Our top car photography tips
If you love your car and your camera, our car photography tips will help you to take better photos of your pride and joy.
By following a few simple rules, you’ll soon be taking the kind of images that look fantastic printed onto a large canvas and hung on your wall... so let’s get stuck in!
Preparing your car for photography
It may seem obvious, but the best time to photograph your car is after you’ve given it a thorough clean. Wash and wax your car, taking your time to focus on all of the details, so don’t skip things like the alloys, grills and tyres. The time you put into this stage will make a huge difference in the quality of your car photography.
The light is critical
Assuming that you’re using natural light, we recommend avoiding harsh direct sunlight, so the best time is often the ‘golden hour’ before sunset when the light is warm and shadows are softer and longer. Failing that, get up early and shoot just before sunrise – although this can be trickier because there’s often condensation on the car which will ruin the hard work you did cleaning and making it shine.
Watch your backgrounds
It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your car is, if you photograph it against the backdrop of a rubbish dump it’s going to be an ugly photo! Find a decent background that isn’t cluttered – a lake, hills or stately home is a good starting point.
Reflections kill great car images!
Remember all that effort you put into making your car shine? Well, now it reflects everything, so check all of your images. You want to avoid clutter behind you as well as behind the car, and avoid getting reflections of yourself in the paintwork. A tripod and decent distance from the car is the answer.
Think of your car as a beautiful model with curves and lines that you want to show off. Photograph her at different angles to exploit the curves, and make sure you shoot either high or low – avoid boring eye-level shots like the plague.
Decent composition will make or break your car photography, so think about it. You have the choice to fill the frame for an imposing image or place the car carefully on one of the thirds to tell a story with the background.
Follow these simple ideas and your car photography will progress towards pro-standards with a little practice.