Capturing the Essence of Artomobilia With Photography

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May/June 2023

In the central core of Carmel, 20,000+ car enthusiasts congregate throughout the Carmel Arts & Design District every summer for Artomobilia. This annual first-class automotive event combines art and automobiles. This year, Artomobilia will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2023.

Capturing the Essence  Artomobilia


Photography plays a crucial role in documenting the Artomobilia event. Photographers capture images of the showcased cars, the venue, the crowd, and other elements that highlight the atmosphere and essence of the event. These photos serve as a visual record of the event, preserving the memories and allowing people who couldn’t attend to experience it vicariously.

Photographing Artomobilia allows attendees to capture personal memories of the event. People often take their own photos of the cars, the venue, and their experiences during Artomobilia. These images are shared on social media, fostering engagement and creating a sense of community among participants.

Overall, photography at Artomobilia serves to capture and promote the beauty, creativity, and passion associated with automotive art. The photographs play a vital role in documenting the event, attracting attendees, promoting artists’ work, and sharing the experience with a broader audience.

Artomobilia Event Director John Leonard shared his thoughts on the impact that photography has, especially post-event.

“My sense is, for instance, that the Indianapolis 500 race is inextricably connected to the track, but the track is there all year round, and it kind of gets celebrated all the time,” Leonard said. “But the Artomobilia events are a moment in time, and then it goes back to its regular thing. So, my view is that without these guys taking photos, a lot of the action is lost or simply left to everybody’s recollections. The thing that I love about having these photographers, as well as everybody else that contributes photos, is that it keeps the event alive long after it happens, and the images really help rekindle those memories about what happened, and without those, it’s difficult to describe.”

Meet the Photographers Behind Some Iconic Shots


Capturing the Essence Artomobilia

A lifelong car enthusiast, Sean is an Indianapolis-based automotive artist with interests in both photography and industrial design.

“I met John [Leonard] at the second Artomobilia Show, and I was in middle school at the time,” Grove shared. I was very fresh into photography, and I’ve been officially involved with [Artomobilia] for about ten years now.

Between Artomobilia and the associated events that John and his team put together, these are the main channels that I’ve used to generate a wide variety of images. From my perspective, it’s all about the art and personality of the cars, and getting to see the cars displayed as art is really nice, especially in a region where that’s not typically what you see with car shows. John and his team have really created something very special within the Midwest region, where they place an emphasis on the art of the cars. As a photographer, the [fund- raising events] are even more fun because the venues, like Lucas Estate, have allowed better access to the cars — not having to fight the crowds—and having a beautiful environment to shoot makes it a different opportunity to be even more artistic and to take a more elegant approach to it.”

View more of Grove’s work at


Capturing the Essence Artomobilia

Anthony Ross Tyler is a commercial and fine art automotive photographer/graphic designer based out of Nashville, Tennessee.

An incredible and historic opportunity to capture the iconic image of three generations of the Ford GT in both road and road trim. With the assistance of the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, members of the Artomobilia Alumni, and renowned photographer Anthony Ross Tyler, these images were captured, representing more than 60 years of Ford Performance. This extraordinary image was featured on the cover of Carmel Monthly as part of the publication’s
coverage of Artomobilia that year.

“It was definitely one of those shots in my portfolio that even if I hadn’t shot it, I would still like to look at it,” Tyler expressed. “It was a really cool experience. This was a ‘John Leonard’ project where he cooked it up with the Artomobilia team and landed on that theme.”

The issue was getting all five cars in one controlled spot for the iconic photo shoot.

“What we were trying to accomplish was every single car being lit like it was the hero in the shot,” Tyler recalled. “We needed a controlled location and a place where I could have a camera 20 or so odd feet off the ground because we weren’t going to show all five cars from ground level in a way where they would all translate as being epic and important.”

With the assistance of his young son and five Hot Wheels cars, Tyler arranged all five Ford GT models in different layouts to take back to Leonard and his team for approval.

“I took a macro lens on my camera, and basically using armchair math, I figured out how high the camera needed to be and arranged the Hot Wheels [models] into different layouts that I thought would work. We landed on the one with the new Ford GT [that year] in the middle with all of the other generations pointing towards it, providing an excellent view of all five vehicles in the shot.”

View more of Tyler’s work at


Capturing the Essence Artomobilia

Jason Lavengood is an internationally recognized fine art and commercial photographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lavengood’s epic shots of the 2022 Ferrari SF90 are a sampling of his exceptional collection of works.

“For me, it’s very much about art,” Lavengood shared. “I’ve been a photographer since I started developing film at [age 13]. Artomobilia is a day-long festival in Carmel that’s just cool, and it’s done so top-notch. It’s much more than just cars with the people, food, and music. It’s an amazing event. It was pretty cool rolling up to a brand new SF90. It was the first time I had seen it in person. John presented the shots to everyone at Artomobilia, and they really liked the head on shot, so that’s the one we ended up using on the cover. I was so proud about that. It was really cool.”

Lavengood shared that intricate shots like these are not as easy as just pointing and shooting. There are many factors that determine the outcome of a shoot, in particular outdoor shoots in an urban environment.

“It had been an early morning shoot, and I had scouted the location the day before, but I had not anticipated the shadows of the building and the way that the sun was reflecting off of some of the windows that created some shadows,” Lavengood explained. “We had to wait for the sun to move before we could shoot. So, lighting, especially natural lighting, and waiting on the sun, the clouds, or whatever, are huge factors in any shoot like this. And then there’s being able to put a large object in a place where there aren’t’ too many distractions. Whether that’s street signs, people, or traffic; you want the focus to be on the car, and you have to have or create an environment that allows that.”

View more of Lavengood’s work at

Stay tuned for more Artomobilia coverage over the next few months! Carmel Monthly is proud to be a longtime media sponsor! For more information, visit