How to Photograph Your VehiclePosted on 2021-08-26
How to Photograph Your Vintage Car
Taking good-quality pictures has never been easier. You do not need to be an expert photographer or have a professional camera to get astonishing photographs, as digitalization has turned our phones into powerful devices to get high-caliber images and market our product as effectively as we can. This is great news for vintage car sellers, as good photos will make your car more appealing to buyers. All you need to know is when and where to shoot, what to focus on, and which angles to choose to make your offer as attractive as it can and should be. Our team has prepared a detailed guide to help you take the right photos and sell your car much more rapidly and successfully.
Step 1: Clean Your Car
Take the necessary time to carefully clean, wash and dry your vehicle as if you are preparing it for a stunning photoshoot for a popular best-selling magazine. This crucial step will help buyers determine the overall condition of your vehicle, and therefore have a significant impact on the price of your vintage gem.
Step 2: Find Good Lighting
Lighting is another game-changing step when it comes to getting amazing photographs. You can find the best light either right after sunrise, or immediately before sunset, as these positively influence both the lighting direction in relation to your subject as well as the color of the light. Choose a beautiful day with great weather to take your car on an outdoor shooting adventure.
Step 3: Find a Good Location
Whether you choose to shoot your car in an indoor parking area, a shop, or anywhere outside, always remember to eliminate any objects that may distract from the main subject (i.e. your vintage car). Any unnecessary signs, wires, vehicles, unwanted trash or debris, may draw the viewer’s eye away from your car and thereby drive potential buyers away. Along with minimizing/eliminating any distractions, also make sure the location has good lighting and/or has the potential to get fully or adequately illuminated. Remember, good lighting can add magic to your photos!
Step 4: Prepare Your Phone Camera
Whether you are using a professional camera or your smartphone, make sure the camera lens is properly cleaned just before the photoshoot and throughout the entire process of taking the photos. Any tiny spots on your camera lens may lead to poor-quality photos and result in hazy-looking images. Cleaning your camera lens is equally as important as cleaning your car and the surroundings!
Step 5: Let’s Take Photos!
Now that everything is thought-out, ready and clean, you can start the photoshoot. Photograph the vehicle’s exterior first, then move on to the engine, interior, underside, trunk, VIN & body tags, and finish with documentation. Below you will find useful tips and tricks for taking great photos of each of the aforementioned vehicle parts!
Start by walking around the vehicle and take full exterior photos. The best strategy is to shoot the exterior from a variety of perspectives, including eye level, low angle, and even from a step ladder, which would enable you to get the popular bird’s-eye view. Try to capture images that provide an overall look at the vehicle as well as show the body lines, doors, and the paint quality. Capturing such tiny details is important mainly because many buyers are looking to see how straight the body panels are and want to get a better feel for the paint condition. To wrap up the photoshoot for the exterior of the vehicle, please take quality close-up photos of any paint flaws or body damage.
Take photos from a wide range of angles not only for the exterior of the vehicle but also under the hood. This will provide the buyers with necessary information on the general condition of the engine compartment and other key areas such as the firewall and inner fender wells. Power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning are other aspects that buyers often pay attention to, so it would be great to spend some time capturing details related to these areas.
Interior photos help the buyers get a general idea of the complete interior layout of the vehicle including the color of the interior, the carpet and seat condition, and center console condition. When photographing the interior, start with taking photos of door jambs on both the door and body side. A common mistake is not to include the passenger door jambs, which, however, are equally as important as that of the driver door. Make sure you have clear shots of the door panels, the headliner, and the dash. When photographing the dash, don’t forget to capture a photo of the mileage and the overall gauge condition. Each and every of these elements are crucial for the buyers when they determine the state of the vehicle’s wiring and interior firewall.
It is possible to get clear photographs of the underside of the vehicle without a lift. All you need to do is lay down on the ground, get low, and capture some overall photos of the undercarriage. A helpful strategy is to get your phone very low to the ground and point it up at the underside, which will enable you to get photos that look clear and professional. It would be tremendously helpful to also include photos of the exhaust system, the overall floorboard, as well as the frame and pinch weld as these allow the buyers to see the metal condition on the essential vehicle parts.
Take images that show the rear, the gas tank, and the quarter panel dropdown, and wrap up your photoshoot of the underside by taking pictures of the front suspension including bushings and the front brake system.
If you have a spare tire and mat in your trunk, you should remove these items prior to photographing the trunk in order to eliminate any potential distractions. Once the trunk is free of any unnecessary objects, start taking photos of the complete trunk area, the trunk floor, the rear quarter panels on both sides, wheel wells, and the package tray area so that the buyers can get a clear understanding of the overall metal condition on these parts of your collectible.
VIN Plate & Body Tags
Locate your VIN plate and stamping and take a photo where the number is clearly visible and easy to read. You should follow this same procedure if your vehicle is equipped with a body or trim tag.
The final step of the photoshoot is to take clear photos of any essential documentation you may have with the vehicle such as build sheet, receipts, and images of the restoration.
Any Minor or Major Flaws
Last but not least, please don’t forget to photograph any existing flaws, damages, scratches, and rust. This final step will help you communicate the real condition of the car and avoid troubles later upon delivery of the vehicle․
After you’re done photographing all these individual parts of your vehicle, feel free to upload the photos to complete our easy-to-use vehicle submission form, and our professional team will get back to you as soon as possible with a fast and free car valuation. Everything is as simple as that!
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