Taking Chances: Steve Berndsen Shares His Passion

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Slam’d for me started a long time ago in my home town of Rockhampton back in Australia. Myself and a few friends who all had Minitrucks at the time were looking to expand our little band of amigos by hopefully finding some more guys with trucks to cruise and meet up with monthly. After a lengthy search we soon realised that if we wanted more people to hang out with we were going to have to diversify and get to know some of the import and drift guys. This move introduced me to a whole new world of “low” full of drift pigs, missiles, coilovers and tire smoke on public roads. Back then I was sceptical about our bunch but now I realize that if that group of misfits had never happened I might not have the love and appreciation for “all things low” that I do now.

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Fast forward a few years and I find myself living in Canada harbouring my affliction by trawling through countless photos online of hot rods, stanced imports, demon camber euro’s, wide body Ferrari’s, and more as well as fostering my own love for photography and dreaming of one day shooting for a top magazine. Enter Slam’d Mag – at first I heard whispers after the demise of our much loved Mini Truckin’ magazine that someone was already putting together my ultimate dream, a magazine where no genre applied aside from the obvious, and with the best in the business at its helm. Slam’d had been born from the creative master minds that I had been following all these years, so I wasted no time in emailing my details over to Mike Alexander in the hopes of being a part of the magic that was taking place.

After an email reply it was official, I was now contributing to Slam’d Mag and gearing up for my first shoot and probably the biggest road-trip I had ever undertaken. I was headed to Baja Mexico, a 6,000 mile round trip to Cabo and back, but first I had to stop in Spokane Washington and shoot one of the most badass rigs I had ever seen let alone been lucky enough to photograph. Meeting and shooting the Misfits crew and Darren’s insanely badass Misfits Metro we featured in the premiere Issue of Slam’d Mag. I learned a lot that weekend and got my first real taste of what it would be like to work and travel as a photographer and shoot on a whim along the way.

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A quick email to Mike confirmed the shoot had been a success and at the time having no idea of the first Issue release date I told Mike that I would edit the shots when I got back from Mexico a month later. Ya right mate! In order to make the launch of Issue #1, Mike wanted to see the pics that week, while I was 1,000 miles into the road trip already. So with laptop in hand, my mate and I blazed 18 hours down the coast from Washington State crossing the Mexican border and hightailed it well into the Baja before making our first stop to set up camp for a few days.

Picture this; it’s mid-afternoon, you’re sitting on a beach sipping tequila on the rocks looking out across the bay at a beautiful Mexican panorama of palm trees, vast mountains, white sand, and sparkling blue water. And then there’s me, parked on a foldup camp chair, sipping a tequila also, with a loud-ass generator running my laptop trying my hardest not to get distracted by the scenery while I’m editing photos for the deadline. Needless to say I was a little slower at getting a finished product, but in the end my first feature for Slam’d Mag turned out awesome and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And that was just my first major taste of magazine deadlines and the “it ships no matter what” publishing style, so I buckled down and did whatever it took to make it happen.

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Slam’d will always be my passion – a passion that started at a young age and will burn inside me till my very last breath. I will continue to chase the rad features and epic show coverage for this very magazine because I need to, I need it like I need coffee in the morning. I have to have my daily dose of low each and every day and then some to survive. Nothing gets me more fired up and more keen to explore my creative passion than clicking through the latest issue and scoping out all of the amazing photos from our talented group of contributors. That is the passion and feeling that I want you, our readers, to feel whenever you’re reading our magazine – the drive to get out and make it happen no matter the odds, turn out that extra bit of low and break all the rules. Just be sure to call us afterwards because we want to shoot it!

Until next time – Steve Berndsen, Slam’d Contributor, British Columbia, Canada.

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