For today’s installment of ESM Icons, we’re proud to feature Spencer Berke from Symbolic Motors.
What interested us most about Spencer is his determination, how he developed his career from the ground up and his incredible exposure to the best of the best cars in the world.
If you don’t know who he is, you might recognize him as @ThatPhotographer on Instagram.
Yeah, that guy.
More recently, Spencer’s shared his most recent health and fitness accomplishments of eating right, losing weight and living a more healthy lifestyle.
After reading about his journey, checking out all his beautiful automotive photos and everything he’s been through, it’s hard not to like the guy.
We wanted to pick his brain about how his career developed, any advice he can give our readers and of course, cars.
We’re big fans of both your Instagram account and your automotive photography. How did you get started? What were some of the challenges you experienced and what are some of the rewards? Do you have any favorite memories/photos so far?
I started when I was about 14 years old – I needed a hobby because I needed a distraction from reality.
I had a lot going on as a child so I started taking photos for fun and posting them on my MySpace. I’ll never forget when I was taking pictures at Symbolic when I was 15 and somebody paid me to take their photo in front of a car and email them the photos.
That was really where it started.
We’ve also read that you have now moved your career towards sales for Symbolic Motors. On your Instagram account, you talked about your journey on getting to where you are now. We’d love to get more detail on the history of your entire career and what it took to get there.
I started as a receptionist at Symbolic at 18, became the photographer at 19 and moved to Newport Beach to work for Lamborghini Newport as a photographer and marketing manager.
I moved back to San Diego to become a marketing manager and salesman.
I figured why not try to learn all aspects of the business so I understand what my co -workers go through daily and also to improve myself.
Plus I like to make money.
Do you think your exposure to the automotive industry with your photography has helped you with your new career ? If yes, in what ways?
Yes – any exposure is good exposure. Built my name and who I am today.
Having photographed and being around so many beautiful cars in your career, if we asked you to pick your top three cars for your Dream Garage, what would they be and why?
That’s a hard one, but I would say something along the lines of a Bugatti Supersports, Lamborghini Murcielago SV and a Bentley Supersports.
For a seasoned collector looking to buy just one car with a maximum budget of $1,000,000, what car would you recommend and why?
Right now I would recommend any F430/458 Speciale. They are the last NA ferrari’s before they go Turbo.
I would buy a Scud and a Speciale and put them away for 30+ years. Countach’s are also going up in value like crazy.
ESM is all about style. If you could describe your style in a few sentences, what it would be like? Do you think your career has had a strong influence on your style?
San Diego style.
Laid back, chill, fun, goofy, carefree. Big time. Being around fancy cars makes you want to become more luxurious, I’ll never change as a person but I do crave high end watches, cars, homes and more.
Not too badly though, I’m logical enough to figure out what is a good purchase and when it’s a good time to purchase it.
I’m 22, I just want to invest my money in things that I’ll be able to make back x 200 on when I’m 30.
All the money I make right now is going towards myself to improve such as working out, healthy food and investments in businesses/apps/clothing lines/start ups…
As a certified gear head/petrol head, do you think it’s possible for someone who lives and breathes cars to also have an amazing sense of style? If the answer is yes, do you have any style icons who also happen to be automotive enthusiasts you admire?
Yes – David Beckam, Simon Cowell, Josh Cartu, Manny Khoshbin and Brett David.
Let’s fast forward to the future. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? What kind of cars do you want to own by then? Where do you think your style will be at that time?
Hopefully being my own boss and running a team of people.
I really just want a nice place to live with a GTR. Simple, casual. Nice shirt with quality jeans and some Hugo Boss shoes.
What other things do you have planned over the next year that we can look forward to?
I have a clothing line coming out that’s dedicated towards power lifters, fitness industry, etc.
I am also working on some new clothes for Devoted Society.
What advice can you give anyone out there who wants to follow in your footsteps in terms of your career?
Do what makes yourself happy and in the process, learn to not worry about what people think.
Sometimes not responding to negative feedback is better than responding at all.
Enjoy the process and learn to tell yourself that you’re going to be fine no matter what.