Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz

It all started after graduating from Lincoln Tech on my quest to be a top car tuner. While I was going to school I was customizing and modifying my 2007 TL Type S. By the time I was graduating I was pretty much done. After that I started hitting up all the car shows, car meets, street races etc. Then I got discouraged because not all the top photographers were taking pics of my car at the top shows. Then It hit me, after that I saved for my first camera and started taking my own pics of my car and flooded the internet with them. I was shocked about the impact/popularity my photos made online, So I went back to school, made my own website, and kept with doing private shoots with other cars covering car shows, street races etc. I gained my respect not only online but also on the street as a photographer/car tuner and enthusiast. And now people call me a pro photographer. I love it! But unfortunately i had to pay 28k in school tuition to become an auto technician to later find my calling as a photographer and cinematographer. But, i have no regrets, because I found a profession that i love to do, and not everybody can say that.

Name: Nicky Cruz
Company: RPG (Reality Photography Group)
Location: Bronx, NY
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz

Tell us about yourself.
Most people call me Mr. RPG. I am a freelance photographer and cinematographer with a passion for the beauty of cars. I'm a Lincoln tech honors graduate as a certified auto technician. So not only do I take pictures of cars I can also fix and mod them. That’s what sets us tuner photographers apart from the rest. We know what we are taking pictures of; the year, make, model, rarity or uniqueness of every car, part or modification. I love what I do and take pride in my work and never slack or cut corners in anything I do. I’m very reliable, trustworthy, and dedicated.

Where are you from?
I’m from the Bronx, where I was born and raised.

Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz

Did you go to school for photography or was it something you picked up yourself?
I'm currently in school part-time working on my (MFA) Master of Fine Arts in photography.

Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz

How long have you been a photographer for?
5 years

How would you describe your style?
I describe my style as raw & uncut, a journey into my head that allows people to see my view of things from my third eye.

What equipment do you use?
Canon dslr's:
Canon EOS 550D

What is your favourite location to shoot pictures?
Besides a studio or indoor set for a car, I love to shoot in the city at night with all the pretty bright lights and all the different things going on.

Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz

Are you a Mac or PC user?
I use both. I edit my photos and handle all my online stuff on my pc and edit my videos on the mac.

What was your most memorable assignment?
Covering "hella flush" in Hawaii back in 2011.

What would you say to other enthusiast photographers out there who aspire to become a photographer?
Keep it up until you reach your goal. We have been blessed with the internet so the possibilities are endless.

Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz Photographer Spotlight: Nicki Cruz

More Vehicle Features

Hyper Rev: Dallin Felton's 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII

Written by Dave Pankew | Photos by Orlando Echeverria ( As time goes on, many enthusiasts bow out of the sport compact scene due to the need for more practical daily transportation. But cars like the Evo and STi have…
Read More

Dream Police: RealWheels' 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche

Photos by Joey Redmond Back in the day when the USA basketball program set their sights on gold, the first “Dream Team” was formed with an all-star line-up including the NBA’s greatest icons: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles…
Read More

Soot Salon: Cummins Powered 1990 Mazda Miata by Pistonhead Productions

The dirty little swap that could. The little town Huntsville, Ontario, has been a little overcast lately. A dark cloud seems to hang over it, and no one seems to know why. Well, the region put their top environmental scientists…
Read More

Born to Slide: DMCC 1997 Nissan 240SX

Dave Briggs’ car is built for one main purpose: to be very competitive no matter what track or event it’s at. It is a car that spends a lot of time in the trailer being transported back and forth going…
Read More

Innovator: J.P. Cao's 1995 Honda Civic Hatchback

Written and Photography by Jacob Leveton How does a ’95 EG Civic manage to compete and win car shows in this day and age? J.P. Cao has the answer. When Cao first bought his EG Civic – a 1995 Honda…
Read More