A State of Stance 2022 – well, that was quite the show! Daaaaaamn! It was the furthest I’ve driven to shoot a weekend show in recent years, and I’m rather pleased that I did. I was keen on attending, and I luckily managed to crack an invite to attend and shoot, which covered most of the fuel bill and also sorted me out for accommodation and media passes for the event. That’s a win in anyone’s books. Friday was the set up day, which I skipped because firstly no one really wants to see pics of a show being built up, and secondly I would have taken too many unnecessary photos because I just can’t help myself. With Saturday just hours away, a short wait wasn’t really an issue. I somehow forgot that with this whole Covid thing, there actually hadn’t been an automotive event on such a massive scale in over two years in KZN, which meant that Saturday at A State of Stance was packed. Not full, packed! Let’s just say that it was great to be there and represent VAG Cafe!

While this is epic for the organisers and the people who have been hungry for events, it was rather not fun for the various photographers and videographers there to shoot the event. After spotting cars I wanted pics of, I’d have to wait for a train of people to walk by and then take the pic in a split-second before another train of people railed through, and then hope the shadows and lighting and angles worked. They didn’t, mostly. Instead of this being a problem, my wife and myself used this as an excuse to do what everyone else was doing – enjoy the show and ogle the cars, products and people. There was so much to see that this took hours on its own without having the camera out.

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The cars on display were mad, there’s a different vibe in KZN, a different way of styling and a different way of displaying a car, it was awesome to see. Being VAG Cafe, the aim was to focus (haha) on the VAG side of the show, and the amount of Volkswagens and Audis most certainly outnumbered the rest of the cars, but because we appreciate all builds, the Facebook album you’ll see associated with the event will be littered with all makes and marques. Air ride was the order of the day, but these days anyone can fit air and be done with it. What I noticed on many of the cars is that proper attention was paid to wheel choice and fitment to compliment the stance and overall look of the car. This resulted in a sore neck because there was just so much to see in every direction.

Getting decent shots of the cars simply wasn’t possible on the Saturday, but with A State of Stance being a weekend deal, there was another day open to sort out the content, and so plans were made to rather return to the Pavilion Mall early on the Sunday morning to get pics without a bazillion people and shadows in the shots, and I’m happy to say it worked out great for the most part. Of course, there were some cars that left after the Saturday side of things was done, and some cars were covered up overnight for protection from the elements, which means there are likely a good few amazing cars that deserved to have their pics taken that were skipped, but hey, that’s what A state of Stance 2023 will be for. So for the rest of the Saturday time was taken to chat to old and new mates and to talk shop with just about everyone. There were loads of photographers and videographers at the event, and it was great to catch up with many of them. We have some super passionate and talented people in SA. I did try to shoot the event in the arena with the spinning and drifting displays but I couldn’t get a proper position, and when I flashed my media access to get to where I needed, I was told I cannot go where I wanted because I didn’t have media access, I had a VIP ticket. This happened three different times, and so instead of getting upset or pulling a Karen and asking for the manager, I decided to just accept that and enjoy things. Looking at the pics others got, I maybe should have fought to get to where I needed to be, but that’s hindsight for ya.

The plan to return to the venue on the Sunday morning was just brilliant. It made getting good pics so much easier. Sure the vibe of all the people in the shots may be missing, but I’m sure that at least 99.5% of you out there are here for the automotive content and not to see people. Well, I hope that’s the case. The were so many cars at the event that sported something from VAG Cafe, which is just amazing to see. So many of the best rides spotted had components and parts from the Cafe, and as if that wasn’t cool enough, the amount of people wearing VAG Cafe merch was as amazing to see as the cars displayed. I think it’s safe to say that many of the coolest cars that sported BBS’s finest wheels sourced them from the Cafe…

The organisers wanted the photographers to help choose the cars to be winners in the various categories, and I thought this was a great idea until the day. It wasn’t very clear which cars were entered in the show, and when I did spot cars that should be entered, there wasn’t an owner or person near the car to open it up and explain what was done and why, so this here photographer didn’t have any input in the outcome of the show – sorry chaps. Any cars I chose for anything would have been based on what I saw and I didn’t see everything, so my input would not have been fair. I did spot plenty cars that better be seen at the next VDub Camp Fest, there were so many builds that could give cars from all over SA a proper run for their money. I did have some favourites of course, that amazing yellow Mk1 that should have taken the Best Mk1 at Camp Fest was there, the bagged and BBS’d Mk8 GTi had my vote for just being awesome, the blue old school Bus was pure old school porn, Kuben’s multi-generational Polo is always a winner that needs a full, detailed shoot and Muaaz’s Mk4 still makes my man bits happy after all of these years. The best car of the show for me, well that was Trinolan’s amazing E30 BMW, sorry VAG chaps.

So yeah, A State of Stance 2022 was a brilliant event. The cars, the people, the venue – all of it. I just want to extend a huge thanks to the organisers for, well organising me to be there. It’s always appreciated to be able to do what I do, and having that spread around SA makes it even cooler. The amount of people in attendance and supporting the event was amazing to see, KZN is full of passionate car people, and it shows. Well done chaps, well done.

For the full album of all makes and models seen at A State of Stance, head on over to the VAG Cafe Facebook page and spend all your productive work hours and data looking at some of KZN’s finest rides. We’ll see you at the 2023 instalment, and who knows, it may even be at a VAG Cafe stand…

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