Slow and Low
Written by Rick Perez
Photographs by Daniel Perez
Emerging from the barrios of post-World War 2 Los Angeles, the lowrider car started as a custom car hobby of young Mexican Americans and transformed into a symbol of a thriving subculture within the Chicano community. Cruising the boulevards of Southern California, these cars represent a community full of color, art, beautiful women, and lots and lots of hydraulics.
Today, there are pockets of lowrider-centered communities all over the world, with Southern California still beating as its heart. Barrio Logan, a predominately Mexican American neighborhood, is the epicenter of the lowrider scene in San Diego. It is the gathering place for car owners and admirers alike.
One such admirer is photographer Daniel Perez, who has been documenting the cars that represent so much pride and beauty for many people. BoC got the opportunity to speak with Daniel, giving us his insight on Barrio Logan’s lowrider scene, why he photographs these cars, and the importance of his role as a photographer within the community.
How did you start shooting lowrider cars?
I started shooting lowriders after I met Dan Garcia, which I met about a year ago. I have always been interested in the car scene and after going to my first lowrider show I was hooked immediately.
What is the lowrider scene like in San Diego? Where is it mostly located?
You can find lowriders anywhwere in San Diego from Oceanside down to the Border in San Ysidro, but Chicano Park in Barrio Logan is the center for all things related to lowriders because of its rich Chicano culture. Due to our proximity to the Border and being in a tourist hotspot there is a diverse scene. You can find anything from a stock classic to a fully customized car equipped with hydraulics.
What do you like most about shooting lowriders?
What I enjoy the most about shooting the Lowrider scene is talking to the owners of the cars and learning the story behind the car. It takes a lot of money and dedication to build these cars from the ground up.
Why is your role as a photographer important within the lowrider community?
My role is to capture the moments future generations will see. I want people to look at those photos and remember what a good time that moment was.
Do you have a favorite image?
Yes, this one that I took during this years Chicano Park Day celebration.
Are there any photographers that you look up to?
Dan Garcia and Pablo Huerta have supported me and helped me share my work in the lowrider community. They are both talented photographers, and they capture the essence of what lowriding is.
Where do you see your work progress in the next five years? Do you want to go further in photography?
It’s hard to know what 5 years from now will be like but I want my work to represent what the Low Rider Community is and what it stands for. I do have a couple of different projects in mind at the moment but I am still not sure where life will take me, only time can tell.