into automotive photography.

That is when A’PEXi gave me my first break. One of my good friends, Keith Imoto, invited me to photograph their garage sale in 2008.

After showing them the pictures, I asked if I could shoot for them (A’PEXi) at Formula D.

It was a quick yes and I found myself shooting my first drift event at the Red Bull World Drift Championships in Long Beach.

I had an excellent time at the event and asked if I could shoot for them in 2009 as well.

Even though it great to have the best seats in the house, I realized that I was missing something in the photos and in what I wanted to get out photographing Formula D.

I’ve always thought that my photographs of cars were never that amazing or great because I could never get the cars to give me as much emotion as a person could.

Shooting weddings and other events, it’s the human factor makes it interesting. Cars going sideways, not so much.

It was bugged me that I could never find something I liked. Then I realize I needed to look at Formula D in a more a humane way.

I went out to capture the driver showing their emotions through their car, or driving, or the happiness they got when they stood at the top of the podium.

Here is Stephan Verdier jumping out of his car to get his first ever victory. Even though his helmet is on, his eyes and body tell you the happiness he’s feeling.

Sometimes, it’s not even about the drivers or the cars but the actual fans that create the story. At the end of the day, I always try to show why people love this Formula D so much and the people that make it run every day.

The reason why I picked up my camera is the reason why I shoot the way I do. I want my photographs to matter as if it’s the most important day in their life.


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Wow.... I've looked at this site many times and seen some amazing rides, but never left a comment before. This one really hit the spot though, great article and great photos (as always)!!! Now where is my camera?....


Inspirational shots man! You capture more than the car or the people. You capture the moment!




Same thing! I never left a comment before but this one hit the spot!


these are some of the most beautiful shots ive ever seen.

it takes true creativity and skill to produce photos like this.

beautiful is the word to describe this



You were my inspiration for picking up a camera. Seeing you capture moments that I wouldn't have noticed if I had been right where you were standing looking right where you were looking completely astounds me. I would say that you've absolutely succeeded in your goal of capturing emotions and experiences, not just pictures. I love seeing closeup pictures of drivers I don't know in cars that don't matter at events I don't care about, because their intensity is captured so purely and concisely in your snapshots.

I really enjoyed this post, and you continue to inspire me.


very good post. excellent pictures. thanx.


Probably my all time favorite photographer. His photos really capture why I love motorsports so much.


far out, that last photo of the baby. my goodness, absolutely epic!!!! like he/she's a world leader in the making....!


Amazing photography, inspirational stuff!!


far out, that last photo of the baby. my goodness, absolutely epic!!!! like he/she's a world leader in the making....!




Great write up!


beatiful photography concept...!

nice job, keep it shooting 4 life!

kind regards from chile!


Your wedding Mad respect.


This post really touches the heart. Will be looking forward to more shots of yours!!


" picture is worth a thousand words" mr tran is a great example


Salute !


Wow, this is truly inspiring! You shoot some great emotions in them! Keep it up, mr painter of the light! :))


pure art. Video cannot capture certain characteristics like photography. Amazing work and editorial!


Stick to weddings.


Wow, this is awesome. I'm currently enrolled in a photography school to sharpen all my technical skills and my ultimate goal would be to basically be in your current seat. Photojournalism and the automotive scene combined is can portray it like no one else sees it. Just like the auto scene itself, photography is just as much about finding your own personal style, and just enjoying what you do. Thanks for the photos and the hope that I won't have to do weddings and senior photos the rest of my life.


I realized after posting my previous comment that this wasn't even about Linhbergh, but about another photographer altogether. That's even MORE awesome, because now I have another artist to add to my 'keep tabs on this guy' list. This post has made my day TWICE now.


Hotrodders world its not about big turbos and big pistons, its not about cars, its about a cold coke on a sunny sunday, its not a weekend event, its a lifestyle, and these photographs are not about the what or who are about the why...


Great post, great pics, Really digging your style, I look forward to your next contribution!!


Those pictures not of cars are Utter Class and full of Emotion...... thats the Photography i love .. awesome write up



This is truly beautiful. The arrangement of the photos starts with how it all began for you and ended with a reminder that your family comes first. I love it. You do a truly amazing job of capturing emotion in your photos. That is one element of photography that I have always loved.


Jake Jake Jake,

It must really suck to be you. To have no skill. To lack creativity. Your weak comment leaves me to believe that you are this jealous child who is probably not really good at anything and only comes to Speedhunters because you heard about it from your cousin's friend's baby's daddy who has a cool Eclipse. It must hurt that everything on this site is a reminder that everyone with their success posted on here is better than anything that you may have accomplished to date.

Jake, don't stick to sucking at life. It's not too late to change.



WTF is wrong with that baby, really ugly.


Mentoring Tran is easy; every few months we sit down over dinner and I'll ask him a question to push him out of his photographic comfort zone. A few months later, when he figures out the answer and how it applies to his style of photography, I push him off balance again with another question. He does the heavy lifting all by himself, I'm just here to throw banana peels in his way.

Maximum respect to you Tram, keep up the good work.




Very inspiring especially for some one that recently picket up there first DSLR:)


great article tram. pretty inspirational as well.


eww - you a moron buddy


love it! i can't wait to spend thousands of dollars (*sigh) on a top notch camera to shoot the things i love the most. inspirational!


haha im in one of ur pics.. nice!


Congrats Tram for a feature on SpeedHunters! Cheers!


Your closing statement nailed it! That is indeed what your pictures are oozing! Very inspirational :)


Great humility in exposing your intention and on the journey figuring out that you are talented realizing your talent yet still an eagerness to grow, expand and learn... Atta boy! Keep it up and see ya around!


I have never left a comment on this site either, and visit quite frequently, I have to say this is one of the most inspiration posts from speed hunters for me as I am starting to get into photography. Beautiful pictures.


nice pictures... keep it up!!