Kyle Carbert’s Bagged Nismo Nissan Juke

Back on that photoshoot train again – trying to fit in what I can before winter comes. I still have a few more to do but it’s been so hard fitting things in with all these weekend plans lately. This shoot alone took a week of going back and forth with Kyle to schedule properly and to find time that would work for the both of us.

We settled on an afternoon shoot just outside of Calgary and although the BC fires aren’t a good thing – the smoke that drifted over that afternoon gave a nice hazy look to the sky and also filtered out the sun a little bit so that it wasn’t so glaring. I was pretty stoked to shoot Kyle’s Juke as I’ve never shot one before and it was nice to shoot something a little different this time around. Sometimes all you need is a totally different platform to give some inspiration to new angles or shots.

Take a look see…

One of my favourite rollers of the day was this sunset cliff shot.

JC providing me with his companion service once again. Honestly, 99% of my rolling shots wouldn’t be possible without JC. Almost every single one of them that I’ve done over the years has been with him. He knows where to go, when to speed up and slow down… He’s my rolling shot soul mate.

Some more rollers…


Kyle’s interior was also a pleasant sight as it was clean and well kept. Sometimes you get to photoshoots and they just completely forgot about cleaning the inside. His steering wheel was also customized where he had the bottom flattened to be a D-shape and then got it wrapped to be thicker. A very nice and minimalistic touch.

Kyle also traded his stock seats for a pair of Nismo Recaros – a very nice pair of seats in person all while retaining all the stock air bags and sensors.

A few more very clean and interesting touches was the hardline/tank set up in the back. Again, very minimalistic and clean. Kyle did the work himself on this and after having air myself and knowing some of the headaches it can have – I applaud Kyle for getting this all done on his own. Nice little Baymax sticker to finish it off as well.

Way before we got the Rav4 Hybrid, I was contemplating the Juke but it just didn’t have enough room in the back for stroller and kid things… That’s partially why I was excited to be able to shoot this. Living vicariously through Kyle’s build, I suppose.

The sun was just at the right spot for us that smoggy evening…

Me and JC posted up. Dynamic duo.

Kyle’s Juke retains a lot of it’s stock simplicity with a few additional touches here and there. It looks very good on it’s own but the red accents stand out well against the white and black.

I know the front of the Juke is quite different than most cars but that’s kind of what I like about them. It looks wicked IMO.

One of my dilemmas when trying to pick a location for Kyle’s Juke was whether I wanted it to be in urban/cityscape or nature. I opted for nature because I think it just suits the car well – it’s a compact cross-over and although it’s bagged and not really meant for any type of nature trek, it’s still it’s natural habitat despite its’ ‘equipment’ lol.

A very well-fitting set up with the Rotiforms.

A further shot of his tank set up

One other thing you might notice is that his over-fenders are paint matched – which is not usually done on the Juke until you get to the higher models. Something I personally didn’t notice until Kyle aired out. It’s much more noticeable when the body gets closer to the wheels that they’re paint matched as it flows much better this way.

That’s all folks! Thanks for watching!

Rooftop Shenanigans?

I guess every photoshoot that I’m not actually doing is just a shenanigan now cause I don’t know what else to call it lol. Yesterday, David had a few of us come out to do a quick photoshoot downtown. He’s been wanting to do some urban/downtown rollers for a while now and he got his chance! I met up with Steve in his GTR to get our cars washed and we rolled out to the top of the parkade downtown. I’ve never actually driven all the way up to this one before since I’ve never had the need to but it ended up being a really nice spot.

There was a bunch of things going on yesterday afternoon – between Steve getting some shots of his GTR before he sells it, some model pictures, a BRZ and FRS duo shoot, and rollers – we were all just following David’s lead. It’s a weird thing to not be the one coordinating the shoot since that’s what I’m used to.

