Car Photography Checklist

Car photography is an important consideration for car dealerships in today’s digital world. It’s an essential part of car buying, helping car dealerships showcase their vehicles’ features, looks, and feels. Generally, car photography can be demanding, and the late winter months can pose more challenges, such as erratic weather, limited sunlight, and messy surroundings. This article offers practical advice on overcoming these obstacles and producing stunning car photography even in the harshest winter conditions. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Find the right location – The location of your photo shoot can make or break your shots. Look for locations with a clean background, interesting angles, and good lighting. A great location can be a picturesque road, a scenic viewpoint, a garage, or a showroom. Often, a simple and clean background can work better than a busy and cluttered one. The winter weather can leave your surroundings looking messy, which can detract from your car’s look. Consider using a background that complements your car, or try to clean up the area around the car before shooting.
  2. Plan ahead – Before you begin your photography session, check the weather forecast and adjust your plans accordingly. If snow or rain is likely, it may be best to reschedule and prevent having to work with wet or dirty vehicles. Snow, ice, and slush can leave a car looking dirty and dull. Make sure to clean the car thoroughly before your photography session, including washing the wheels and undercarriage.
  3. Use the proper lighting – Lighting is a crucial aspect of car photography. Natural light is ideal, as it can create a soft, warm glow on the car’s surface. If you’re shooting indoors, use a combination of studio lights and ambient light to create a balanced exposure. Be mindful of the time of the day, as well, as the “golden hour” (the hour before sunset) can provide stunning light for car photography. When taking photos of cars during winter, search for spots with abundant natural lighting, whether on a sunny day or near a big window or skylight. If you do not have access to natural light, portable lighting equipment can be an alternative.
  4. Use suitable equipment – A good camera and lens are essential for car photography. A DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens is ideal, as it allows you to capture the entire vehicle in one shot. A tripod will also be helpful to keep your hand steady and reduce camera shake. Additionally, a 360-degree camera can be a great addition as it allows you to capture the car’s interior from all angles, and it is a great way to showcase the car’s features and details. In low light conditions like winter days, it is important to use the right camera settings for winter days to avoid underexposure. Consider using a tripod and a low ISO to reduce camera shake and ensure sharp images. You may also want to consider using a slower shutter speed to capture more light, but ensure that your camera and subject remain still to avoid blur.
  5. Play with angles – Experiment with different angles to create unique and interesting shots. Try shooting from low angles to make the car look more powerful or from high angles to show off its lines and details. Get creative with your angles, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Reflections can be a problem when shooting cars in the winter with snow or ice on the ground. It can distract viewers from focusing on the car. Position yourself at an angle that eliminates reflections in the windows or utilize a polarizing filter to decrease glare. You can also try using a black or white foam board to control the reflections or to create a specific lighting effect.
  6. Edit your photos – Post-processing is an essential step in car photography. Use editing software to adjust the exposure, contrast, and colour of your photos to make them look their best. You can also use editing software to remove unwanted elements from the background, enhance the car’s colour or, or create a specific mood.


Take the guess work and effort out of car photography with artificial intelligence. For more information on AI-powered 360 car photography apps with easy inventory management and social media integration, effortless and consistent photos, no post-processing power, and customizable backgrounds: or +1 (705) 996-6244 for:

Sean Toussi

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please email Content Team,

AI-based Digital Merchandising.


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