Amy Shore has the dream job of all dream jobs. The UK-based photographer not only travels the world shooting some of the greatest, rarest and most beautiful cars and motorbikes for Jaguar, Land Rover, Triumph, Renault Alpine, and Classic Driver to name a few, and was named Nikon’s youngest UK ambassador, but she also gives new meaning to adventure, exploration, and living life to the fullest. She’s driven her ’85 Mini 1,800 miles solo up to the most northern tip of the Shetland Islands, has slept on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with Triumph, and once spent 10 days in the Arctic Circle with Porsche.
Below, she tells us all about getting started living her dream life, her own vintage collection, favorites she’s photographed, her dream car, and why her job is just like pizza (hint: even when it’s bad, it’s good).
LEO: First, please tell us where you’re from, where you grew up, and where you live now.
AMY: I grew up in a little village in Leicestershire, UK. I’m very close to my family so haven’t strayed too far and now live in the adjoining county, Warwickshire, not far from Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s a great area to be in, as we really are in the heart of the automotive industry in the UK.
How did you get into your line of work?
I fell into the job purely on accident! I loved taking photographs, and my dream job as a teenager was to travel the world and take photos, but I genuinely thought that was an unrealistic job to aim for. I had never heard of a full-time professional photographer that didn’t do weddings. Then, my dad—who has always been a classic car nut—told me that his friends were after some photographs of a car they had just built, a replica Ferrari P4. They knew I had a ‘nice camera’—their words!—and asked if I could take some photographs of their build. At roughly the same time, my dad also took me to the Goodwood Revival. The images from both of these events ended up going viral and began the snowball which became my career. I still have to pinch myself.
Did you always love and know about cars?
Not at all! I grew up always being around them, but they weren’t a particular interest of mine. My first real insight was when my brother bought a Classic Mini because it was cheaper for him to drive and insure a classic car at the age of 17 than it was to ensure a crappy modern car. Knowing my dad was pretty handy with a spanner, we both knew he could help us fix our classic cars when they went wrong. This led me to buying my own Classic Mini at the age of 19 years old. That was probably the beginning of my own classic car love, really bonding with my little machine. I drove that car every single day to University, to my boyfriend’s, to parties, to work, in the summer with no air conditioning, and in the winter when the locks would freeze over and the handbrake frozen on. I’ve had that car for 11 years now!
When did you get a sense you could do this professionally as opposed to a hobby?
I don’t think I got that sense until I had been photographing full time for about two years. I started off photographing weddings as well as car things for the first two to three years of being a photographer. I was still living at home with my parents as I had only just graduated—I was used to being poor, which helped! I think it was the point when I thought ‘this is too much, I can’t do both weddings and cars without giving myself a heart attack at 40,’ that I realized I could do this professionally.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I love the adventures I get to go on: just to be able to travel and see the world, meet people, try new foods—I just feel like I gained life simply by thinking about it! The cars add to the adventure and the beauty of the images. I simply feel so incredibly lucky to be able to do this job every single day. My job is a bit like pizza—even the bad days are still pretty good.
Which are a few of your favorite places you’ve traveled for work?
I loved my last job I did before COVID-19 really hit in 2020. I spent 10 days up in the Arctic Circle with Porsche, photographing not only the cars whizzing around on ice but also Sami families, ice fishing, huskies, and these crazy guys and girls trying to ice skate down a hill as fast as they can. It was the balance between documenting cars, but also the life around cars—which is all about adventure, travel, and experiences. I also loved a road trip I did with Mini a couple of years ago, where we drove a Classic Mini from Athens to Oxford. Greece is an amazing country with some incredible rock formations and monasteries that I never knew about.
Which is your favorite place to shoot?
Scotland. The light is ethereal. I’ve never visited a country so raw but also so honest. The light is so delicate and the colors so pure. You really feel a connection to the earth there. Its nature is powerful and one not to be played with. The weather is rarely on your side, but that’s part of what makes shooting there so wonderful. The way the blue sky reflects off of the wet road straight after a downpour, rainbows appear suddenly, the mountains are hazy from incoming rain, sunlight catches every raindrop in an evening shower. I think Scotland is the most beautiful in October, but I would love to see it in thick snow one winter.
Do you have a collection of vintage cars yourself? What do you drive yourself and which is your favorite of your own cars?
I have a few vehicles; I wish I had more! I still have Mayo, the 1985 Austin Mini Mayfair that I bought 11 years ago when I was 19-years-old off of eBay! Then I have Teddy, my 1974 MGB GT that my boyfriend Will got me for my 30th birthday present, so we are still becoming acquainted. I also have Mildred, my 2003 Land Rover Defender which I love so very much, but she’s a tired girl that can no longer do the long motorway journeys I’ve been having her do for the last couple of years. The latest addition to the pack is Frank the Tank, a Range Rover Vogue. I’ve only had him for a week so far!
I love bikes so much and would have many more if I could. I had to lose a couple last year in a break up, so now I’m left with Hugo, my 1972 Honda 350F which was my first ‘big’ motorcycle after I passed my test. I also have Pat, my 1965 BSA Bantam which used to be an old post office bike—it’s bright red with leg guards and ‘GPO’ written down each one. Pat usually lives in my tiny living room but is currently being fixed by a friend of mine as he sat in a museum for 10 years!
If you had to name your favorite cars or motorcycles what would they be?
All of my own, obviously! But also: Jaguar E-Type, Alfa Romeo TZ, Alpine A110—best modern car out there. But I would also love a Classic and BSA L30.
Favorite car or bike you have ever shot?
Alfa Romeo TZ, Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari P4 Replica.
Dream car or bike you would like to shoot?
A real P4!
Dream car or bike you would like to own?
Such a tough question! I have too many including my list of favourite vehicles above! I think it would have to be something that I could realistically actually own one day, and that’s never going to be a SWB Ferrari. I’ve always had a love for Volvo P1800s; I think they are so underrated.
Dream car or bike you would like to drive just once?
Oh my, it would have to be something really silly like a Ford GT40