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Interview: Mike Boldt, Internationally Published Automotive Photographer

Today, we’re having a chat with Mike Boldt, a well-known and respected figure in the world of automotive photography.

If there was ever an instance which showed how things can come full circle for us car enthusiasts, this latest meeting would be the proof in the pudding.

I’ve known Mike for over a decade. Both of us can vividly recall our first encounters in our respective automotive trajectories.

I was an erratic and inexperienced driver—both on the track and on the streets, in my Honda S2000and he was an energetic fledgling photographer. This convergence of events was, of course, captured on camera.

Framed print of my Honda S2000 captured on camera by Mike Boldt, hanging on my office wall

Fast-forward to the present day, and I think it’d be accurate to say that the essentials have remained unchanged—our passion for automobiles and motorsports remains as strong as ever.

However, each of us has also spent this time refining our skill-sets (and our application of them) as we pursued separate paths, both personally and as it relates to cars.

I have had the absolute privilege of becoming an automotive journalist, sharing my experiences and passion for automotive culture with a like-minded audience. 

Meanwhile, Mike has continued to hone his photocraft, boasting a portfolio which becomes more high-profile and impressive with each year that passes. The serendipity is off the charts!   

During our interview, we briefly reminisce about the past before getting into the nitty-gritty of what he’s been up to lately. 

Some of the topics we cover include his most recent and interesting projects, what the business-end of photography looks like, camera equipment, and of course, plenty of car stuff.

Examples of Mike’s photography work are displayed throughout the transcript, which you can view below. 

For more, please visit his website: and his Instagram:

Interview Transcript

SCD: Hi Mike. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.

So, we go pretty far back. It’s interesting how things in life come full circle sometimes. I still have the photo you took of my S2000 way back in 2010 when we were at Race City.

We’ve interacted sporadically since then, but I will say that I’ve continued to follow your journey as a photographer closely enough to know that your trajectory has continued on the upward trend.

So, with that said, congratulations on all your achievements. How’ve you been?

MB: Hi Terence. Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out to chat! It’s funny how life and especially the automotive world can come full circle. 

I often find myself reminiscing of the days of Race City, being eaten alive by mosquitos to “get the shot.” 

It’s been a long journey since then and I’ve been great, things are busier each year and I’ve really been enjoying doing a lot of cool things along the way.

SCD: One of your more recent projects that really stands out, is the video you produced as part of Porsche Canada’s “Dreamers. On.” Series

Tell us what it was like to work directly with such a famous automotive brand, and a little bit about how you ended up taking on this gig.

MB: I’ve been working with Porsche for the past year. It began with producing still images at a regional level with Porsche Centre Langley. 

After our first video project together (#DriveDefinesHer), I was provided the brief for the “Dreamers. On.” project. 

I was initially asked if I would be interested in producing the video. After some discussion, they asked if I would be interested in being featured myself. 

We spent some time storyboarding, ensuring everything aligned with the brief and Porsche’s brand standards. 

I really enjoy working with a strong forward-thinking brand. It was an immense amount of work for such a short clip but very enjoyable.”

SCD: You also recently completed a 3,500 km coastal road trip in a brand-new McLaren Artura—naturally, lots of photos were taken along the way. 

Besides awesome, what was that all about?

MB: The “Artura Test Pilot” road trip was a blast. A good friend of mine was planning to take delivery of the car, and he asked for some help with logistics to transport the car down to Scottsdale from Vancouver. 

I jokingly suggested we drive it. 

A few weeks later at 1:00 am, we had a window of clear weather and found ourselves headed down the PCH 101. 

It was an amazing experience with McLaren’s newest hybrid supercar on some of the most amazing roads I’ve driven. With only 60 cars delivered worldwide at the time, we caught quite a bit of attention, including that of the famous YouTuber Shmee150

We ended up spending an afternoon filming with him in Los Angeles and chatting cars. Even though I was very sick, it was a memorable trip and experience.

SCD: I would say that your portfolio has a slight bias towards Porsche content. Is this something you’ve been seeking purposefully, or did it just happen organically? 

Is there any stuff that you’ll ever turn away?

MB: Porsche as a brand, and the enthusiast community, have all been very welcoming and appreciative of my work. Things seem to have progressed naturally by word-of-mouth within the community surrounding Porsche and through the social media that surrounds the brand and cars. 

