Earlier this year it was suggested that I make this whole Royboy Productions thing about more than just the cars. I mean, I love the cars, but there’s more interesting stories in the car owners, artists, car show promoters, bands etc that need to be told. So the idea was hatched to use this blog to tell some of those stories. Rather than mangle someone else’s story this first feature will be about me, I’m my own guinea pig. In future articles I’ll cover a few of my hotrod/kustom friends so use the RSS feed to stay up to date on the newest stories and show coverage.
My name is Travis, I like to take pictures….
What the hell is a Royboy Productions why not just call yourself Travis??? Because I like to be difficult, I guess. The name comes from a time when I was doing audio engineering in the studio and live. I was planning on starting a business that specialized in live recordings. Figuring that nobody else would have used “royboy” as a name for their business, I ran with it, a few months later I built a website to advertise the business.
Just for fun I added the photos that I’d been taking at car shows to the site, and I quickly saw that those pictures got a ton more attention than my recording services. Figuring why not use that to an advantage, the idea of a custom car calendar was born, put the website on it and people will see the url every day of the year! Give all of the proceeds to a charity and give yourself a good feeling…. Hey this could be cool (kool as straykatkustoms would say). Slowly website morphed into what it is now, over 14,000 car show photos all 100% free to view. It’s has been fun, and although I haven’t had studio time besides the annual Bluesmasters At The Crossroads event in a couple of years, I haven’t regretted a bit of this current adventure. See a small gallery of the 2010 Bluesmasters here.
Publisher, we don’t need no stinking publisher!
In 2008 I created the first Royboy Productions Calendar For Charity, with 100% of the proceeds going to Victory Junction Gang Camp for Kids. Looking at the traditional calendar I thought why do we have to do it the way that everyone else does? Why not have 2 photos, with the calendar superimposed above the bottom photo? I hope that this still sets my calendars apart, but they are a work in progress, since the 2010 Calendar they’ve all been printed and bound by me, to keep the overhead as low as possible to raise as much money as possible for the charities. It means 100’s of hours by the time it’s all said and done but the feeling you get when you can donate a bunch of money to a good cause makes it all worthwhile.
2009 brought about the idea of a photobook, like every aspiring photographer. A hardbound book was created, again self published/printed, that book covered 2006-2009. I never sold many of them, but that wasn’t the point, the point was making something. Again straying away from what I’d seen others do (whether that’s good or bad, eh I don’t know) and used a single image as the background for each page with some photos cropped to the shape of the cars, mostly experimenting for the fun of it.
The Car Show Pics books came up next, why not take all of the photos from one show and put them in a small sized “magazine” so people could purchase a keepsake of the show? They are for now a limited run of only 50 copies, because it’s not about making money it’s about doing something different, those books are also going to be available as ebooks soon too. A couple of titles already are, more are on the way, when I get around to it.
Okay, wordy, but we get it, except….why???
People ask why I travel to all of the shows that I do, what drives me to do all of this basically for free? Passion. I have a passion for kool! Kool cars, music, people, there is something…. something often intangible that just makes me exclaim “kool!” I didn’t start this adventure with this end in mind, but it’s the path I am on now. I’m doing my best to document what the shows are like, so that people who miss them can feel like they are there, and the people that are there can look back and see what they might have missed. Maybe, just maybe in 50 years when people look back to see what we were building now, some of these photos will still be around for someone to exclaim “kool!”
2010 tripped the odometer at 7,500 miles traveling to car shows not including a flight to and from Vegas, 2011 looks to double that if gas prices allow. Hopefully I’ll be hitting 20-25 shows in 2011!
In early March a few of the hot rod hoodlums in the Derby, KS area got together and I was allowed the privilege of taking some shots of their rides. I’ll be doing more of these photoshoot parties for sure. Over the next few months, I’ll be creating a couple more Car Show Pics books of shows from last year and early this year, and of course the Calendar for Charity project will be in full swing this year again. The next goal is to get some of the show coverage in magazines that aren’t printed by me!
See you at a show!