Being the bystander at a photoshoot is a new thing to me… Like, where do I stand? Am I in the way? Should I talk to the photographer or do I shut up? Is it creepy to watch while the model is posing on the cars? I dunno – me and Steve just ended up talking cars anyway and looking away while awkwardly trying to get out of the way LOL. Personally, while I’m shooting – I enjoy talking about the persons car and what they’ve done to it and what their plans are. It might not look like it, but I’m listening and it helps me add a little flair to the write up that I usually do, or if you talk about a certain aspect of the car a lot, it hints to me that it’s something you probably enjoy and like a lot, so I’ll take pics of it. For me – while shooting – the silence is likely as awkward as it is for you standing there watching me LOL!

Anyway, most of the shots below are just behind the scenes shots and random things I took while we were there. I can’t not bring my camera to a photoshoot and take some pics, even if it’s not my photoshoot…

Since these weren’t really serious photos for me, I ended up getting a chance to try out my new polarizer and played around with some different colour gradings to give a different effect. I typically like to stick to a very natural feel with a very minimal post-processing look but sometimes playing around with sliders to give a different look makes it a bit more interesting. I typically tend to favour the warmer and yellow/orange hues over cool tones like the above, but I tried something a little different today…

Which one is the photographer?! Just kidding – Steve just grabbing some shots on the sidelines while David does his thing.

I was able to snap a quick pic of the GTR as well – one for the books I suppose. I never did get a chance to shoot his GTR while he owned it.

A view from the top of the parkade. A nice overcast day with some sun peeking through here and there – perfect weather for pics.

And then me in my creeper mode… David shooting Lexi with my FRS and Jason Tang’s BRZ.

Focus switch…

Me just snapping randoms of my car while Jason T’s car gets all the attention.

Here is where I started getting a little crazy with the colour grading and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m 50/50 on it because I think it gives a cool feel but I think it’s just “not me” that I can’t fully hop on board yet. Lexi was looking off to the left at David while I shot this and it ended up looking pretty good. What do you guys think? Too much? Looks OK?

Another random shot I took just cause David was off doing something else. Sometimes random shots work and sometimes they don’t… Here is when it doesn’t but I edited it anyway.

Another shot of David doing his thing. I’m really looking forward to seeing these pictures as I’ve never been to a shoot with a model with cars while someone else was doing the shooting. Yesterday was completely new and strange to me because it was so out of my element but interesting to watch. Like I said in my previous posts with Mike and Ricky – it’s crazy to see how different shots can be of the same subject once all is said and done.

Another random that I creeped on to take.

And one last one of David taking shots with Lexi.

And finally – something I’m OK at – a shot of Jason’s BRZ and my FRS together with more blue/cool colour grading. Hopefully when David is done I can share some on here for you guys!

Sunset Shenanigans – Part 2

Went out for a second time at sunset with Mike and this time Ricky joined to also get some shots for his video clip. We had some great lighting that night and it turned out super awesome. Of course, with Mike and Ricky running around with their cameras, I felt left out so I took some snapshots. I didn’t do any video because I have no idea what I’d be doing with it anyway LOL. I’ll just leave that to the pros…

We headed back to the same spot to finish up some clips and then went out to another spot to do some rollers. At the end of this, I’ll post some shots that Mike was able to get of the car as well.

Awesome lighting that evening…

The guys doing their thing

Sun flares are great

Behind the scenes…

Ricky getting his video shots

As the sun was setting, the sky was full of clouds and gave us a super awesome backdrop.

Mike getting some shots…

That’s it for my shots… I’ll move onto Mike’s still shots.

We were discussing the shots a few days ago and I mentioned how crazy it is that our shots are so drastically different even though we shot the same subject in the same spot. That’s part of the craft, I suppose – but all you need is someone to look at a picture differently and think it needs something drastically different than you thought it needed. For myself, I was editing the pictures and thought “meh, that’s as good as it gets” and then Mike sent his shots and suddenly I was like “I guess more could’ve been done”.

That’s the best thing about shooting with others with the same approach to photography. They have a completely different perspective.

Rear roller

That stance. I love how the car sits.


One of my favourite rollers he captured that night. Shows those yellow brembos perfectly

And the infamous “look back at it” shot. This was completely unplanned but I liked this a lot. I always saw these types of shots but I would always think it was staged… Guess now I know I bought the right car, right?

