Great cars deserve great photographs.

That’s the basis of Casey Maxon’s new automotive photography business called “Cacklefest Photography.”

The Lawrence, Kan., sophomore plans to help automotive restoration students, car enthusiasts and professional restorers with high-quality, artistic photographs of vehicles for portfolios and display.

“Think senior pictures,” Maxon said. “But with cars.”

In January 2011, Maxon received a Horizon Fund grant to help him purchase a professional-quality digital camera and photo editing software. Pursuing his dream would have been impossible without the grant, he said.

“I’m super-thankful,” he said. “Having the digital camera opens huge doors.”

Even with the grant, starting Cacklefest Photography has required personal sacrifice as well – part of the purchase price of the camera came from selling a treasured 1963 Cadillac project car. But it’s worth it to pursue a long-held interest.

“I’ve always loved really nice photographs in general – whether it’s motorcycles, cars or people,” he said.

Maxon expects to be taking photos of all three in his business. As an automotive restoration student, he knows how to capture not only what is photogenic, but also what makes each individual car special. He said he expects to take photos for restoration students and professionals, needing great photos of their project vehicles for their portfolios; and antique and classic car enthusiasts, wanting to show off their collection artistically. He especially wants to take photographs capturing the owner or restorer of a car, as the people become a defining characteristic of the vehicle itself.

Eventually, Maxon hopes to pursue freelance photography and a photo-book focusing on the people and places of Kansas.

“Having been lucky enough to receive the Horizon Fund grant,” Maxon said. “I am closer now than I ever was before to realizing this dream.”