Introducing: Kirk Myhre

Introducing: Kirk Myhre

December 12, 2019

Legendary Car Canvases was created to bring you images by the world's best photographers of legendary cars — images at an approachable price that you’ll be proud to hang on your wall. Cheaper and more robust than framed prints, all images are printed on the highest quality handmade canvases using eco-friendly, latex-free inks. 

Kirk (myhrecreative.comIG: @kirkmyhregrew up immersed in car culture.  He spent his formative years in friends’ garages and race shops learning as much as he could about all aspects of mechanics, engineering and the forms that help it all work together. His favorite memories are of traveling with the teams to the track and occasionally, getting behind the wheel.

He carried his automotive passion with him to college with intentions of an automotive design future. Practical realities guided him to a traditional fine art degree with specialization in dimensional oils and wood/steel sculpture. He transitioned his learnings to a three-decade, multi-faceted design career. 

It was 30 years before Kirk got back into a race car. Competing in endurance events from 6 to 24 hours, with mandatory time out of the car, enables him to experience events from behind the wheel and behind the camera lens. He strives to capture the motion, weight and intensity of his subjects as the exclusive photographer for two of the west coast’s premier high-performance driving experiences.  He also covers motor racing from amateur to the highest levels of the sport. Here's more about Kirk in his own words. 

What’s your favorite car?

How on earth the pick just one? As a little kid, I had a brown Porsche 911 Matchbox car that ticked all the right boxes for me. Design/shapes/feel…all of it…perfect. In my teens, I loved racing and muscle cars and fell in love with the Trans Am series and the early Shelby GT350s. In college, a friend of mine and I rescued a Dastun Fairlady 1600 from a barn in Walla Walla. I fell in love with that little car and still have a fascination with them. I owned a 1992 Miata limited (black with tan interior/top) as a young adult. I loved that car but never fully appreciated it until I ran a stock NA on sticky tires at Portland International Raceway a couple months back. What an amazing bit of engineering those things are. I’ll race another NA Miata at Laguna Seca in January. I can’t wait. I was recently doing a car club photoshoot and the slot for car description was left blank in the sign up sheet. He showed up in a 1984 Ferrari BB 512. That and the Shelby were the posters I had on my wall in my room. It was a special treat to be able to shoot that car. I have a dear friend and coach that is generous enough to share his toys with me. One of which is a Ford Mustang FR500S. It’s the 2008 Mustang Challenge championship winning car from the series. I’ve been lucky enough to do hundreds of laps in that car on the race track and, hands down, the most intuitive race car I’ve ever driven. Oh yeah…and the Porsche 550 spyder…and the MGB GTs of the mid-60s…and the original Ford Bronco…and the Ferrari Dino… 

What’s your most treasured car experience?

Several years ago, my father in law was turning 70.  My mother in law was looking to do something special. Long story short, she ended up finding the owners of his original 1967 VW Bug (he’d donated the car to the husband in the mid-80s in a time of need).  Two weeks later, the shell showed up in my garage and I spent the next 6 months (every night after work and weekends) rebuilding the car.  I did everything on the rebuild except engine and exterior paint. I was able to enlist my kids and wife to help with the project and we delivered the car on his 70th birthday. That was a pretty special day. Documented here: 

What’s your favorite shoot you’ve done?

I got the chance to shoot the 2018 Triple Crown races at the Thermal Club in Indio California through Canon and a series of learning events they were doing with Larry Chen. I love his spirit and the perspective he brings to the automotive photography genre. I wasn’t a noob but I was really interested in how he’d approach an event like this. It turned out to be exactly what I’d experienced with other “great artists/athletes”. He comes by his gift so naturally, he has a hard time coaching/teaching it to others. What it reminded me was that talent, drive and relentlessness will win out. Trust your gift and never pass up an opportunity to show it to others. 

What’s your favorite car photography experience?

There are just so many. I'ts hard to pull out one. Pebble Beach/Laguna Seca Historics/Monterey/Carmel all in one week, Barrett-Jackson, Cobra week Harris Hill, TX. All of these events were amazing in their own right. That said, in the last year or so, I’ve had the opportunity to take a couple of photography students out with me, track-side. Helping them go from complete noobs, frustrated that they can’t capture anything at the speeds required at the track, to being able to adjust on the fly to changing conditions and positions is incredibly rewarding. I love seeing the results when the student is able to stop thinking about the requirements of the tool they’re using and can start making art. 

The last, and most important bit, is every time I go to the track, I get the chance to reconnect with the amazing people I’ve met through this adventure. People I would otherwise never have had the chance to meet.  I’m so incredibly blessed with my circle of friends and colleagues. They make every day behind the camera or wheel an absolute joy.

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