Artists of the Automotive World: Alec Coutinho

If you haven’t already heard of Alec Coutinho, you’ve likely already come across his work somewhere by now. From his stunning work with Porsche, to his countless publications on Super Street, Alec is one of the most active and consistent visual artists in the modern car scene, and I’m happy to announce him as the first artist to showcase in our virtual exhibition space. Residing in Atlanta, Georgia with a concentration in the commercial automotive context. With a focus in the digital photography, Alec’s pieces highlight classic and modified automobiles juxtaposed against the scenes of urban landscapes, whilst maintaining qualities of commercial-standard.

I sat down with Alec to pick his brain about his inspirations, artistic approaches, and plans for the future in an informal interview. Scroll through the dialogue below for an in-depth look into the person behind the lens. After that, head to our exhibitions page to view a curated collection of his latest work, appropriately titled, ‘Life is Good’.


So for those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Alec: Yeah, so my name is Alec Coutinho, born and raised in Massachusetts. I’ve been very much into cars my entire life. My mom would tell me stories that as a two-year-old, I would be staring at her Pontiac Grand Prix in the driveway… until it eventually blew up, unfortunately. Typical Pontiac-problems, haha. But yeah, it’s been an obsession since birth. No one knows where it came from. I sure don’t.

I’m happy it stuck, though. I went to tech-school, and to trade-school for high school. I went to Bristol Community College after that. I studied business administration for a few years. I was a transfer student, so I transferred over to UMass Dartmouth and majored in marketing with a minor in communications; and graduated from there. I moved to Atlanta kind of on a whim; I just felt really attracted to the city. I’d been there once before and figured I’d probably enjoy living here now. When I got here I applied to a few jobs, an internship at Porsche, and another at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. I did that for a little while, then became the contractor at the PEC. This entire time I was also balancing a freelance career. I just figured I make my time there as official as I can, make the right connections, and strike the right impressions, you know… and maybe it might do something for me in the future. I quit (Porsche) November late last year in 2022, and I’ve been doing my own thing ever since.

Walt: That’s awesome, man. I had no clue you were involved in all of that was a part of your life.

You also owned a few project cars, correct?

Alec: Yeah, so my first car was an Acura KB1 RL. I really like the kb1 chassis because it was right before (Acura) went to those weird looking headlights across their design-language. Like, my parents bought the car for me, and my mom sent me the car one day and was like, “hey, like what do you think of this?” And I remember a family member, my cousins now husband, Aaron, he had a KB1 back in the day, pretty much, it was black on tan. I was always obsessed with the thing, it was so f*****g cool.

I completely forgot about the car until my mom sent me it and I was like, damn, that thing is cool, but I had no idea what I was going to do to the car. I just knew I really liked it and we ended up checking it out and we brought it home and I owned that car for like five years. My style with the car was an OEM+ build with a taste the stance to it. So, the first mod that actually never made onto the car was actually a set of BBS-CH’s that I flipped to work my way up to the SSR MS-1s. I think after the BBSs, I bought a set of Work VSKFs, that were really beat up and I ended up selling those to get a set of Weds Bazreias that were really clean, but the lips were just like, so big. So, I ended up selling those and then getting a pristine set of MS1s off of an E46 M3, which actually got me the same fitment on the RL, so that was a pretty interesting fact.

So I put them on the car, I had air ride on it already. When I originally put the SSRs on, they had these really ugly brown faces. I’ll have to send you another photo. I rocked them for like a year like that but I just kept getting roasted and I couldn’t take it anymore, haha. And I knew I wanted to do the brush faces, but money was kind of an issue at that point, I was like 17 or 16. So, I think I sent out the wheels to dominant engineering, which is unfortunately no longer around. But yeah, he did the faces and dude, and they came out so sick.

Walt: Dope, I remember seeing the car at FCF.

What was your suspension setup?

Alec: Initially I had Airtekk upfront. They were double bellows, but they weren’t enough to support the weight of that car. I think the car weighed in it around 4300 pounds. I put sleeves on and those lasted me the rest of my ownership of that car After the faces got brushed, I found an A-spec kit for a good price. That was the OEM+ trim which was also like a performance enhancing package. 

Today I have a 2019 MK7.5 Sport wagon. I brought it all the way from Wisconsin… I’ve moved across the country with that car a few times already.

I drove to shoot Rolex 24 with that car. Whenever I go to something that’s a few states away, I usually drive it and I love every second. It’s such a good car. It’s on H&R Super Sport springs. I think it’s like a two and a half inch drop all the way around. I have it on Fifteen52 Podiums. Cosmetically its cool in my eyes. I wanted the car to be a business vehicle and that’s exactly what it is.

How did you get your start with photography?

