What can taking pictures of your car teach you? This is no pro shoot and she’s not even a top model! Still a poser though… I would like to share things I’ve learnt and hopefully you can apply them and get some great results for yourself.
Positioning was challenging, with little or no experience I took around 90 photos at various random locations and only 5–10 were what I felt good. When you look at your car, ask yourself some quick questions like “What are the features of my car?” Example: body kits, badges, logos, spoiler, or anything that stands out when you look at your car.
Key features in mind, position your point of view to capture those. After reviewing the photo shoot, there are a few things I found that helped me get some of my better shots.
Think of your car as a rectangle; a front, a back and two sides. With a frontal shot I wanted to get lower so that the grill and body kit were clearly visible and turning on the headlights helped with a bit of impact. I imagined what the car would look like driving straight at me and the headlights were a set of eyes.
To add a little artistic feel, you can simply slightly tilt the camera. Perhaps try to feel the flow of the body shapes and curves and make them the feature of your shot.
If you position your view point to a corner, you will be able to see the most surface area possible seeing the front and a side or the back and a side at the same time. This tended to give a more overall shot without a main feature other than the car itself. Kinda standard “I want to sell my car” pics if you ask me.
Another position that worked well for certain features like mudflaps with the brand logo is a side-line view from the back corner.
Or in this case a headlight was the feature.
Some fun ideas I had was to use obstacles, here are some examples how they worked out. They change the feature of the shot but still include the car giving you a sense or a feel for the local environment. You could also use your own props to create a theme. Using your environment can add new dynamics.
Using my compact camera and not having manual focus, I remember having auto focus issues with some of these shots, so a good trick I used was to auto focus on the car, while still holding the shutter button half way down to maintain that focal point… move the camera to your desired viewpoint and the car should still be in focus.
For the purposes of the internet, I prefer to make slideshows rather than having to click the “next” button. Another advantage of making a slideshow is MUSIC. Music can add an emotional response making viewing photos a more memorable experience or creating a certain ambiance.
While creating a slideshow video I liked the effect of the car being out of focus and ended with this photo slowly fading to black. Hopefuly you get a sense of closure while still seeing the whole picture.
An alternative is to use one of the high impact shots like the frontal at the end of the video leaving an impressive last impression.
A lot of these basic ideas with positioning, features and props have helped me in many photographic situations and with video slide shows I try to make the images flow well with an end goal in mind and to get a positive emotional response.