Five tips from a professional photographer to take great car photos in 2021

January 7, 2021

One of the areas that you can start focusing on to demonstrate immediate change and that can make a big difference in your enquiry rate in 2021 is via your car photography and how it is displayed across your website. If you are willing to take your vehicle photography by your own hands this year, follow these five tips and learn how to make the car the star and keep customers engaged at the vehicle detail page level.


Present the vehicle right


The title says it all but knowing that a camera can pick up the smallest of the details is essential, and as such, the key to a great car photo is to ensure that the car is ‘sale ready’ from the inside out. Do a quick tidy by having the front seats in line with the B pillar and the headrests push down completely. Straighten the steering wheel and remove any paper floor mats or loose items. And finally, ensure that the car is dry before taking any photographs.



Choose the right angles


Choosing the right angles is paramount to keep your images consistent and of the best quality across all your stock. Although you can follow a strict routine that ensures that each car is photographed from the same angle, having the assistance of a photography app like Auto360° from Dealer Solutions will speed up the process and help achieve consistency. With its 360° functionality, you can show your customers the full picture by displaying angles of the interior and exterior of your vehicle in 360 degrees. The built-in smart frames within the still photos prompt the photographer to capture still images consistently by following a straightforward step-by-step guide, so you know the right photos to take, keeping your images consistent and of the best quality across all your stock.



Choose the best light


Dusk and dawn are known as the “golden hours” for photography, but often these are not suitable times for car dealerships to photograph, however, here some alternatives:

Finding a shaded area, waiting for the sun to go behind a cloud and indoor locations are all great options. If you cannot photograph in a shaded area, the next best option is when the sun is overhead, in the middle of the day. For your still photos aim for the sunlight to fall on the front of the car. Your best scenario will always be against a north-facing wall in the mornings and a western facing wall in the afternoons.



Location, location, location


Finding the perfect location can be difficult when capturing all angles of a car, but you should try to get your Hero shot best placed first. The hero shot is the first photo of your vehicle that you want to display, and it is usually a front ¾ angle. If you are using the Auto360° app, you can use the smart frame called ‘hero’ for the perfect ¾ angle shot.

A bare wall or area with little distractions in the background is ideal. You can also narrow down your distractions by standing further back and zooming in on the vehicle. Try to stay away from advertising from your neighbouring competitor, and most importantly, choose a location where you aren’t displaying their name within your photos.



Interiors are key!


Interior photos are as important as exterior photos and capturing them with the Auto360° app means that you can highlight the best features on each specific car. Does the car have a sunroof, sat nav, reversing camera? Looks for these before highlighting something more common like electric windows.

Take interior photos to the next level by combining the app with a Ricoh Theta device, this will allow you to take 360-degree interiors, and your customers will be able to rotate them around as well as up and down, taking features such as moonroofs to a whole new level.



To learn more about vehicle photography and how Auto360° can help you take your own photos, and link them directly from the app to your dealership website and your online advertising sites visit




By Lauren King | Product Manager Photography at Dealer Solutions.