Happy 2nd Birthday, Aria! An Entry That’s Not About Aria.

… OK, maybe it’s a little bit about Aria but I’m going to take a different approach this year and instead of writing a letter to her, I’m going to write a letter about me. I figured that by the time Aria gets to the age that she’ll be able to read and understand what I’ve written, this blog will be long gone and forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, Aria’s birthday is everything to me but it’s also a good time to look back and reflect on the last 2 years. I think that’s what parents do on their kids birthdays – they celebrate them and then think about the year that just flew by. I just didn’t want to write the same type of blog every other parent blogger does because it’ll be the same “you’re so sassy like me” or “you’re so smart for your age” entry. Not this year, folks.

Over the last 2 years, the question of “what’s it like to be a Dad, now?” has come up a lot and I only ever say “it’s good!” but it’s so much more than that. It’s literally the best thing that has ever happened to me and there are days that I think to myself “why didn’t we have Aria in our lives sooner?” because I can’t imagine a life now without her in it. They say having a child is the best way to test how strong of a person you can become and it’s true. It changes every single molecule in your being and it forces you to look at the world in a whole new light. You become more aware of someone other than yourself and selfishness starts to turn into selflessness quicker than you think. The days of “me, me, me” are long gone and you begin to prioritize something greater than yourself. It’s fulfilling in a way you wouldn’t know until you truly want to give every piece of your heart and energy to a little kid you’ve helped create.

From the second she was born, I’ve been proud to be her Dad and for every second thereafter, I have never fallen in love with such a small person over and over again as many times as I have. I find myself having conversations with a 2 year old randomly most days and more often than not, it’s about absolutely nothing but it means absolutely everything to me. There are car rides where we will spend half an hour talking about the clouds and what size they are or which of her fingers is which and I wish we could stop time for a moment so I could just cherish it a bit. Days go by so fast and I remember wishing we could talk with each other sooner, and now I’m wishing things would slow down because I’m afraid I can’t remember everything.

Being a parent splits you into two things: your former self and your new self. My former self slept late and woke up whenever he wanted. He spent all his money on materialistic things and on fads that would mean nothing in a year. He cared only about himself, and his way, and his things. His heart was caged and selfish. The new self – the Dad self – he has bags under his eyes, he’s tired and exhausted most days. He’s scared and anxious to make sure he’s raising his little girl perfectly. His time is more precious now.. But his heart – his heart is full and overflowing. He’s now fueled by love and not greed. The former self – I don’t miss him all that much, nor do I think about him anymore. He’s in the past and I think he belongs there because no matter how uncertain the new self’s future is, I think he’s a better version of me.

For the last 2 years, every day has been a learning experience and every time that I’ve made a mistake, I’ve learned from them quicker than I ever have before because I don’t want to fail her again. There are days where you’ll just want to quit – you’ll want to stay home from work, and not move from bed, and not pick up any toys, and not change any diapers, and not argue about eating food – nothing. But all I have to hear is “Daddy!” and I realize again what my motivation is and that I can’t quit, because quitting now means giving up on her. At the end of the day, when we put her down to sleep and we go back and let our weight fall into the bed with another day in the bag, I can’t help but wish she was still up so we could play some more. In an ironic and funny way, Aria has taught me a lot more about success than I’ve taught her, and even though we think it’s one-way – it’s very much both ways. Kids teach us so much more than our ignorant parent minds think they do – you just have to listen.

Aria is 2 today. She knows Daddy’s real name is Jason and Mommy’s real name is Diana. She knows yoga and that she has to say Namaste when she’s done. She knows when to stop and go at a traffic light. She knows how to manipulate people for more candy. She loves telling people the story about how she hit her head and had to put a bandaid on. She hates sand, but loves water. She decides which shoes to put on depending on where we’re going. She loves bubble tea and chicken nuggets. She’s terrible. She’s two. And I don’t think the “terrible *insert age here*” will ever go away from here on out, but that’s OK because we love her. Happy birthday, buttmunch!