Passion for autos leads student to photography


Sami Elakhras

Speeding away Junior Sami Elakhras follows passion for performance vehicles by specializing in car photography.

Sarah Luna, Student Life Editor

Sami Elakhras likes cars – a lot. But not just any vehicle gets him going.

Elakhras first visited a car dealership at the age of 14 to look for his first car, but none of the average cars interested him much.

He always had a liking for foreign cars and would often spend time researching them unlike many of his classmates who spend time shoe shopping online.

Knowing of so many different types of cars and so much about them, Elakhras has a hard time choosing his favorite.

“It’s tough to choose, but I would say that the top two would Mercedes G63 and the Paganihuayra.”

Elakhras started taking photos of cars when he was 14 but became serious about it when he was 15. When he spotted foreign ones on the street, he would sometimes take photos for the fun of it.

“Seeing such extravagant cars in South Austin isn’t really that common so when you do, most people stop and stare but I took photos,” he said.

One day when he was taking photos, a man approached him and asked what he was doing. He later invited him to take photos of his car.

After his first photo shoot, word got around and Elakhras began receiving phone calls from people wanting photos to be taken of their vehicles.

“It’s pretty common, when people get a new car they’re pretty happy about it and they want to show it off,” Elakhras said.

Now, he usually takes car photos once every one to three weeks.

“I go to car shows every week, so I’m always taking photos,” he said.

“It’s people all together ranging from 14 year old guys to probably around 65 year old men. It’s pretty much a hobby that anyone from any age can relate to.”

Elakhras has met some of his best friends through his interest in cars.

“He showed interest in my car because it’s not like everyone elses’ and now almost every weekend we go out and take photos of different types of cars,” senior Daniel Leming said.

Leming, who built his on car that he got when he was 13, has always had an immense interest in vehicles.

“Me and my dad tinkered with my Chevy Nova and now it runs great,” he said.

You can see some of Elakhras’ work on a calendar produced by Dr. Beemer, a BMW service repair shop, which using one of the photos Elakhras took of cars parked in front of their business.