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Most car photos suck ... but they don't have to

June 25, 2021

If you’re like us, you probably want to see more dope rides when you open up Instagram. To help kickstart that, we’ve put together a list of simple tips that will help you get the best shots of your own ride.

But we’re also not going to be that guy who turns up to the party with nothing to offer. Keep an eye on your inbox or on our socials for a new ongoing competition (hint: you’ll want to practice some these tips)


Tip Number 01

Shoot at the right time of day


The sun create harsh shadows at noon, which blows out the details in your photo and makes for unflattering photos.

Shoot at sunset or sunrise. The light is softer and more flattering, so your car will look it’s best. Look online to check out what time sunset or sunrise is and plan your shoot accordingly. The golden rule of photography is to shoot in the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset.


Tip Number 02

Pick the right location


You might struggle to get killer shots if your car is in front of something unflattering, so give your location some thought so your ride really pops off the screen.

Think about the style of your vehicle and pick a spot based on that. For example your Jeep might look great out in the mountains, but a vintage hot rod would probably be more at home on a side street.


Tip Number 03

Choose the right lighting


Even if you head out at the right time of day, it doesn't mean you'll automatically have the right lighting. Bad lighting will mean the carefully selected designs and details of your car won't be visible.

A lot of professional shoots use 'backlighting' where the light source comes from behind the vehicle. If you absolutely can only shoot at high noon, look for a source of shade like a building.


Tip Number 04

Turn your wheels toward the camera


If you’ve coughed up the funds to put some killer mags on your ride, that’s something you want to highlight.


This one is easy - just turn your wheels so the the face of your rims is pointing towards the camera. You might have to adjust them a couple of times while shooting, but it will make the world of difference.


Tip Number 05

Get the most flattering angles


To be completely honest, if you don’t have the right angles, nailing all of our other tips probably isn’t going to save your shoot.


Tip 1
Take tons of shots - you’re not shooting on film. You don’t want a random person walking into your best angle.


Tip 2
Avoid shooting at eye level. It will make your car feel small and unimpressive. Shooting from a low angle will give your car an imposing, dramatic look.


Tip 3
Shoot towards the front corner (or back corner) of your car. This will show off a lot of your car.


Tip 4
Avoid shooting side-on from the car. On new vehicles, this pretty much turns your car into a giant mirror that will likely reflect you in the image.


Tip 5
Position your car so the best part of your chosen location is behind it. If you can position your car to hide things like road signs from the photo, even better!


Tip Number 06

Capture the quirks of your car


Every vehicle has something that makes it special. Capturing that in your photos will make photos of your ride stand out.


Aside from performance, think about what made you want to buy your car in the first place - was it the scissor doors or an iconic hood ornament? It might even be a custom element like a bespoke paint job.


Tip Number 07

Don't be afraid to edit your photos


Your picture isn’t done when you’ve hit the shutter button. It’s worth time playing with an editing app to see how much the image can be improved.


Commonly used apps are VSCO, Lightroom Mobile and Snapseed (free for iOS and Android). You’ll be able to use these apps to adjust light and colour among other things. Try using the vignette tool to focus attention on your ride by slightly darkening the scene around it!

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