Top 3 Tips for Car Photography | Car Tips

Top 3 tips for car photography




Taking a great photo of your pride and joy is often easier said than done. I’m here to help and it won’t matter if you’re using a crazy pro-level camera or the latest iPhone camera app-thing-a-majig.  It’s all in you, not your gear.  So lean in and perk your ears… here are my top 3 tips for car photography.


Just like any Vogue model, your ride likes to get her bumpers polished at the spa. Make sure she’s looking sharp, dust-free and the white-walled rollers are glammed to the max. It goes without saying that if you want your baby glowing, you gotta treat her right.


Talk to any photog worth a damn and they’ll tell you the magic ingredient in any photo-recipe is light – it’s the only language camera’s speak.  There are two sources for it, natural sunlight and studio style flash/video lighting. Either will get the job done however sunlight is more natural and far easier to lug around on location.  With either lighting set up I’d recommend back-lighting your car, which means having you on one side of vehicle with the sun on the other.  This will give a killer rim-light (a halo-wy-ish glow, apologies for the super-pro level photographer lingo).  Depending on the time of day, you can choose to fill in the front side with flash/video light.  Tip: A bright sunny day sounds great, but the sun can create harsh, blown-out highlights and not-so-nice shadow angles, try earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon.


Many people can get the light pretty close to right with a fancy rig off the shelf at Best Buy – the auto settings on most cameras are pretty good.  What separates the men from the boys is your eye… your composition.  We all view life from the same basic angle/height which is generally looking down on a car.  Instead, change that angle by taking a knee or laying on the ground. Or, use an interesting landscape as a backdrop if appropriate or better yet, get in real tight and fill the your camera’s frame.  Often, showing bits and pieces of the car is more appealing than a single, all-encompassing shot.


There it is, my 3 tips for better car photography.  Let your mind wander a creative path and don’t be shy about experimenting – that’s when the magic tends to happen.  Good luck, if you have any questions feel free to reach out…


Guest Post – Vaughn Barry of Vaughn Barry Photography