To capture exciting and interesting digital photography of cars, you must understand how to pose the car just as you would pose a person as the first step in composing a portrait photograph. Many of the specific techniques are similar, in that you want to shoot from the best angle to show the car (person) at its best and be very attentive of all the little details of how the car (person) is “dressed” and “groomed.” This PhotographyTalk.com article will explore a number of these car-posing tips and techniques, preparing you to excel as a car photographer. Learn more about photoshoot pose for man on our website PhotographyTalk.com.
A Clean Machine
It should go without saying, but just to provide you with a complete checklist: Any car or vehicle you photograph should have been thoroughly cleaned, polished, and even detailed. This includes the interior and engine compartment if you plan to photograph them. In addition, check that all the external parts are attached securely: no body trim hanging from the car.
Now, obviously, if your vehicle/subject is a classic car, luxury automobile or extremely expensive sports car, then the owner will certainly make sure it is ready to be photographed (He or she probably keeps it in this condition all the time). If you’re using your car as your first subject, then you should still have it cleaned and polished, if for no other reason than to see distracting reflections in the body and learn how to avoid, or mask, them.
Strike a Pose
The location(s) you’ve selected to photograph a car has a major impact on how you pose the vehicle in the location, which is all the more reason you need to understand the posing techniques below.
It’s best to start with photos from a front (right or left) 45-degree angle. These could include a low-angle at 45 degrees, a high angle closer to the car with the camera moved towards a head-on shot and two angles in the opposite direction from 45 degrees towards a side-on shot.
To find the correct position of the car for these first photos, you must take into account a number of factors. They are the direction of the light, the reflections it produces, the background and the space around the vehicle.
As with most outdoor photography, you want the sun behind you or behind you and to either side. This can be an interesting lighting angle on a car. The camera is on a diagonal angle from the left or right headlight and the sun is at an angle that spills the light down the side of the car towards the camera.
Look carefully for unwanted reflections on the body and the glass of the windows. Then, reposition the car just enough to reduce their effect. You can also check another post about cool photo poses for guys.
As you are deciding where to park your subject car, you must also be constantly checking the background. Some of the photos in this series will be from various angles, so you must be sure that the background is good for all the photos you’ll take.
The fourth factor, or the space around the vehicle, is also important. First, you want enough space to move closer and further from the car for wider and tighter views, and even to shoot some images with a telephoto lens. You also want to be sure there is plenty of space in front of and behind the car, which helps to emphasize and enlarge the appearance of the space on either side of the vehicle.
The other front angle and two rear angles are photographed much the same, except you turn the car 180 degrees or into any position, so the sunlight is hitting that side and the background still looks good. You also move the car to shoot direct front, rear and side views. Another variation to add to your first series of car photos (and all future photos) is to shoot every angle with the wheels straight and with one full turn to display the wheel design. Another detail is to make sure the brand name on the center cap of the wheel is level and can be read in your closer images.
Another tip for beginners: When you first start your car photography adventure, it should be just you and your camera, without a tripod, flash or other lights. Using a tripod and artificial light are more advanced techniques. It’s best first to develop the skill to shoot excellent, sharp images holding your camera.