Month of casting, nine beautiful girls, eleven really cool cars of different brands, centuries and styles, a handful of photographers, a Harley, make-up-artists, assistants, helpers and five very unique shooting locations. These are the ingredients for the annual ap photoshoot 2016. I had the pleasure to attend and I have to say – the boys and girls did excel themselves again.
The ap photoshoot became an annual top-event in the german car- and tuning scene over the years. Longstanding experience and careful preparation as well as the interaction with the car scene are the guarantors for a perfect result. Now, follow me and I will take you on a trip to get a deep insight behind the scenes of one of the most thrilling, funny and stormy weekends of the year.
Ap was casting models and cars on Facebook for month by now. Being a freelance-writer I do have exactly as much insight and influence at the casting-process as everybody of you has. I give a like to a car or a girl which I know once in a while and everything is else is always one big surprise for me. In any case, I like the way how the votes of the car community are influencing the casting process. So, its not just an event for a certain kind of people, its an event for everybody, because everybody can influence the outcome with a „klick“ of his mouse.
Today, it`s Friday, June the 17th and it`s crunch-time. The whole ap team meets in Gaildorf, which is the home of the ap company headquarters and prepares for the early Saturday morning. I am still back in Munich and I watch the raindrops falling on my window. That makes me a bit worried because a big part of the shooting will be outside.
Saturday morning, after a short night and a 250 km drive I finally arrive. Surprise, surprise – it rains. And another surprise, there has already been a super exklusive shooting at an airport nearby with a 10 million privat jet in the morning and I missed that. Whaaat? I definitely need more information. Anyway, I get instructions to show up at a big school. Shortly after I meet the team there. There are working in a tunnel, full of graffiti, at least protected from the bad weather. Cars need to be re-parked in the narrowness of the tunnel, photographers are experimenting with lights and flashes in the semi-darkness. Tireless car-owners are cleaning their cars again and again. Nevertheless, the mood is good, everybody is happy and the whole team makes the best out of the day. I wear a T-shirt, a shirt and a pair of jeans and I am freezing in the windy tunnel. The girls which are posing in underwear or less in front of the cars are really tough and professional. Respect!
In the meantime, rain is pouring down so hard, that it is running into the tunnel in streams. But, nobody really cares. Sonja, the leading dancer even wants to sit on the dirty and wet ground in her hot pants for the next picture. Well, I wouldn`t like to sit there especially if I would wear hot pants. Ok, If I would wear hot pants this would probably be my smallest problem, but thats another story.
Besides the airport and the „graffiti-tunnel“ there have been planned three other shooting-locations for the weekend. A junkyard, a skater-park and a sawmill. After many hours in the dark and windy tunnel the sawmill sounds good to me. Thats the best part of my job. I am the only one in the team who can stay as long as I want at the different locations because my only job is to get some impressions and collect some opinions. So, I follow a bumpy mountain road to the remote sawmill hidden between fog and rain in the middle of nowhere. Amazons, sparks and smoke-bombs are waiting for me there. A second team with the other half of the models and cars are busy at work.
If you plan a photoshoot for a company which makes sport suspensions you definitely need one thing and that is – great cars. 11 of those cars have been chosen from the casting process and these were:
• Audi S3 Limousine from the year 2015 in red and black, with lowering springs and the Audi exklusive interior, owned by Jens.
• BMW 1 series in a very unique look with a completely redone exterior and interior, special sound system and 19 inch rims owned by Sascha.
• BMW 3 series 330ci E46 Convertible in a shiny black color and with different leather interior works, new rims and suspension as well as a M2 package, owned by Vincent.
• Ford Focus ST with more modifications which I can count. 330+hp, special paint in electric-orange and black, and all was done by the owner Bastian himself.
• Mini Cooper R50 of Christian, also with very many modifications, from the Recaro pole position seats till a unique sound-system and from a roll cage till all the different paint jobs.
• Nissan 350Z transformed into a track-tool by Dominik, stripped interior, bucket-seats, splitter, BBS rims, a rear wing made of carbon and much more.
• Opel Astra G from the year 2002 owned by Andree, 309hp and 430Nm, really great airbrush with candy-coat, complete stereo system and pretty much everything else is also modified, from the König K5000 bucket seats till the vehicle sky in leather and the Wiechers roll-bar.
• Opel Astra G from the year 2002 owned by Bianca, also with a perfect airbrush and countless other modifications like: self-made intake, group A exhaust, a complete car hifi system, bucket seats in orange and much more.
• Peugeot 206 from the year 2000 with LSD doors, a Paul Walker airbrush, Clemens Motorsport Bodykit, a completely redone car hifi system, 17 inch rims, a ap coilover-kit and many more details – owned by David.
• VW Golf II R32 owned by Markus with a great paint-job in brown and beige. A lot of leather in the interior and of course a new stereo system. The exterior features the rally front, Corrado headlights, BBS 17 inch rims and much more.
• VW Golf III GTI from Jörg modified in the 90s Style with some modern components. 200 cell catalyst made from premium steel, custom made 70 mm exhaust, Schrick special camshaft, Sparco bucket seats and many more to talk about.
All together – that is one amazing collection of very special cars with to many details to talk about in this small article. I could write two pages about every single car, just to explain you, how great they are. But my favorite story was the story of Andree and Bianca, both sharing their hobby, both driving an Opel Astra G, both won the casting and both a married.
Following the unwritten law of car pictures, great cars should always be complemented by beautiful girls. We had nine of them right here at our locations, and not to forget, one handsome male model was also here. Some of the girls had already tried to get the job within the last years, but they did not succeed. Only Sonja had already been part of the 2015 shooting. As an example, Monique had tried it the second time this year and after she got the positive answer, she was dancing down the hallway of her school, at least this is what she told me. She had a lot of experience as an alternative model but never had a job in the car & tuning industry before. Peggy and Nicole had to share one room over the weekend and they have started the weekend with a glas of champagne, just because they were that happy. Every girl seemed to be really surprised after she got their invitation but it is probably better to listen to some of the girls personally. So here are some direct quotes:
„After the briefing I was desperately looking forward to the next days…being warriors at the sawmill was so great…great chance for me to show of my sporty skills…this weekend was inspired and brilliant…it was the favorite photoshoot of my life!“ Nicole
„I couldn`t beliefe it, the little girl from Saxony was chosen…I was so proud and happy…it was the best, most exhausting and the most funny photoshoot I ever had…perfect weekend…would love to do it again!“ Monique
„Saturday and Sunday, both have been equally great…beautiful locations, perfect cars, nice make-up artists and first class photographers…this was bigger and better than everything I had done before in my life…and it was great fun and a wonderful experience…got to know so many nice people.“ Peggy
I think you got the point. Everybody was happy and the pictures are showing some great results also. For me personally, this was the second ap-shooting which I attended and I have to say, I like the mixture of professional organization and work on the one side and all the fun and cooperation on the other side. So, I am really looking forward to the big ap photoshoot 2017.
Text: Andreas Leffler