Photographer Spotlight Mark Pantalone – This month we would like to take the time to honor Mark Pantalone for our Photographer Spotlight. Mark is a key member of CarShowz and has been a part of the family since 2013 but, it feels like I’ve known him forever. Our Daughters actually refer to him as, “Uncle Mark.”
Mark brings a unique style to the CarShowz Coverage Team and as you will see below in his question and answer session he loves to shoot the details of custom rides, specifically hood ornaments of classics. It’s always a treat looking through Mark’s coverage because, if you miss the details of a particular vehicle while walking around a show, it’s guaranteed Mark will capture it in his coverage.
I have always looked up to Mark throughout the years. He was always doing something cool and unique to his Monster Magnum and now he is working on his ’78 C10, not to mention the rides he had back in the day. Mark is well known in the scene and serves as a member of the Grounded 4 Life Car/Truck Club. Mark started his photography career shooting wrestling matches in his early 20’s, so if you come across a bloody messy photo of Mark don’t be alarmed.
Over the years Mark has covered several events ranging from the known 24 Hour LeMons which is endurance racing with $500 cars. Of course not all of the cars are as cheap as $500, there are some vehicles that get waivers because of there novelty. For example, SpeedyCops Helicopter which is unique and awesome to see cruising down the highway or on an endurance course. But this isn’t about the 24 Hour LeMons or SpeedyCop, back to Mark’s accomplishments over the years. Mark has covered several local charity events to include but not limited to import events, hot rod events, mini truck events and more.
Most notable, Mark has covered the Chicago Dub Show, Carlisle Events, Nitro Circus, The Race of Gentlemen, Motor Trend International Auto Shows and a ton more.
It’s amazing how much we have grown over the years as a team. A lot of our success can be contributed to Mark and all of his hard work capturing events. You can check out more of Mark’s work by checking out his coverage gallery, here. Of course the link provided is just a small sampling of Mark’s work since we just recently started publishing coverage articles.
Photographer Spotlight Mark Pantalone Q & A
CarShowz: What inspired you to get into Photography?
Mark Pantalone: I’m a visual person, I’ve always been since I was little and it helps me learn how to do things. Reading something doesn’t stick in my head like actually seeing something. Growing up I was always buying car and bmx magazines to look, learn and inspire me. So to add to my ever growing magazine collection whenever I would go to an event I would bring my little 110 camera to capture the moment.
CZ: When did you first pick up a camera and start taking Photography seriously?
Mark Pantalone: I would say probably around 20. I was doing a web site for a wrestling friend and I needed pictures for the site. So I borrowed my sister’s camera and would go ring side for his matches. A couple of the wrestling company’s saw my pics and liked them and asked me if I could shoot all of their shows not just my friends matches. I got tired of going to CVS and waiting a couple days to get the film developed (and paying for it) so I went out and bought my first digital camera, a Sony DSC-F707. I loved this camera it was amazing and I was the first Wrestling Photographer covering the tri-state area to use digital. All the other guys were still using film saying it was better. But as they were busy changing rolls out missing the action I was snapping away. It may not have been a high-end camera but, it did a great job and it was a lot of fun. It even shot in the dark with infrared leds which, made for some fun pictures…lol.
CZ: What gear do you shoot with?
Mark Pantalone: Right now I’m using a Canon T5i but I’m looking to upgrade within the next year. My favorite lenses I would say is my 50mm for doing detailed pictures. But I’m really loving my new 10mm-18mm lens. I’ve been really happy with it so far (only shot a hand full of events with it so far).
CZ: How would you describe your style?
Mark Pantalone: Hmm hard to say. I guess with car shows its kinda in your face style. I love being up-close and personal with a vehicle. Other guys like to grab more background and all (which is fine and looks great), but I love to grab the car or a special feature of it (I love to shoot hood ornaments).
CZ: What is your most memorable photo and why?
Mark Pantalone: My favorite picture would be from The Race of Gentleman. I showed up late and missed the races but, a lot of the cars were still sitting on the beach and this one was out sitting alone and had the ocean as a back drop.
CZ: What is your most favorite car or truck you photographed and why?
Mark Pantalone: I would have to say John Risko’s s10. There is so much detail in that truck it’s crazy. Every time I see it and shoot it, I see something new. Its just so damn sexy!
CZ: What places (to include car events and others) are on your bucket list to visit for photos?
Mark Pantalone: SEMA for sure. My overall goal is to travel to shows away from the Mid-Atlantic area; I need a change of scenery. West Coast for sure and Japan has been in my bucket list forever.
CZ: What tips would you give up and coming Photographers?
Mark Pantalone: Simple answer is have fun with it and shoot what you enjoy.
CZ: Are there any shout-outs you would like to give?
Mark Pantalone: Just want to give a shout-out to God, my Mom and Dad and all my fans who voted for me. As without them I wouldn’t be who I am today to win this award. Baba Booey!! Oh wait wrong speech. Mainly Jeff and the rest of the CarShowz family for giving me the chance to spread my love for the automotive world with others.
I want to thank Mark for taking the time to do this interview and for giving us a glimpse into his life. He is a huge part of this team and motivates me to keep doing what I’m doing. Be sure to keep an eye out for Mark at a show near you and he absolutely loves Gatorade and gummy worms, so be sure to hook him up when you see him!!