Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 11:16PM | in Bellflower, California, Car Show, Fuck Cancer, HDR, Jae Bueno
I really felt sad today when my wife Kathy told me that the great car culture photographer, Jae Bueno had passed away. I knew he was sick and that he had cancer but I didn’t know how serious it was. I only spoke to Jay on a handful of occasions, but when we saw one another, he always made time to wave or pause for a minute to say hello or something encouraging about Kathy’s work which really made me happy. That’s pretty nice given how accomplished Jae was. Not all photographers I meet at car shows are that nice. I guess they feel competitive or something. Jae always seemed… humble. He was usually smiling, chatting and shooting great images. I’ve followed his work in Low Rider magazine, his photo stream on Flickr and his website www.JaeBueno.com and usually found them to be inspiring. Kathy often would mention to me that Jae had posted photos from a show she couldn’t attend or wasn’t aware of and I know she admired his skill as well.
Jae, I’ll miss seeing you and your wife at car shows. I hope you didn’t suffer. I know your family must be devastated. I know your many friends in the car culture scene will miss you too. They always seemed so aware of your presence. Often I would be at a car show setting up my tripod and camera to photograph a car, and the owner would say “Jae Bueno is here too, do you know him? Do you shoot for magazines too?” to which I would have to answer “I’ve met him a few times, but I just shoot for fun. I’ll leave the professional photos to Jae”.
This photo was taken on a blazing hot day in September of 2012. Kathy had heard about a car show at Mayfield High School in Bellflower, California and we decided to go. We ran around shooting photos and tried not to get overheated. I was heading for a shady curb where Kathy had already taken refuge when I saw this motorcycle. I don’t typically shoot them, but this one looked super cool. When I got home and reviewed my photos in Adobe Lightroom, I saw that I had inadvertently also captured Jae and his wife in this shot. Jae is the guy in the grey shirt holding a camera and smiling. His wife is just to his left. Here he looks happy, healthy and in his element. I’m glad I have this photo to reinforce my memory because this is how I’d like to remember Jae Bueno.