Car photography is a way of making cars or vehicles look more attractive and presentable to their customers. But there’s more to it. It has become a professional career that a lot of photographers are doing it. Apart from that, many newcomers also want to become car dealership photographers without experience. As vehicles are luxury products, they are always glossy. So photographing it requires particular skill sets that you should go for, or you might end up being a frustrated fellow and nothing else.
But don’t feel bad so soon. Even if you don’t have any prior experience, there are a couple of tips that you can learn to get started with your car photography career. In this article, we will tell you about car photography from our experience and how to become a car dealership photographer without experience.
Car Photography Equipment For Beginners And Advanced
Capturing car images that make jaw-dropping impressions and spark your viewer’s imagination is an art. You will be able to capture the styling that cars have inherited by mastering this art. To be able to do that, you have to know about the car photography equipment that all the professional and famous photographers use while capturing photos. In the below segment, you will see some primary car photography equipment for beginners and advanced photographers.
A professional DSLR camera is a critical equipment for car photography and every photography genre. But we won’t suggest you buy any DSLR camera for capturing those gorgeous vehicles. Instead, it would help if you went for a more advanced and future-proof DSLR camera, the Mirrorless System Camera because this is not a purchase that you will make very often.
Mirrorless cameras are lighter, more compact, offer faster shutter speeds, and are also better for making videos as well.
Every camera will come with a kit lens (18-55mm) which works great, and they will offer you good quality pictures. As a beginner, you can start with such lenses without spending extra money on fancy lenses.
The focal length of these default lenses is excellent for automotive photography. If you badly need to buy a new lens, go for the 50mm fixed focal width lense. It’s cheap and will offer you great value.
Using a tripod can improve your photography by up to 40%. Especially in the dark, it will give you more control over your camera and reduce the percentage of your shot failure.
Even for experienced photographers, handling the camera in the dark with their bare hands is challenging because of the longer exposure time. Apart from that, when you mount your camera on a tripod, your hands will be free to do other things more effectively.
Capturing vehicles without getting interrupted by the reflections is impossible. Yes, you can remove reflections from cars in photoshop, but using polarizers can make your post-processing a lot easier. It reduces the reflection and makes the image more subtle.
Polarizers do not remove reflections altogether but reduce them for sure. So if your photo has less reflection, then in the post-processing, you will need less time to erase it. As a result, you won’t have to spend the entire day photo editing and may focus on other tasks.
Pro Tip: Before purchasing a polarizer, ensure that the diameter of your lens and your polarizer is the same, or it will be of no use or won’t work correctly.
Speedlights and Triggers
It is not mandatory equipment but indeed a useful one for automotive photography. Sometimes you might need some extra light to complement your new idea, and it might produce the masterpiece you are looking for. So keeping it will be an added value.
Along with the speed lights, you should also have wireless flash triggers so that you don’t need to move again and again to make the lights work. Because of that trigger, you don’t also need to mount a Speedlight on the camera and carry it.
If you ever need to use softboxes, use a larger one as cars are massive. Softboxes will work great as they soften the flashy lights and reduce the reflections created from the vehicles’ glossy surfaces.
How Can I Get a Job as a Dealership Photographer?
Getting a job as an automotive dealership photographer mostly requires two things. One is a professional-grade camera, and the second is experience. Yes, without prior experience in capturing car photos, it will be tough for you to get a job.
Inventory photos of cars are the primary ingredients for driving online sales for your clients. To create images that stand out from the crowd, you’ll need some experience.
Tips and Tricks for Car Dealership Photography for Beginners
If you don’t have any experience in car dealership photography, then only tips and tricks won’t work for you. So the first suggestion is to have some experience photographing cars and then try out these tips and tricks.
We have divided all these tips and tricks into two parts where one is do’s, which means you can follow these, and the other is don’ts which means you shouldn’t do those.
Use The Best Light
Shooting your subject in proper and bright natural light can enhance the quality of your image that you might not even imagine. The hour before and after daybreak provides the ideal natural light for photographing automobiles.
What if you don’t get the natural light you need on the shooting day? In that situation, you’ll need to recreate the frame with professional-grade artificial light. Gather as much knowledge as you can to perfect the lighting settings.
Keep Foreground And Background Equally Sharp
Another important aspect of getting outstanding automotive photos is keeping the foreground and background equally sharp. To get sharp images, all you need to do is level up the aperture’s F-stop (f/14 and f/20) to a higher value.
Keep The ISO as Low as Possible
To avoid graininess appearing in your photo, keep the ISO settings as low as possible. Higher ISO levels can burn out or wash out your image. The tripod, which can assist you in keeping your camera stationary, has previously been addressed. Lower ISO levels will improve more.
Control Field Of Depth
If you want to capture flawless automobile photos at night, then learn to control the field of depth of your scene. Make the background de-emphasized for nighttime photoshoots, set the aperture wide, and boost the shutter speed.
Make Sure to Get Inside Footage Of The Car
This is another important thing that most beginner of automobile dealership photographers ignore or think of as a not-so-vital angle to shoot from. But with my experience, I can assure you guys that showcasing the car’s interior by capturing the inside footage is as important as shooting the exterior of it, and showcasing the interior with the car’s exterior plays a deciding role for the customers sometimes.
Don’t Shoot a Car at Eye Level
This is a common mistake for beginners. Never shoot the car at eye level. It is also known as a glaring error. This is that only the people who see the vehicle will be able to feel connected with it. So if you want to emphasize the quality of your car photos and increase the sale, then avoid making this mistake.
Don’t Go for the Usual Car Photos.
In this innovative era, you might feel what innovation you can bring into photography that no one has done until now. Well, trust me, if you have a creative mind, you can come up with some new unique, innovative ideas. Use your creative mind and avoid capturing and using the same usual car photos we see here and there.
Don’t Show the Whole Car in Every Photo.
Use as many photos as you can while presenting your car photos to your customers. Never use the full car view in every one of your images. Shoot from different angles, and capture the interiors and tires as well. Showing the whole car in every photo becomes boring and outdated after some time.
Dealership Photographer’s Salary and Job Opportunity
If you have professional experience in shooting automobile items, then the salary can go from $95,500 in a year in the US. The salary is very high and handsome. It starts from as low as $18,500, and the average amount is $28,000 annually.
Finding jobs gets tricky when you are in the beginner stage. But as soon as you get some experience, the opportunity is huge with a high salary package.
I think you guys now get it to learn how to become a car dealership photographer without experience. But before pursuing it as a career, I would suggest you get some experience in automobile photography and then try it out. In this article, you will know almost all of the information about car photography, so now it’s time to practice and perfect it.