I try to work mostly from referrals and I don’t often have to turn away requests to shoot. I love shooting any make of car, or even trucks. It’s the client’s passion for their vehicle and what makes it special to them that gets me excited to shoot and share that time together.”

SCD: Your work has been featured in several internationally-renown publications such as Top Gear, Import Tuner, and You’ve also been contracted by exotic manufacturers. 

From a career standpoint, who would you say has been your biggest client, and why?

MB: It is hard to say who would be my biggest client. I have many amazing private clients that I have had the opportunity to shoot some incredible cars for—many that would all fall in my career highlights. 

So many of my clients have become close friends and some of the most incredible experiences in my life, I owe to them. 

SCD: I think it’s safe to say that you’re a car enthusiast yourself. Tell us a little bit about what you drive right now, what you have in mind for your next car, and what your dream automobile is.

MB: Currently I have a “Safari” modified Porsche Cayenne as my daily and photo equipment hauler. I will have a second rendition in a newer model Cayenne as a camera car in the works for 2023. 

It’s also safe to say a 911 is in the cards, hopefully not too distant in the future. I am very fortunate with the opportunity to drive a variety of very special cars; it makes it so much more difficult to nail down one dream car. 

The Ferrari F40 is way up there for all time favorites, along with the Porsche Carrera GT.”

SCD: For our photographer-reader demographic, let’s have the all-important “equipment talk”

What do you normally bring with you on a photoshoot, and what’s your “go-to” when it comes to cameras, lenses, and rigs?

MB: When it comes to gear, I try to pack light but somehow things always end up with my vehicle overflowing with Pelican cases. 

Indoor shoots with artificial lighting—the required equipment to control light and reflections, seems to never be enough at times. 

For outdoor shoots and more “run and gun” scenarios I typically shoot with two camera bodies, a different lens on each so I am not spending a lot of time switching or fumbling in my bag. 

When time and location allow, I love to shoot with artificial light and shape the car with a technique called painting with light.”

My current camera and lens kit:

Nikon Z9 x 2

Nikon 14-30mm 4.0 S

Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 S

Nikon 24-120mm 4.0 S

Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 S

Nikon 50mm 1.8 S

Nikon 400mm 2.8 VR FL

Sigma 24mm 1.4 ART

Sigma 40mm 1.4 ART

Sigma 85mm 1.4 ART

Sigma 135mm 1.8 ART


SCD: Many photographers—particularly those newer to the game—underestimate or overlook the importance of editing. 

How crucial is this skill to you, and how has it helped you define your own unique style?

MB: On any given project, it is not unusual for me to spend more than half of my time in post-production.

I tend to get a bit too obsessive over details and getting it right, however, I think that is part of what has helped me define my style. 

Color is very important for many of my clients (PTS Porsches for example) and I focus heavily on getting things as accurate as possible.” 

I also spend a lot of time cleaning up small background distractions, whether it’s a distant fire hydrant or a crack in the pavement.

Photoshop also provides the ability to combine multiple images and shape light to create an image that otherwise would not have been possible with just 1 exposure. Many of my light painted images consist of up to 10 different images blended.

SCD: To segue on that, it’s evident that becoming a good photographer requires much more than picking up the latest DSLR camera and going trigger happy on the shutter button. 

What advice can you offer those who are looking to take their photography game to the next level, especially with the goal of turning it into a side gig or full-time work?

MB: Don’t get super caught up on shooting the newest or most expensive car. I often have people reach out to me asking how to get access to exclusive cars, with no real portfolio to begin with. Create a special image with what you have and work from there. 

Never stop learning. With enough time and experience things will fall into place. Take opportunities when they present themselves. 

You need to stand out from all other photographers on Instagram and social media. You need to define your own style with your images—don’t just copy what every other photographer is doing on Instagram.” 

It is also very important to prove you are professional to work with. Shoot, fail, learn, and keep shooting.

SCD: Networking and communication are universally important in running a successful operation, and the photography business is no different.

