Emir Haveric reshapes car photography with BMW
Cars are not driven in a vacuum. The Autobahn is one highway system in one European country, the rest of us are relegated to the back streets of the suburbs, or the imperfect asphalt of cities. We open doors on squeaky hinges, roll the windows down, crease the leather. We let our cars get lived in. Automobiles, despite the years of painstaking design, are tools that we use to shuttle ourselves around our lives. They can be beautiful tools, but they are tools.
Emir Haveric is working this truth into his work with BMW. “This is the way car photography should be,” he explains. “Not presenting the car on the plate like it was before. It’s much nicer to see the twinkle in the driver's eye. Seeing the car in movement, in a real situation.”
Emir and BMW went to Houston and Dallas, Texas to capture a particular look for the campaign. Cities like LA and New York can edge into being monotonous. Everyone else shoots there, and everything starts to look the same. Instead he got to work in cities that were unfamiliar to him, that give a new feeling to the images, “Which was beautiful. Which was great,” he says. “Two little cities I had never been to before. They worked perfectly.” They infused a fresh energy to the photos, allowing flexibility with the compositions that were previously unheard of. He explains the shift of what allowed in car photography now saying, “Three, four years ago, maybe even last year, they would never ever allow you to shoot like this. ‘Oh my God he has the door open! We’re not going to see the design line of our car!’ Now, it’s possible. Because this is what the people do.” He sums it up, saying, “We have to come down from the super world, down to the street where you live.”
The campaign consists of spreads, pairings of photos. On the left are black and white photographs of car gazing upon or interacting with their cars. On the right, hyper contrasted color photographs with the searing red of the X4. The photos, juxtaposed against on another create a natural movement implied by the shifts in color. Emir’s choice to pair these photos was about telling the story through the aesthetics. He says that it was, “Absolutely about the aesthetics. The visual effect. When you double pages, in the spread, it gets your attention.”
BMW is able to take these sorts of risks with a photographer like Emir because they’ve been working together for so long. In fact, when BMW knows they’re ready for something new that’s when they get Emir to shoot for them. “I’ve known these creatives for years. I knew some of them when they were very, very young art directors and I was starting to do car photography 10-12 years ago.” It’s a kind of trust that has been forged by time and experience. Emir injects a fresh humanity into BMW’s ads while keeping the aesthetic as beautiful as it needs to be. It really is a new way to present automobiles.