Featured Photographer: Trevor Thompson

1477393_10202484045332695_275346814_nTrevor Thompson has found his career path early on in life. At the age of 21, he has already had the opportunity to shoot cars of which most people only hope to get a glimpse.  And for someone who admits being slightly indifferent to the culture, Trevor has flipped a 180, and now lives and breathes it every day.  He is co-founder of a group called ActivFilms, a collective of automotive photographers who mostly focus on modern european cars, but have recently expanded their subject base. He has been featured on sites like AudiZine.com and MyCarPortal.com, as well as through clients like ADV1 wheels, D2 Forged wheels, and Avant Garde Wheels.  We were able to talk to Trevor to find out what his favorite cars are, how he got involved in the car hobby, and what the future holds.

We normally save this question for last, but, What are your top 10 favorite cars?

329192_2761524487573_334437856_oTop 10!? Lets see.. In no particular order:

  • Koenigsegg Agera R
  • Mclaren P1
  • Lamborghini Aventador
  • Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Black
  • Ferrari 430 Scuderia
  • Audi R8
  • BMW e30 M3
  • Ferrari F40
  • Porsche GT3RS
  • and of course the Audi A8’s

What sparked your interest in cars?

What really sparked my interest of cars is when ActivFilms was created. Getting the chance to be so close to the caliber of cars we are opened my eyes. Since then I’ve been into cars and becoming more involved in the car scene.

Were there car posters on your walls as a kid?

As a kid I was more into motocross so I don’t know if I actually had a poster of a car on my wall…

What car would you love to have the opportunity to photograph?

The 2 cars that I would love to shoot is a Koenigsegg Agera R and the Ferrari F40! I would do anything to get my camera in front of one.

Is there an environment you prefer for shooting cars?

I love shooting in rustic/urban environments, that’s become my go to.

What has been your most difficult shoot?

My most difficult shoot… There has been quite a few of those! Haha if I had to choose though it was probably the shoot I had in March of 2013. The reason being my most difficult is because it was my first shoot that someone contacted me about being hired to shoot their cars. I had to wake up at 4:00 the morning of the shoot and rush to Santana Row (~3hr drive from my house) and meet the owners at a local car meet they have. At the end of the day the owners were pleased with the results so I was able to let out a large sigh of relief. Results are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorthompson/sets/72157633144752312/

6829199556_4dcacc0095_bHow did ActivFilms come about?

ActivFilms came about around 3 years ago when I shot with Chris Feulner for the first time with his Audi A5 at the time. We then begun shooting videos more frequently hence why we call it Activ”Films”. Activ quickly grew, especially locally so we decided to turn it into a actual group and business. Fast forward to today, our Facebook page has grown to over 45k likes and Instagram will be hitting 10k within a couple weeks! It’s been a crazy journey so far

Who has been influential in your growth as a photographer?

I think watching ActivFilms grow and seeing how excited people get when we shoot their cars is what has influenced me as a photographer the most. Also being able to shoot with friends and have fun has helped a lot. I never thought I would have the opportunity to be around $100k+ cars and their owners!


You seem to have an affinity for Audi. What is it about their cars that you love?

8703579940_b20750b848_hAh yes, we have a strong affiliation with Audi. I don’t really take credit for this. Chris has been in the Audi “scene” for a great deal of time and since his first Audi everyone has known him as having one of the cleanest Audi’s there is. And the fact that we get to shoot his cars whenever has really helped grow our popularity with the Audi Scene. Now if only Audi with contact us 😉

For myself I love the simplicity of Audi, everything just fits right. Audi is one of the most photogenic cars I have shot.

A lot of what’s great about the car hobby is that there is something out there you didn’t know about. Was there a great discovery you had recently?

One of the biggest and greatest “things” I didn’t know about before getting involved in the car scene is how no matter what it’s a huge family. Sure there may be your typical drama between the car “groups” but in the end its a huge family. This is probably the reason why I decided to get so involved with the car scene. Whether I’m hanging out with the exotic groups or “tuner” groups its the same.

Is there a particular niche you’d like to become more familiar with?

Wellllll I’d love to become familiar with hypercars but I’ll keep that a dream for now. I would like to become more familiar with the drive community and I have been trying to by shooting with Edward from Carbon Studios (his work is outstanding). The reason I would like to become more familiar is because there is a true culture with that community. Everyone I know has a true love for their cars and it really shows with the hours/days/months of work they put into their cars.

What’s next for you?

I would love to expand ActivFilms in a more serious matter. Currently we are in Sacramento, San Francisco as well as Florida. But I would like to start pushing into the east coast as much as possible. The car scene over there seems to be strides beyond us. Another city I would like to break into is LA, hint hint to any photographers down there!

We love Trevor’s style of juxtaposing super clean cars that pop against backgrounds that are industrial and gritty, but that isn’t the only thing he does well. He also has some great rig shots, and some ominous cloud shots to boot.

Check out more of his work at



and http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorthompson/

As always, show some support, and let us know your favorite photo from this feature!


ActivFilms is a collective, so stay tuned for more features of Activ affiliated photographers.

About Jerry Horton 35 Articles
I'm not going to pretend someone is writing a bio for me. Here I am. For those who don't know, I play guitar in Papa Roach. Since before I started dreaming of being a rockstar, I was dreaming about cars. My dad made me this way. Before I was born, he had a green 1972 Camaro. He did autocross when I was too young to know what was going on, and when I got a little older, he built a VW Beetle by himself in the carport. We would go to drag races in that car, and he would take down Mustangs and Camaros, much to their astonishment and horror. He took me to Top Fuel drag races in Sonoma, local drags at Sacramento Raceway, and I loved it. I was hooked. When it came time for me to get a car, he asked me if I wanted something older that we could work on, or something newer that would be a little more reliable. I told him I'd like an older car, and he said he found a 62 Chevy Nova with a 350. I was obviously excited, and 2 days later, he told me he had reconsidered. He said it was too much power for me, and ended up getting me a 1987 Mustang. 4 cylinder. I was extremely disappointed, and didn't want to talk to him for a while, but in the end it was the right decision. I drove that thing like an idiot, and ended up getting in 5 accidents (One was my fault). Fast-forward to the year 2000, and our first major record blows up, which allows me to get my dream car. The Dodge Viper. At the time it came out, the Viper was viewed as the modern-day Cobra; a motor with wheels. It scared the crap out of me, but over the years, I was able to show it respect, and get a lot out of it. Now, here we are. I created DriveKulture initially because the guys in my band aren't car guys. I needed an outlet; a place to share my ideas and opinions about new cars, sports cars, and kustom cars (yes that's custom with a "K"). I now see DriveKulture as not only a place where my car friends and I can interact, but also as a place for education. For a long time, I had pre-conceived notions about certain cars, and couldn't understand why someone would want them. In reading articles and talking with owners, I can see that they have slightly different tastes than I do, but their passion for cars are the same. I want to expose people to different types of cars, and try and convey what makes these different kinds of cars great. Welcome to DriveKulture.

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