Some time ago I was invited by Mercedes-Benz to take part in the Night at Europa-Park event. This event encompassed a photoshoot promoting a selection of their All Time Stars classic cars in partnership with one of Europe’s largest themeparks. As the program started at 9 am on a thursday morning, at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, we decided to take a hotel in the area the night before.
After a collective breakfast at the museum and a general briefing, the group of attending photographers could pick a ride from a selection of brand new cars for the journey further south. Given the keys to a stunning pearl white E400 Coupe, we loaded our gear and drove towards Europa Park in Rust. Once arrived at the Hotel Colosseo, in a full classical Roman theme, we could check in and prepare for the night. We took a tour through the park which has different area’s themed towards different European countries, while it was still opened to the public to scout locations. After dinner the park was closed though, so we could drive in the cars and head over to our first location to get to work.
Mercedes-Benz A217 S500 Cabriolet
My first pick, a stunning green W111 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet which I wouldn’t mind to be asked to still shoot some time in the future, sadly experienced some troubles getting to the location I picked, the Greece area. So to not wast any more time of this first slot, I started out taking some shots of the car I had with me to get to the park. The black S500 Cabriolet is an impressive machine and very large I found out the hard way as I mistakenly got directed into the narrow entrance of one of the parks rides at first. The car being black presented a challenge too as we were losing light fast already. Luckily I brought the right gear to get the light where it was needed.
Mercedes-Benz W116 350 SE
For the second slot I managed to get my hands on a gorgeous blue classic. This car matched perfectly with the location I picked, the English neighbourhood. The main road through this part of the park had a roof over it, but luckily for the other photographers it stopped raining around this time. The different colored lights at this spot created an awesome setting, different from what I’m used to working with. While I got a bit distracted by a couple of ducks, who took pleasure in walking through the shots and trying to prevent me from repositioning the car, I really enjoyed working with this first generation S-Class at this spot. Besides that, it was a blast driving this elegant and spotless piece of machinery through the park.
Mercedes-Benz W126 300 SE
For the third and last series we got to shoot that night, it was beyond midnight already when we started, I picked a second generation S-Class. I really enjoy 80’s cars so I knew this was going to be fun. The location I wanted to shoot in was on the other side of the park, giving me the opportunity to experience driving this amazing sedan. When I arrived at the Iceland area, I quickly started looking for angles and compositions. With other photoshoots going on nearby it’s always a little bit harder finding the right angles to not interfer with eachothers shots but it all worked out eventually. After the previous two slots, I really started to enjoy shooting such wildly different short series in a single day, or night in this case. It turned 2 am, the end of the photoshoot, way to quickly for my liking as I could spend an entire night with this car.
After everybody found their way back to the central meeting point, it was time to take back all cars to the hotel. Back at my room I quickly got to bed for a short night, as breakfast was available till 10am and we still had some driving to do. The next morning we gathered our gear and the cars to get everything back to Stuttgart where a lunch in the Mercedes museum signalled the end of the event. Not the end of our day though ofcourse, as we still had to drive quite some kilometers back to the Netherlands. As I can now show you the images I shot that night, I would like to take this time to thank everybody involved in this incredible experience. I met some incredible fellow photographers as well as the amazing guys who organized this event and made sure we were well cared for those days. Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested in my services or if you have questions for me.