Photographers, Car Builders, and Enthusiasts Unite at Shutter Space

Photography: Jr Sang

  • After a one-year hiatus, Toyo Tires Shutter Space Car Meet & Automotive Gallery returns at new venue Ancillary Studios inside Orange County’s South Coast Plaza.
  • Not just a regular car meet, the foundation of Shutter Space is a photography contest that awards 20 finalists with unique prizes that include a Toyo-branded Pelican case and camera strap.
  • Some of Southern California’s most stunning builds were in attendance, including the debut of a white Ferrari F40 finished by Boden Autohaus.

Photography is what made me want to pursue a career in the automotive industry. Through high school and college, I didn’t just look up to the amazing builds that I’d see in car magazines but also for the spectacular photography that was published. Capturing emotional still photos of a vehicle is truly an important part of the scene, which is why companies like Toyo Tires celebrate these artists with their annual Shutter Space Automotive Photo Contest.


Since Shutter Space started in 2016, I was able to be a part of the contest early as a guest judge and help publish the winning photos. This year is the contest’s fifth anniversary and took on the theme of “creative motion”. 20 finalists would be awarded some awesome gear along with having their photo featured in the art show/car meet. The grand prize winner would receive a trip to Vegas to be a guest photographer for Toyo Tires, in addition to receiving a Pelican backpack, rolling case, DPSTCH camera strap, and more. Our congrats go out to Liam McLaughlin for taking home gold this year! The other 19 finalists wouldn’t go home empty-handed with a Pelican case and strap of their own.


Beyond a very cool photo contest is the celebration that goes along with it. Shutter Space has evolved into also becoming a highly popular car meet/show that brings the communities of photographers and car builders together. This year’s event took place at Ancillary Studios, which oddly enough used to be a Sears Auto Center. It’s now a converted rental space for events catered to automotive. Having attended a lot of car events in Southern California, I can honestly say that Shutter Space has a special vibe that you don’t get anywhere else. It’s more than just a hangout but an experience that allows people to enjoy the fantastic photos on display while also enjoying and taking their own photos of top feature cars on display. It’s also a free car meet, so there’s no shortage of cool cars that come out of the woodwork to cruise through. This year’s star of the night was a white F40 on BBS Motorsport wheels and KW suspension – quite possibly one of the most insane-looking Ferraris ever crafted.

The spirit of Shutter Space is something I hope more companies and event organizers take note of. For too many years, we’ve been attending the same car meets and car shows that often don’t evolve or bring anything new to the table. However, Toyo Tires has created a refreshing event that showcased some really sweet builds, invites the entire community free of charge while also recognizing the often-quiet individuals that make this community so special to be a part of.