Alec: My parents bought me a Kodak, MD 863 for my 12th or 13th birthday. It was a point shoot camera that I used to shoot random stuff with. I would take photos in the backyard and then eventually I would take it to the Boston Convention Center for the big Expo that they would do every year for auto manufacturers. They would use it for like science fair projects and stuff like that. I kind of fell off after like maybe a year or two and then I got back into it in the eighth grade. My parents bought me a T3i actually kit lens, with an 18 to 55 (lens). That’s when it really stuck. One of my parent’s tenants at the time was a professional photographer, and in exchange for me watching her cat for her, she would let me borrow her gear, which was all Canon thankfully. That really helped me familiarize myself with the product and I just fell in love. I definitely owe her a lot of credit in terms of getting me started and back into it.

Walter: I hear of a lot of photographers finding their way through the T3i. It was a great entry-level DSLR. 


How would you describe your work to someone who isn’t familiar with it?

Alec: The way I think of my work is like a combination of urban and commercial. My shooting styles incorporate dirty frames into almost all my shots. I’ll blend commercial components of it. So like, you know, layer masking and, you know, making sure lighting on the cars is good.

I was looking for hot-spots and that kind of stuff. But while also maintaining that street-style urban photography, so I’d say it’s a mix of those two.

Walt: Yeah, for sure, I definitely recognize that when I see your work. I don’t have to actually see your profile photo to know that it’s you. It’s very identifiable.

Who are some your biggest artistic influences?

Alec: Oh, you’re definitely one of them. Like, for sure, Walt, you can put that in the article.

Walt: Sheesh, well thank you brother.

Alec: Yeah, I’ve looked up to your work for many years, man. Marc Urbano is definitely another one of them. He’s a really, really cool dude. Andy Koslowski is a really cool guy. He does a lot of Porsche’s PR stuff. He did the reveal for the new 9923 RS.

Another guy is Philip Rupprecht… I think he’s based in Munich. He’s a really good photographer and digital artist. Let’s say those three guys. 

Outside of those artist influences, where do you find the most inspiration for your work?

Alec: I’m outside all the time. Like, for instance right now, I’m outside. And I think, just like looking at the way the sun hits different things (inspires me). I was just looking at this MK6 GLI that drove by, and the reflections and how the paint reacts to different things. I think that’s what inspires me; looking at different objects, different cars, different types of paint, colors, and seeing how it all works with one another or works against one another. It’s super fascinating to me.


photograph by Jordan Landwehr

What kind of gear are you using at the moment?

Alec: For my personal stuff, I have a Canon EOS R with a 512mm and a 24mm L-series. I’ve had those lenses for a very long time…probably going on six or seven years with both. Those are my main pieces of hardware when I’m not renting… and a 70-200mm also.


How do you personally define success, and what has been the most challenging part of achieving that for yourself?

Alec: I’d say having a really good circle is super important. The willingness to learn is also a really huge one. Work ethic, of course, you have to be driven to want to do better and meet client-needs and expectations.

I think the hardest part that I’ve encountered so far is learning from the mistakes and applying that knowledge, because making the mistakes usually result in negative outcome. So, like you lose a lot but you also gain a lot. I think the lesson is just learning that some pills are just tough to swallow. And it’s applicable everywhere else.

What do you want people to experience from the work that you do?

Alec: I think the biggest thing I want people to take away from anything photo or video-related is that you can always learn more and that you can get up and do it yourself. Anyone can do it if you have the willingness and patience of course. I remember some of my first photos…they were really bad and there are still plenty of them today that I don’t publish out there for the world to see. However, there are a lot more today that I am happy with. So I think patience is probably the biggest (thing) and just the willingness to just get better.


What are you up to lately? Do you have any upcoming projects or well that you want to share?

Alec: Yeah, I have some cool stuff with this company called Rossmönster coming up, they make like these boutique campers, I guess, and they start off with that Silverado 3500s and stranger vans and f350s, and they completely revamped them into really cool living situations. I also have some cool stuff down line with Motor Trend, which should be really cool. Nothing promised with that yet, though. There’s some SuperStreet features coming up pretty soon. Probably some really cool ones coming up in September (’23). Some cool lifestyle projects as well.

Walt: That’s a pretty big list right there, man. You’re busy.

Alec: I can always be busier. Honestly, off the books, this week has been super slow. It’s been really frustrating. I’ve just been setting so many pitch decks out with no responses. That’s another thing too…you can never expect a response out of something despite how much work you put into it. It can be really unforgiving in this industry sometimes.

Walt: I definitely believe it. I think that can be applied to creatives in any sort of artistic industry.

So, where can people find and connect with you?

Alec: Instagram is cool, which is @aleccouhtino. And then my email, and my website;

Walt: Awesome man, I greatly appreciate you sharing all of this information and giving that level of insight into your life and your work. I feel like this is what people want to hear…at least I believe other creatives do…beyond seeing the the end result. So yeah man, I really, really appreciate it.

Alec: Thanks man. I appreciate you wanting to do this with me.

Alec Coutinho’s work ‘Life Is Good’ is now on view in our virtual exhibition space. Learn more about him at

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