At some point in time of your car’s ownership you might want to take some photos in remembrance of it — whether it is for your personal reference or to use in advertisements to sell your car.
You can always engage a professional photographer to help you take the photos, of course, but if you are on a shoestring, you can attempt doing the photoshoot yourself.
Kind friends might loan you their DSLRs, along with additional camera equipment, but there are several good digital cameras in the market these days — like the Canon Powershot S95 — that produce equally high-quality shots.
Having worked with lots of photographers in my line of automotive journalism work and dabbling in amateur photography myself, I have some tips on how to get good shots of your car.
Specialised automotive photographer Adrian Wong (Vanq Photography) and Jay Joel Ong, founder of drive-in car photography studio Ode to Studio share some advice, too.
Good photos of your car can help you fetch a higher price for it.
1. Proper planning is essential
Taking the camera and driving out to a random spot to do the shoot is possible, but if you want to capture a good automotive photo, Ong advises that you plan ahead. Simply because — if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Unpredictable events such as the weather will be beyond your control though.
2. Take note of photoshoot prime time
For an outdoor shoot, Wong recommends that the best times of the day would be in the morning between 7am to 10am or in the late afternoon from 4pm to 6pm, as the sunlight at these times are not too harsh.
3. Keep background clean and simple
Cars with glossy paint (especially black) are very reflective. As a result, details of the car will be lost under harsh lighting and shooting outdoors might also call for unwanted reflections on the car. A busy background will draw attention away from your car, so choose a wall, a field, some foliage or a scenic landscape.
4. Work the angles
Get down on your knees to get the best angle. The camera should be level with the front wheel or bonnet of the vehicle for that professional look. Extreme or aggressive angles work well for sports cars.
5. Variety is key
The best and easiest angle, as Wong says, is a three-quarter view from the front and back. If you are taking photos of your car because you want to sell it or you want to remember it as it is, then you might want to include the back, side, front and inside too.
6. Get back inside
According to Ong, car commercials are usually shot in a studio, so the lighting can be controlled, unwanted reflections from outdoor elements can be eliminated and details of the car can be brought out. If you are not satisfied with your attempts at shooting the car or prefer to leave the hard work to the professionals, you can always drive to studios such as Ode to Studio where you can literally drive right in and get your car shot at prices as affordable as S$80 for three images.
In some sense, a car is like a work of art.
*This was first published on Yahoo!.