Taking photos of your car for sale doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, with a smartphone on your side, keeping it clean and simple is your best bet for standing out amongst the crowd. Great photos can have a huge positive impact on the price you can ask for your vehicle.
There’s a good reason those car magazines take their photos from bumper height - perspective!
Crouching down before popping that shutter can highlight the shape and design elements of your vehicle. Low vantages enhance the silhouette of your car, so don’t be afraid to take a knee while taking a photo!
No, we don’t mean drive somewhere picturesque to take your photos (although it can’t hurt!), we’re talking about the orientation of your phone.
Avoid portrait orientation and keep all your photos oozing ‘widescreen’ presence. Leave a nice amount of background around your vehicle - remember you can always crop later. If you do crop your photos, remember to lock the aspect ratio.
Keeping all your photos in the same ratio makes them look more professional and seamless.
Full steam ahead
When taking photos of those rims, make sure they’re pointing straight ahead. Better yet, angle the front wheels towards the camera, ensuring you’re photographing the rim, not rubber.
Nobody bought a car because of the tyres! But a little tyre shine can really raise things to another level.
Avoid the temptation to ‘perfect’ your image by adding Instagram-worthy filters and effects.
Believe it or not, the average punter can tell when an image is fake, and it’s a definite turn off. Buyers want to feel confident they’re seeing the real deal.
Keep the flash off
Using the flash can create unwanted reflections and highlights. Smartphone flash photography can blanch the image, making it look overexposed and cheap. Stick to taking your snaps in the best possible natural light. This avoids a flat-looking, lifeless image.
Park your vehicle somewhere that contrasts with the paint colour. Have a light coloured car?
Choose a dark backdrop. Think asphalt, grey cityscapes, a dark painted wall. Have a dark coloured car? Take it somewhere bright, beachy, or sunny. Let that glossy beast ooze class.
Whatever location you choose, make sure you scan the area for unwanted photobombs. Everything from crass graffiti to ironic traffic signs have (dis)graced many a car sale ad!
Keep it clean
It's surprising how many dirty vehicles get listed for sale. You want to present your vehicle in the best light. A door pocket full of rubbish and your lovable mutt’s drool on the window isn’t the look a new owner will swoon over.
Break out the chamois and the vacuum cleaner before you take your snaps. A clean car signals to buyers that it has been well cared for during its time with you. A little investment in sprucing up on your part can add hundreds of dollars to your sale price.
Work with the weather
Needless to say, better not take those photos on a rainy, muddy day. Both a sunny or overcast day can provide the perfect conditions for taking photos. If the sun isn’t filtered by clouds, remember to keep the sun behind you.
Avoid a ‘cameraman shadow’ in your shot by avoiding early morning and late afternoon. Any day with consistent weather will be your best bet. Try to avoid taking photos on multiple days where the variations in tone can be jarring for a potential buyer
Lastly, try to remember what made you buy your vehicle in the first place. Chances are those same qualities will make someone else fall in love with it. Make sure you include those shots in your advertisement.