  1. A potential client contacts you and wants to book a photoshoot. What does that conversation look like from start to finish?
  2. You’ve been following someone online who has great content (and whom you’ve never met), plus a lot of nice cars, to boot. Do you often “cold call” these people with the hope of collaborating?
  3. Social media is massive when it comes to showcasing your brand. Do you believe that you’ve reached a stage where your online portfolio speaks for itself (i.e. lots of word-of-mouth business, clients specifically seek you out, no shortage of projects, etc)?  


  1. Typically, I will ask them why they reached out to me, which images in my portfolio caught their eye. I then will establish if the images are to be used for commercial or for personal use. I’ll ask about the car, what color it is, and any locations they may have in mind. I often have scouted various locations that are well suited for different types of cars.
  2. I try to let my work speak for itself and my client-base is majority word-of-mouth referral based. I don’t particularly pursue or cold call clients. If someone has a unique interesting car, I may approach and ask if they would be interested in having me pitch an outlet for an editorial story. If I need a specific car for a portfolio project, I may reach out with an offer. Having worked in sales in the past, I’ve never been the one to be pushy—I have carried that into my own business in the creative field.
  3. I am terrible at pushing fresh content on my Instagram. However, when I do share exciting new work, both new and existing clients always seem to reach out. I am very thankful to have a steady stream of work from a handful of private clients, local shops/dealers, and commercial clients.

SCD: You’ve shot some of the most iconic cars in the world. If you could pick one photo you’ve taken as your “G.O.A.T”, which one would it be? 

Same question, but instead of one photo, how about for an overall project?

MB: This is a tricky one. 

Most fitting for this question, would have to be stumbling upon a herd of literal goats while shooting two “G.O.A.T” Porsche Carrera GTs. 

However, over my entire career there have been many stand out shoots, including a modified Ferrari Enzo, F40, Singer and GT2 Porsches together. A few of my most shared images are of a Porsche 356 Speedster near the Sea to Sky highway at sunset. 

“My most memorable car I’ve shot would have to be Bruce McLaren’s personal M6GT—this was the first ever street-legal McLaren.” 

On my recent road trip, it was a special surprise to see my published photos in a 993 GT2 book on display, at Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles.


SCD: Where has your photography work taken you in a geographical sense? What’s the most memorable location you’ve been able to shoot at and travel to for business?

MB: Suzuka Circuit in Japan. It was incredible to walk the track and shoot D1GP for a weekend. 

Newfoundland for the Targa Rally would be a close runner up. I didn’t think I would ever get to visit so many small communities throughout the east coast (of Canada), if it was not for that experience. 

With travel being open again, I am hoping to make up for lost time and have some trips that were paused over the pandemic, to places such as Hong Kong and Europe.

SCD: Anything exciting projects in the pipeline that you can tell us about? What’s the best way to get in touch with you to book a shoot, view your portfolio, and find out more about what you do?

MB: I’m currently working on launching an online fine art print store. It’s been a long time in the making and a lot of work to get things to where I want them, but I am finally about to launch!

This year I have some very exciting shoots coming up with some special cars (the Singer DLS being one of those) and spending some time in the studio.

You can check out my work and reach me on my website and Instagram:


IG: @mikeboldtphoto

SCD: Tell us briefly about how you got into photography. Also, what does a car-enthusiast-photographer do in his spare time, besides a bit of sim racing?

(Mike and I have sim-raced together in the past)

MB: When I first started photography, I was 15 years old. It always coincided with other hobbies/interests of mine. 

It began with mountain biking, then live music—and as interests changed and I grew older, cars, which is the one that really stuck. 

When you love what you do, it truly does not feel like work, so I am happy to be “working” all hours if there are things to be done.” 

Fortunately, that often includes exercising and caring for client cars. Outside of work, most of my free time is spent trying new restaurants, listening to podcasts and music, going for drives, and maybe the odd video game session. 


SCD: Well, Mike—that concludes our interview. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Photography is such an important part of automotive culture; sharing your experience and knowledge with our audience will no doubt make for some good entertainment and sound advice.  

On behalf of everyone at, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.

We’ve also chatted about the prospect of working together in the future and having you shoot some content for our websites. 

It sounded like you were up for it, and I’m really looking forward to what’s in store.

MB: I would really enjoy sharing my next road trip adventure, a feature car, or some event coverage—Rennsport Reunion perhaps? 

Thanks again! I am humbled by the opportunity to share about what I do with your readers.

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