A Professional Automobile Photography Guide
When it comes to cars, nothing is more beautiful than driving around in a hot car with cool wheels! As an automotive photographer, I know that looks matter, and how important they are when capturing pictures of vehicles.
When it comes down to it, aesthetically pleasing photographs are influenced by many different factors, including the vehicle, the driver, the setting, and the position and expression of the participant being photographed.
In this article, we will be talking about some helpful tips for professional automobile photography. These include things like staying safe while photographing drivers, understanding basic camera settings, and practicing, practice, practice. You should also consider contacting one of you local pro photographer such as Christer Berg in Raleigh NC. He is the owner of Portraits with Purpose who specialise in professional headshot photography in the Raleigh Area
We’ll also talk about some easy ways to improve your auto photor skills before going out to shoot!
Warning: This article may contain images or descriptions of intoxicated or unsafe behaviors. The writers of this website do not condone such actions nor are they responsible for any consequences thereof. Use judgment as you read.
Pro tips for taking great pictures
Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels
A few simple tricks can make a huge difference in how your car photos look! Here are some of our favorites that work every time for us. Try some or all of these outers to see what works for you to enjoy greater success with your automotive photography.
Running down the street is an excellent way to start off your automobile photo session. Get close, get dramatic, get fun!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and shutter speeds when capturing cars. Use slow exposures to create interesting silhouettes, use fast short ones to add motion, etc.
Try using neutral backgrounds instead of having solid colors. It will give your pictures more depth.
Get the right location
Photo by Dzenina Lukac on Pexels
When it comes to finding an ideal car portrait, your first challenge will be deciding where to take your picture. General recommendations are to have the subject look into the camera, but you can also add some fun interactive features or use something that relates to the person being photographed.
A very popular way to do this is by having the individual pull out their favorite item or what they love doing! It does not need to be anything spectacular like playing sports or working on a computer, just something they enjoy and/or show off how good they are at it.
Some of the most common items photographers ask people to pull out include:
Using their cell phone for navigation while driving
Playing music they usually listen to
Driving a certain make and model vehicle
Drinking alcoholic beverages (providing they’re within safety limits)
Many professionals also hire professional models who are paid per photograph done. This way, the client gets to choose their favorite item or two and the photographer finds someone willing to play along!
We recommend trying one of these things in mind when choosing where to take your automobile photo.
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels
Color is one of the most important parts of professional automotive photography. Technically, there are only seven color ranges that make up visible light. These include red, green, blue, white, gray, black and complementary (or opposite) color.
Complementary colors are shades of yellow or cyan, for example. When used together in a photograph, these colors create an attractive effect because they balance out each other and emphasize different qualities of the image.
When it comes to vehicle photos, using bright, strong colors can help tell your audience’s story. For instance, if you take pictures of beautiful cars, then including some with very pale paint looks boring!
Fortunately, creating balanced, interesting photographs isn’t always about picking just any old hue. It may be knowing when to use which color range to convey your message and position yourself as an expert photographer.
If you have trouble identifying all the basic color hues, no worries! There are many free photo editing apps available that can help you along the way.
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels
A good way to start taking your photography skills to the next level is by practicing, shooting in different environments and with different settings. There are many ways to take professional quality car photos, but being familiar with how to use your camera effectively is a key part of any strong photographer.
It is important to remember to have your subject vehicle polished, cleaned and detailed to ensure the best possible quality of the pictures. You might consider taking your vehicle to a professional car detailing company such as AutoworX Pro Detailing in Wilmington NC. They also provide ceramic coatings and paint restoration if your vehicle needs those services.
You can find directions to AutoworX Pro Detailing here
Some people may suggest getting a fancy expensive gear first, but I would argue that using a good smartphone as your main tool is much better than buying too much expensive junk that you will never use.
By starting with just your phone, you will learn more about photo editing software such as Google Photos or Photoshop which can be very powerful!
There are several free apps available (mostly limited to basic features) that can help you get into the groove of taking decent automotive photographs. Some examples include GIPHY Photo, Snapseed and VSCO Cam.
Organizing your photos
When editing your car photo collection, it is important to organize your cars by make and model, and then sort them into groups based on season or event they were taken during. This way you can easily find each vehicle!
As you gather more pictures, additional organization strategies include using photobucket, google drive, or other file sharing sites to archive and store all of your vehicles’ images.
This will help preserve the integrity of the image as well as reduce clutter space. Make sure to use appropriate tags so that you do not have to go back and re-sort everything later.
Selling your photos
Even though it may seem like there is never enough time to take good quality pictures, that is not the case at all. With technology moving at such a quick pace, most people have access to a smartphone with a decent camera app already installed.
If you are passionate about taking great automotive photographs, then start flaunting those skills by doing something with them! Whether you want to sell your work online or give away freebies for votes, there are lots of ways to make money as an automobile photographer.
The best way to get started is to create high-quality content that stands out from the rest. People will flock to you if you provide value to others.