Robert Grubbs, Southern California Automotive Photographer, has been with the O’Gara Coach Company for over 4 years serving as Head Photographer for all three locations in Beverly Hills, San Diego, and Westlake Village California.
With more than 18K followers on Instagram where he shares his most recents campaigns and photography Q&A’s, Grubbs shoots exclusive content within the world of luxury vehicles ranging from O’Gara Coach events to racetrack shoots at our private O’Gara MotorSport Facility at The Thermal Club.
Grubbs Photography has worked for various corporate brands such as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Aston Martin, and more with shoots spanning from the Pebble Beach Concours to Sun Valley Tour de Force. With access to the most elite auto brands and limited vehicles in the world, the photographer is known for his vivid imagery and highly processed photo content.
As the O’Gara Coach company has grown and the photographer’s portfolio expands, Grubbs has since stepped into the role as Art Director as well as Head Supervisor for our majorly successful GT Series hosting quarterly car shows across our O’Gara locations.
Grubbs’ interest as an automotive photographer began at a young age with his first camera being his Grandfathers Nikon. Now, with countless photo shoots and international campaigns under his belt, the O’Gara Coach Head Photographer sat down to discuss his favorite personal projects with the company and why these specific shoots stood out in his career.
Having had very little camera time with Koenigsegg I would have been excited to shoot one, let alone 3 at the same time. The purpose of the shoot was to photograph the jesko, the newest creation from Koenigsegg at the time. There were very few photos of the car outside the Geneva Auto Show so It was an honor to get to photograph the car, which was compounded when two more cars came along. I was able to photograph the three latest generations of Koenigsegg, Agera RS, Regera and the Jesko. Of all the photos taken the highlight came when we staged all three cars together. Something that had never been done.
Aston Martin Valhalla
Working for a Company like O’Gara you get to experience a lot of things first. Because of O’Gara’s success and ranking amongst the top in the world in the brands we carry, we get to see cars first a lot of the time. Valhalla was unveiled at Pebble Beach last August and was an instant hit. A week after Pebble Beaches conclusion we received the car in Beverly Hills. The car had not been photographed by Aston Corporate yet, and I was hired by them to do just that. In a location i had wanted to shoot in for years, a run down warehouse in LA’s arts district. The stark contrast between car and location made the car really pop. I knew that strobing the car would be the best way to really show off the incredible lines of this futuristic looking vehicle. It ended up being some of my best work to date. It was also made special when Aston Martin global used the photos to promote the car all over their social media.
Growing up, my brother had a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on his wall. I always wanted that poster. When he moved out he gave it to me and it hung on my wall for the years that followed. I always considered it one of the coolest cars of all time, and one i dreamed of owning. Early on in my career with O’Gara I was asked to shoot the car. Upon getting to the garage where it was stored we found the car not wanting to start. Rather than scrapping the shoot, we pushed the car into place, and I did what I could. At one point I recall standing there and just sort of nodding to myself, taking in what I was doing, at that moment, but also what I was getting to do for a living. By this point in my career I had already shot some incredible cars, but this one felt special.
At O’Gara it’s easy to become numb to cars we’re constantly surrounded by. Supercars are considered an everyday thing and even Hypercars have become commonplace. So when Motorsport Director Parris Mullins approached me about shooting some really special out at our facility, I was curious what was waiting for me. These days, what do we consider “special”. The answer was this. The McLaren P1GTR-18 by Lanzante. Quite possibly one of the most stunning cars I’ve ever laid eyes on. The colors were so vivid in person but worked so well together. I knew by strobing the car I would really be able to make the car pop. But I had no idea just how well this set would turn out. The shoot was capped off by sunset rolling shots on the Thermal Club race track. Normally this is done by jumping into the bed of the truck, and shooting car to car around the track. This time however, we decided to use a golf cart. Doing 20mph in a golf car may not sound fast, but when they are that unstable, and you’re hanging out of one, it can get a little scary. I walked away with at least a 1000 rolling shots. Most unusable due to the low shutter speed, but the ones that turned out right, looked incredible. This ended up being by far the best work I’ve done to date and the most well received.
Rolls Royce Cullinan – Sun Valley
It’s not often I get a change of scenery outside the cityscapes of LA or the beaches of San Diego. So last year when I was offered the chance to fly to Sun Valley Idaho to shoot 2 Rolls-Royce Cullinans in the snow, I took it. The 4 days I was there I was able to shoot all over the countryside. I had contacted a local real estate firm that had the biggest listings in the area. The first day saw me getting lost around the city if Ketchum in the silver Cullinan just looking for places to shoot. Everywhere I went was one beautiful scene after another. As the day wore down I used one of the houses I had secured to do a proper static shoot with a home befitting the massive luxury SUV.
Day two saw me shooting first thing in the morning at another incredible estate with the second Cullinan. This one was a gorgeous dark green and matched the country estate perfectly. Later that afternoon, not wanting to squander the chance to continue shooting, I decided to try some lifestyle work with a model. Who better than my dear friend and O’Gara Marketing Director, Nacole Gray. It’s not often I get to shoot people with the cars, but everything came together to create a photo set that I felt looked amazing. The trip was capped off by spending the third day shooting at the famous Silver Spring Ranch. The fact that I was not only able to shoot on such an incredible piece of land but the fact that it was owned by our boss, Tom O’Gara, made it even more special. I walked away from that trip with not only some of the best all around content i’ve ever shot but with some really great memories.