Top Tips for Car Photography

Top Tips for Car Photography

Taking aesthetic photos of your car can always be a challenge, there are an array of elements you will need to consider. With this quick and easy guide, you can elevate your photoshoot and show off your amazing work to the next level!


One aspect which can amplify your car photography is the location. Be sure that the location suits the mood of the shot. The background is just as fundamental as the car; however, it shouldn’t serve as a distraction from your motor. Scenic locations are often popular; parking your car in front of beautiful traditional architecture, or on a steep hill with the horizon in the background can increase the overall photo aesthetic.

Another option is focusing on the contrast. Getting the balance between nature and mechanics can be a little tricky, but if done right can make a beautiful composition. Having a towering forest in the background, or the sparkling ocean can create an outstanding framework for your car photography. However, it’s best to keep in mind the last thing you want is a busy background deflecting the attention from your car.


We touched on contrast lightly with the location, now we can take it to the next level with lighting. With the correct lighting, you have the chance to emphasise the curvature of the car and highlight the artistry of the vehicle itself. Using artificial light and shadow is a great technique that allows you to feature areas of the car, but always try and avoid crossing over the light as that can look overbearing and harsh.

If you’re relying on natural light, the ideal time is at golden hour. This is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, where the daylight is warm and soft without any streetlights or lit windows. This directional light gives an advantage, as it makes it much easier to create side or backlighting depending on your preference. Try to avoid taking the photos in the midday sun as the light doesn’t compliment the car as well as golden hour does.


Getting the correct angle for the photo can a complex task for beginners. If possible, avoid taking the photo at eye level as this usually isn’t flattering or creative, particularly because this is how everyone already sees the car in real life. Experiment with different angles going high or low and photographing the car from the side to show as much of the car off as possible. Don’t be afraid to focus on the details- a lot of car photography exhibit the car logo or focus on the interior- it’s always good to highlight all the different quirks which are unique to the car. Close-up shots can be very effective in accentuating the individuality of your motor, just remember each photo doesn’t have to display the entire car.

The Car Itself

Taking all the previous points into mind, the foundation of car photography is the car itself. It might sound obvious but if the car isn’t looking its best, the potential aesthetic of your shoot will be restricted. Make sure you’ve put in the effort to get the car in the best condition you possibly can. A thorough hoover and a meticulous clean on the exterior can amplify the elegance of the car. The car is the centrepiece of the shoot, so without a clean car, it won’t be a clean photo. Steer clear of water spots and dust as this will deter from the elegance of the car.

With all these tips and tricks to consider, the best advice is to have fun with the shoot. Experiment with all these elements and find your niche over time, but mostly just enjoy flaunting the motor in all its glory!


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