How to Photograph Cars - Kumbera Motors Listing Agent

If you are selling your car online, contact Kumbera Motors. They are a broker and car seller's agent.You have decided to sell your car online and you have decided that the best way to do that is through a broker. You also agreed to list your car with Kumbera Motors, your online car seller’s agent. There is an important step that you have to take; photograph your car and showcase it to the best of your ability. There is more to it than point-and-shoot. Here are some tips to make your car stand out from the rest. Wash the car and roll up the windows. Here we go!

Camera: Today’s smart phones are equipped with better a better camera app than ever. If you have access to a professional camera, that’s even the better. With focus and zoom capabilities, a professional camera is more versatile. The cell phone has the advantage of allowing you to email the image within moments of shooting the picture.

Time of Day: The best time of day is in the morning, 10:00 – 11:00 or afternoon 1:30 – 3:00. It’s better to avoid harsh lighting conditions. They can cause glare on the windshield and cause the color to come out inaccurately. High noon is the worst time to photograph a white car. The styling cues and lines defining the doors become invisible. If you’re shooting too early in the morning, or too late in the afternoon, the car can cast shadows on the ground, causing the tires and the grille to come out too dark and without definition. Shadows from a nearby tree or power pole can cast undesirable shadows on the car as well.

The best lighting comes from an overcast sky. It’s not always possible to wait for a cloudy day, but the color of the car will be more accurate. When photographing your car have your back to the sun, so that you can avoid shooting into any direct sunlight. Avoid shooting under a tree; the foliage will cast shadows giving the car a dappled look.

Backdrop: Avoid street signs trees, or any type of a pole. When you get the results your car could look like it has a pole shooting straight out of it, or like your car is a tree planter. If possible, a back drop should have as few distractions as possible. Avoid parking lots, walls and tight areas. Sunday is a great day to shoot. Why? Find a bank building or a business that is closed for the day and shoot there for a unique, but not distracting backdrop. Remember to avoid street signs, trash cans, newspaper stands and other distractions.

Surface: A car that is shot on grass will make it look like the tires are flat or sinking. Surfaces that have painted stripes can cause a distraction, too. The surface should be smooth concrete, or blacktop.

Angle: The worst possible angle is straight on from the front of the vehicle. It can make even the most swanky car look front heavy and stodgy. A straight shot from the side is okay, but should not be the primary photo of your car. The best angle you can choose is what is known as a three-quarter shot. Place yourself directly off the passenger’s wheel. Make sure that you are capturing the grille, a slightly wider angle of the passenger’s side and the wheel’s rim. If possible turn the wheels so that the car’s passenger side wheel is facing the camera. This will allow you to pick up more details of the wheel.

Distance: Your car is the subject, so it should fill up most of the frame. Allow enough of a safety margin, without leaving too much wasted space. The car should be centered left to right, top to bottom. Take a few close-ups of the wheel, head light and grille. Take a few more shots of the side view (wheels should be straightened for this shot). Now take some from the back of the car, using the three quarter shot technique. Take a few additional of the front, rear (with the wheels straight) and a few interior shots (with the steering wheel straight). These can be kept on file for later purposes.

Landscape vs Portrait: Always shoot in Landscape. It feels natural to hold a cell phone in a vertical position, but holding it in a horizontal position works wonders for car photography, and most other types of photography. Photos shot in horizontal or landscape format much better on the internet and in website use.

Whew! Don’t be nervous about this. Photographing cars is a fun and pleasurable experience. Kumbera Motors Listing Agent wants to ensure that your car gets the most views and sells to just the right car buyer in a timely manner. Look at some professionally photographed cars for inspiration. Call 928-710-7101 if you have questions, or visit us at

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