Before I explain what that cryptic title is all about, let me tell you something about myself first. My name’s Maurice Bergers, 26 years old and I live in Schiedam, a town right next to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As many if not all of you here, I have an almost unhealthy fascination with things powered by combustion engines, whether it be on two wheels or four.
This introduction post is mainly about the events that lead to me into photography and how I ended up here on Wangan Warriors. The photographs won’t really line up with the story, but they are simply a showcase of some of my work, for you to get an idea of my past experiences.
Growing up, I was one of those kids that could not stop talking about cars and motorcycles, and whenever I heard a proper car go by, I’d be staring out the window. As I got older, not much has changed, and I still turn my head when I hear a nice exhaust note.
Along with the fascination for cars and motorcycles, I’ve always wanted to race. A few years ago, my first trackday became a reality. It was on my Husqvarna SM510R (a supermoto), on a go-kart track several hours from my house. It got me hooked though. That day I was spending as many minutes out on the track as I could manage, and at the end of the day, walking was no longer an easy task. My smile was from ear to ear, but I was absolutely exhausted.
Unfortunately there aren’t many tracks where supermotos can do their thing here in the Netherlands, so I didn’t actually get to go to that many trackdays. One of my friends regularly took his Aprilia RSV to the track, so he suggested I made the switch to a supersport. I had my doubts, but jokingly said “Ah, I’ll have one in a few weeks.”. A few weeks later we picked up a Yamaha R6…
Now I was finally able to go to more trackdays, as my friend had a trailer and we could go together. I was quite happy to have made the switch. One of the best experiences was racing on the circuit of Assen. It’s a truly amazing track, and I loved the rhythm of it. If you get a chance to drive there, do it!
They say there are two groups of motorcyclists: the ones who have fallen and the ones that are going to. On my second trackday of my second season, I became a part of the first group. A huge highsider coming onto the main straight of the Zolder track in Belgium resulted in my friends and family having to come and visit me in the ICU. Not the most pleasant experience…
After several weeks in the hospital, a long road to recovery began. As it turns out, some things would never really recover, but you quickly learn to work around those shortcomings. This long period of recovery did mean I had a lot of time on my hands, and I began reading about photography and even following some online courses, all while I didn’t even have a camera.
Photography had always been something I was interested in, but I never really did anything with it. One day, somewhere near the start of this year, I decided to just go for it and buy myself a DSLR.
It was my goal to not just randomly snap pictures everywhere I went, but focus on quality. To be able to photograph some proper cars, I filled my agenda with as many automotive events I could find, going to as many as I could. And so my journey into photography began.
As I already had a Facebook page, I decided I needed my own website as well, to showcase my portfolio and provide me with a place to start and learn to write blogs. After several days I settled on a name for my website, registered it and figured out how to install WordPress on it and make it look somewhat presentable.
Several automotive events later, I began building my portfolio. Along the way, I also realized a enjoyed photography and writing a whole lot more than I anticipated. As a long time fan and follower of Speedhunters and several other automotive blogs and TV-shows, I would often wonder how awesome it would be to have a job like that.
That brings me back to the cryptic title… I would’ve probably never set out on this adventure, if it weren’t for me having that bad crash. So far I’ve enjoyed my journey into photography and writing a lot, and could really see myself doing this as a fulltime job.
Now it’s time to tell you how I ended up on Wangan Warriors. As I was already familiar with Rens’ work through a feature on Speedhunters, I have since been checking Wangan Warriors on a regular basis. Not having a Japanese car, I figured it wouldn’t be much use registering on the forum. So time went on…
Earlier this year I met Alex during one of the rounds of the NL Drift Series, and met him again at DMPD. As he was pretty much the only one I knew there, I joined him while he went on to greet everyone he knew. That’s how I ended up meeting Allard.
Later that day there was a feature shoot planned with an AE86, and asked Alex if it was ok if I stuck around to take some photos as well. He didn’t mind, and at the shoot I got to meet Rens. The following day I spoke to Rens via Facebook to thank him for letting me shoot alongside of both him and Alex, and I guess the ball start rolling from there.
After several more chats, Rens invited me be to become an editor and photographer for Wangan Warriors, an invitation I gladly accepted. At the time of writing, you might have already seen my one of my photos pop up on the Wangan Warriors Facebook page and perhaps you have even checked out my website. From now on it won’t just be my photographs you’ll be seeing, but also my writing.
My goal here is to bring you my experiences in the Japanese car scene in and around the Netherlands through engaging stories and shoot some great photos to go along with them. I’m excited to get involved in the Wangan Warriors community and hope to meet you all soon!
Thanks to the Wangan Warriors crew for the warm welcome and a special thanks to Rens for all the great feedback and ofcourse the invitation to become a part of the crew!
– Maurice Bergers