MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
Many Marines have automotive hobbies like fixing or customizing vehicles, however one Marine’s hobby is taking pictures of customized vehicles.
Staff Sgt. Oscar A. Diaz, a maintenance controller with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466, the “Wolfpack,” photographs custom cars.
Photography is more than just a hobby for Diaz, who spends much of his weekends and time after work taking photos and working on a custom car Web site.
Diaz began shooting custom car shows in 2001 on a 35mm film camera in North Carolina.
“It started as just a hobby, but within a couple years I was shooting three rolls of film at each show,” said Diaz.
Over the past eight years Diaz has taken photos of more than just custom cars.
“I have taken head shots and worked with models, but I prefer automobiles,” explained Diaz. “When shooting models I can pick the location and background, but car shows are more exciting because I have to work with each car where it is and that is a challenge.”
“My biggest problem shooting cars is the afternoon sun, it’s hard to shoot when there is glare off the chrome, explained Diaz.
Being a good photographer takes more than just taking good photos.
“A big part of photography is approaching people to take photos of them or their vehicle and that takes confidence,” said Diaz. “However, the skills learned on recruiting duty make that a breeze.”
Diaz’s photos capture the custom car lifestyle, explained Cpl. Jason Roley, an air frame mechanic with the Wolfpack.
“Anyone can take a photo, but with Staff Sgt. Diaz it’s more than just a picture,” said Roley, a fellow custom car enthusiast. “His photos make you feel like you are there at the car show.”
After shooting for Drop Jaw Magazine, Diaz decided it was time to start his own Web-based company. Partnered with a few friends he started Kronicles of Kustoms. Diaz now shoots car shows all over California with his Cannon digital camera for the Web site.
“My intent with the Web site is to cover all things custom from low riders to rat rods,” said Diaz. “The site is still under construction, but I hope to have it finished in a few months.”
Diaz and his partners at KOK are currently working on a car show called Cruizin for Kidz to raise money for Toys for Tots.
In addition to being a custom car photographer he is also a custom car enthusiast who hopes to work on a vehicle in the near future.