If you ever want to distract me enough to steal my handbag, just go ahead and hand me a stack of photos to look through. ESPECIALLY historical photos, and especially-especially historic drag racing photos. YOU GUYS. MY HEART.

For the Warren Johnson book, I had tremendous support from Richard Shute at Auto Imagery when it came to digital images (as well as some truly beautiful contributions from additional photographers, all of whom were gracious and kind).

And holy smokes, did I ever hit the jackpot when Arlene Johnson opened the door to the photo and scrapbook room upstairs at Warren Johnson Enterprises in Sugar Hill, Georgia. I heard angels singing, and you’re darn right if you guessed that cartoon hearts immediately began popping over my head. I was in heaven!

The photo in this post is me in my office sorting through a portion of the 800+ print photos that I borrowed from Arlene’s archive. I went through THOUSANDS of their personal photos for the book, and that is no exaggeration. Eventually, I whittled it down to 800. (I’m still working through putting them away, too. Thankfully, WJ and Arlene are very patient with my progress in that area).

When I was asked by CarTech Books to write the WJ biography, I truly did not realize how much time it would take to find the perfect photos. The hard part, though, was sinking them into the book. Deciding where the photos best matched the copy that was already written was complicated and confusing and I’m still not 100% sure I did it right. At one point (okay, possibly more than once), I had tears over this picture-puzzle. I know now that my mistake was selecting random (yet awesome) photos, getting way too attached to what I wanted to use, and then not being able to squeeze them in with balance and grace.

Until the reviews started rolling in, I actually wanted a do-over. This was my first book, and in no way did I go into it thinking I knew how to do it. But I truly had no clue how much I didn’t know. You can’t know until you know, as they say.

Now I know, and I can’t wait to write another. I just might have to put some boundaries on my enthusiastic photo dreams.

Get the WJ book here:

Categories: Musings

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