Tips & tricks for professional car photography

Auto fotografie 360 graden fotoseries

Would you like to create professional photos of your car stock too?
For car dealers, photographing new additions to their stock is crucial. Especially now that the online showroom is becoming ever more important. The shift from offline to online increases the importance of investing in attractive online car presentations. But creating great car photos suitable for the web is a time-consuming job. Furthermore, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with developments in the field of 360-degree photography and videography.

It’s a shame to post hastily shot photo series on the internet; these often detract from a nice car stock. Many companies run into the same problems when it comes to car photography:

  • ✘ Cars have a busy background and are not lighted properly.
  • ✘ Photo series lack consistency and appear messy and sloppy.
  • ✘ The quality of the car photos depends on who has taken them.
  • ✘ Weather conditions often cause car photos to be less attractive.

Professional photos for big and smaller automotive companies
We’ve noticed big automotive companies want to photograph a great many cars a day. Sometimes as many as 30 to 90 a day! So for a large automotive company efficiency, speed and reliability are of the utmost importance.

But smaller companies in the automotive industry are looking for high-quality photo series as well now, even if they only photograph a dozen cars a week. For most automotive companies, creating a suitable photo space is the biggest challenge.

Choosing a suitable photography location
What should you look out for when finding a photo space in your company?

1. Logical positioning
The location should be positioned conveniently within your routing. Especially when you plan to photograph a large number of cars a day, this is very important. It’s practical to position the photo studio near the car wash/cleaning department.

2. Easy entry and exit
There should be no obstacles for each car to drive in and out of the studio quickly. With the right software, you can set the entry and exit position of your cars in the rotation programme. So it doesn’t matter if the entry position is not the right photography position.

3. Avoid daylight
Natural light looks good, but unfortunately it cannot be controlled. With a photo studio you have full control over lighting.

4. Practical space
Create a background and floor that are practical within the ‘dirty surroundings’ of an automotive business.

The interior of your photo studio for car photography

The better the photo space, the better the car photos. For car dealers, the immediate surroundings of the car are most important. The lighting and background should be neutral and uniform. For large car dealers the routing, speed and automation of the photography process and the upload process of photo series are also of great importance.

A good photo space should be in a convenient location within your company; it should not hinder your daily activities. Additionally, the photo space should not get dirty when you are not using it for a day. A suitable photo space should have at least the following 4 elements:

✓ Good photography equipment in the right positions.

✓ A neutral background or back wall.

✓ Proper lighting (and measures against disrupting light from outside).

✓ A stable and solid car turntable.

Car photography with a car turntable

Be prepared for developments in car photography
For big as well as small car dealers it’s important to create a photo location that can grow along with the company in the future. A stable and solid turntable is the foundation of any photo space. For creating photo series quickly, a turntable needs accurate positioning. Furthermore, a turntable should be able to grow along with future software developments.

The importance of a solid car turntable
All too often a turntable is considered to be of secondary importance. People underestimate how much power it takes to have a heavy product like a car stop and start turning repeatedly on a daily basis. It requires a durable and practically maintenance-free revolving platform.

A turntable for cars should be reliable, strong and future-oriented. The differences among car turntables and control options on the market are enormous. Make sure to compare the various providers of turntables in the automotive industry well.

Take advice from turntable manufacturer Pre-Motion
As manufacturers of turntables we’ve been involved with car photography since 2011. We notice that the need for professional photo series of cars in the automotive industry is ever increasing. By now, we have collaborated with all kinds of automotive parties. We have designed various photo locations and can offer you solid advice about the possibilities for a photo studio with car turntable in your company’s building.

Read more about car turntables for car photography from Pre-Motion.

6 tips for car photography

Tip 1: Create a neutral background

The photo background should not draw away attention from your car. Therefore, many automotive companies opt for a white background. Instead, you can also choose to create an industrial or sporty atmosphere. In those cases it is important, however, to keep the background simple and make sure it does not draw attention away from your cars. To make your car photos instantly recognizable you could also show your company logo in the background.

Tip 2: Use proper lighting equipment

Natural light can look great in photos, but unfortunately it cannot be controlled. A photo studio has the benefit of allowing you to take beautiful pictures at any given moment. The basis for this is good studio lighting and flashes that provide enough light. When choosing a photo location, try to avoid light from outside entering through a window or skylight as much as possible. A diffusing cloth or curtain can help with that. By choosing a closed-off room, you will prevent unwanted reflections and shadows.

Tip 3: Be unique and create recognizable car photos

If your car photos are to be published on websites like eBay or AutoScout, it’s important to make your cars stand out. Be creative and discern yourself from all the other car dealers. By adding something unique to your car photos, you can make a statement. Be creative! Photograph your car stock in front of a special background, or turn the front wheels so that they’re more visible, for instance.

Tip 4: Only photograph clean cars

Even when cars look clean at first sight, lighting and reflections can make them appear a lot less clean in photographs. So wash each car well before you drive it into the photo space. This will save valuable time during any post-processing.

Tip 5: Allow website visitors to zoom in on a car

Many cars have beautiful lines that only become noticeable from up close. In order to show such details to your website visitors, the photos must be high-quality -even when zoomed in. This is especially important with cars for enthusiasts.

Tip 6: Create with 360° photos and videos an online experience

Interactive 360-degree car photos and videos are becoming ever more popular! A 360-degree photo or video allows potential buyers to check out your cars from all sides. This way, you will create more of an experience for your website visitors.


Do you have any questions about the possibilities of a turntable for better car photography? We will gladly advise you!

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