Teen truckspotters gain traction for awesome shots

Anyone who has ever been to a truck show will probably have noticed a few ‘truckspotters’ – those people you see roaming around with cameras, snapping pictures of rigs that catch their eye.

In the past few years, there has been a definite increase in amateur truck photography, and more and more youngsters are now getting in the game.

Two teenage truckspotters – 13-year-old Archie Constable from Merriwa, NSW and 16-year-old Riley Turner from Pomona, Queensland – have recently popped up on the scene.

Despite their young age, the truck-mad teens have taught themselves how to take some great snaps, and are quickly gaining traction on social media.

The 13-year-old took this shot of a Kenworth Australia T950 Legend with a Kenworth Australia C509 pulling a 140-tonne reel of wire. Image: Archie Constable

Inspired by truck-driving Pop

Archie Constable’s love for the industry was inspired by his grandfather, who drives a Western Star and sometimes brings his grandson along for the ride.

“I would go for trips with my Pop here and there, and I would always enjoy sitting in the cab, even if I had to work,” he said.

“Pop would tell me interesting stories about his truck driving career and how many trucks he has driven.

“Every trip we did, I would always come home with about 30 videos on my phone.”

When Archie saw a photo of his grandad’s Western Star taken by another truckspotter, he decided he wanted to get in on the action too.

Archie shares his snaps in his Facebook group, Merriwa Truck Spotter. Image: Archie Constable

His dad gave him an old camera he had lying around the house, and he started to take photos of trucks from the side of the Golden Highway in Merriwa.

As it became increasingly clear that photography was something Archie was passionate about, his grandad surprised him with a Canon EOS 200 DSLR Mark II – a major upgrade on his previous camera.

He’s steadily getting better at shooting photos and improving his editing skills, with access to Adobe products like Photoshop and Lightroom thanks to the generosity of a teacher at his school.

He’s also set up a Facebook group, Merriwa Truck Spotter, which now has over 900 members.

“The bus trip to school is about an hour each way, so I use that time for editing purposes,” he said.

“I really enjoy photography and it motivates me to do better and better each day.

“I want to share a special thank you to my mum and dad, my Uncle Rip, Pop, and the rest of my family for being here for every step I take.”

Helping hand from family and community

Queensland teenager Riley Turner also developed an interest in trucks through a family connection.

“I’ve grown up on a farm and my grandfather, my dad and my uncle have all had a bit to do with trucking,” he said.

“My uncle has a Kenworth T909, and before that he had a 904, which was a truck I really liked.”

Riley started out taking photos of trucks on his phone before graduating to a Canon EOS 1500d. Image: Riley Turner

Riley started out taking photos of trucks on his phone before graduating to a Canon EOS 1500d.

His first major foray into truckspotting was at the Lights on the Hill Memorial event in Gatton, Queensland last year.

Since then, he has taken photos at the Brisbane Convoy 4 Kids, and he plans to attend many more truck shows in 2024.

“I think I’m improving every time I get to have a go at it,” he said.

“Next year I want to get my name out there more, and keep building up my Facebook page, Riley’s Photography.

“I also want to get to shows like the Casino Truck Show and the Dane Ballinger Memorial Show, and do some more professional shoots with trucks.

“I’m very grateful to my mum and grandad for bringing me to events, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go.”

Riley finds most truckies are very approachable, and happy to let him take photos of their rig.

He has also received plenty of help and advice from more experienced truckspotters, for which he is grateful.

Riley dreams of becoming a professional photographer one day. Image: Riley Turner

“The community is really willing to let people in, share their experience and help you grow.

“I can message guys like Gotcha By Karl and Dave Hely from DJH Media and they will tell me how I can improve, and the best way to go about editing a photo.

“Not all professions are like that, and it’s pretty amazing. It makes it easy for young people to have a go.”

Riley loves snapping his uncle’s log truck. Image: Riley Turner

The teenager dreams of becoming a professional photographer in the future.

“I love photography because it’s an art form that can capture what words can’t,” he said.

“There are a lot of different styles, and you can always try something new, which makes it really fun.

“If my photography takes off, I would love to pursue it as a career.

“But even if I don’t make any money from photography, I’ll keep truckspotting. It’s my passion.”

For more great pics, see Merriwa Truck Spotter and Riley’s Photography on Facebook.

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