How to Take Car Photos for Picture-Perfect Ads?


You don't have to be an advertising guru to create a compelling ad for your car, as you need a well-written description and several images that show the vehicle from different angles.  

Having compelling images of the vehicle you want to sell will increase your chances of making the sale by attracting the attention of the potential buyers and providing them with the information they need to decide if the car you are offering is a good investment.

Even though it is irrelevant how many megapixels your camera has or which lens you are going to use, you still need to pay attention to various factors that can make the photos of your car look better.

In this article, we will show you how to take car photos for picture-perfect ads that lead to sales.

What makes photos so crucial for car ads?

Bad photos can be taken even with a professional photo camera since the equipment you have doesn't guarantee that your images will fit the purpose for which you are creating them. To avoid ending up with many useless photos in high resolution, you need to start thinking about presenting a car or any other object to the viewer.

Creating a car ad isn't much different from making any other advertisement type as the textual and visual parts of the ad have to complement each other. It is difficult for a potential buyer of your vehicle to imagine how it looks like based solely on the written description.

The visual part of all ads, including ads for used or new and used cars, should provide supplementary information that corresponds to the information you provided in the textual part of the ad. If you mention that your car is a convertible, you should include images that show how the vehicle looks with and without a roof.

Hiring a professional photographer to create images of your vehicle is not a bullet-proof plan because the photos may look too good to be accurate and make an impression on the viewer that the car in the picture isn't the same one you want to sell.

Instead, it is better to present the car in a natural setting while paying attention to details both inside and outside the frame. Photos of your car should communicate all of its selling points, like a new paint job, clean and well-preserved interior, or revealing what is under the hood. Each of these factors can be the reason why a potential buyer chooses the car you’re offering.

Instead of an expensive camera, you need a little creativity to create images that attract the viewer's attention and reveal everything a buyer needs to know about your car.

How to take car photos for picture-perfect ads?

All you need to create pictures of your car that provide viewers with the information they need is inventive. Don't opt for apparent solutions, and try to put yourself in the shoes of a person who wants to purchase a car.

Naturally, you'd want the pictures to be informative and not contain irrelevant or confusing information. On the contrary, you would like to know if the paint job is scratched or how much mileage the vehicle has already covered. We've shortlisted some of the steps you need to take to create car photos for picture-perfect ads.

Choose the location carefully.

Although taking photos of the driveway car may seem like the easiest solution, it is hardly your best option. Houses, passersby, or other cars may end up in your shot and make it difficult for the viewer to understand what is depicted in the photo.

Also, you should avoid taking photos of your car in a full parking lot since the person viewing the photo will have a tough time understanding which vehicle you are selling. Finding a remote and picturesque location that doesn't have elements that can distract the viewer will make your photos stand out.

Whether you find a nice spot with a great view or just an empty patch of the road is not as crucial since the location serves only as the backdrop that should highlight the car's features. Besides, buyers are not interested in the setting where a car was photographed, but rather the vehicle itself.

Pay a lot of attention to the background.

Even the tiniest detail in the background of your car photo can distract the viewer. That is the reason why you should strive to keep the background of your images free of people who accidentally ended up in the shot, rooftops of nearby houses, or any other elements that don’t fit the story you are trying to tell with a particular photo.

Controlling what is in the shot can be challenging even for professional photographers. Online background removal tool like Wondershare PixCut offers an easy solution to this problem as they allow you to remove the background of a photo in just a few easy steps.

Besides, you can use this online photo editor like Fotophire Online to create backgrounds or choose a proper background for your car that directs the viewer’s attention toward the vehicle you want to sell.


Take photos from different angles.

Taking a single picture of your car from your point of view isn't going to impress a buyer, and it is highly unlikely that it will present your car in the best possible light. You should take photos of

  • Front
  • Front left
  • Front right
  • Rear
  • Rear left
  • Rear right
  • The entire left side
  • The entire right side
  • Exploded view

This will create a wholesome view of the vehicle and enable the viewer to see it from different angles. You shouldn't just take photos from your eye level, but instead, put the camera on the ground or lift it as high as you can.

Do not cut a part of the car from the photo because that way, those who view your ad won't be able to see it from that particular angle. Even though a wide-angle shot will most likely include the entire vehicle, you don’t want to be too far from the car because the car may look small, and it may not be easy to see any of its features.

Don't forget about the car's interior.

Buyers are interested in the car’s interior as much as they are interested in its exterior. That’s why taking photos of the steering wheel, odometer, and all other features that may be of interest to a potential buyer are highly recommended.

Unlike the car's exterior shots, the pictures of the interior should be focused on clearly showing the details inside the vehicle. Cleaning up the car and getting rid of all the clutter will make your car's interior look tidier and more appealing to the viewer.

Make light your ally.

Photographing cars is trickier than it seems for two reasons. Their color looks different under different light conditions, and they contain reflective surfaces. Although taking pictures on a sunny day may seem like a good idea, it comes with several challenges.

Direct exposure to the sun may make your car's paint job look paler than it is. The easiest way to fix this is to photograph the vehicle during the day when the light is soft. Hence, the perfect time to photograph your car is either shortly before sundown or early in the morning, just after sunrise.   

It would help if you also avoided hard shadows that may cover parts of your vehicle because they may conceal parts of its exterior that may be important for the person reading the ad.

Frame your photos properly

As we already noted, the photos you include in your car ads need to be informative. This is much more difficult to achieve if their framing is off.

While taking the pictures of the car's exterior, your goal should be to include the entire vehicle in the shot while avoiding leaving too much space around it. On the other hand, the wheels' detail shouldn't fit anything else since this image's sole purpose is to inform the viewer about how the wheel looks and which tires the vehicle has.

The same goes for detailed shots of the steering wheel, dashboard, and other relevant interior parts.  


Pictures of your car say more about it than any description you can write, as they inform the viewer of the vehicle’s current state. They also show that you are not trying to conceal anything and that you have the buyer’s best interests in mind as well as your own.

Furthermore, it is unnecessary to have professional photo equipment to take pictures of your car since you can produce compelling car photos with your phone with a little bit of creativity. We hope that the tips we provided in this article will help you create images that will make your car ads more effective. Leave a comment and share your opinions with us.   

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