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Creative Car Photography

If you've ever tried taking a photograph of a car, you will know it's not as easy as it looks. It is simple to capture a picture of the car, but not to make a great image, a captivating image. Here are some simple ideas to help you improve your vehicle photography.

Everyone enjoys looking at a picture of a Ferrari or a Formula One car on the racetrack, but we are not all that lucky to own something so appealing. Honestly, no matter what vehicle you earn, start to think outside of the box and you'll be able to create some amazing pictures.


As with most types of photography the location and the lighting is always important. You need to decide where you want to take images of your car, in its natural setting, an unnatural setting or a studio environment.

In your most natural settings, in a city or in your driveway use the light to your advantage. Consider the colour of your vehicle against the background, against the evening sunset. Find a road that has a backdrop to the city or out into the wilderness and use this to your advantage. Make the vehicle your focal point of the image.

Use the reflections of the sunrise, sunset or the environment to help your vehicle stand out. If you're using an unnatural setting, be careful not to be too adventurous with your location. Avoid the cliched car shots.

Once you've found your location, think carefully about how the surroundings, the colour, the background will compliment or contrast the tones in your vehicle.


I would suggest using natural lighting. Use the early hours of the morning and late evening to get that warm soft light on your subject. This will avoid the harsh shadows and reflections of the midday sun.

Lighting is an individual preference and a personal style of the photography and depends on the mood that you're trying to create.

Angles & Details

We have all seen cars from eye level. Get creative... Opt for a high or low angled shot. Work the different angles. See the reflections that you can create on the surface of the vehicle using these varied positions.

Getting the best angles often means focusing on individual aspects of the vehicle, for example, the door or door handle, the badge, the hubcaps, even just the exhaust. There are many creative ideas. Let your imagination go wild.

Panning for Motion

This is one of my favourite techniques for capturing creative images of vehicles. Creating a motion blur of the background involves panning at the same speed as the vehicle with a slower shutter speed to give the illusion of movement. This is easier than it sounds, just give it a go. Practice makes perfect. For something different, try taking a photo of the vehicle from another vehicle driving alongside it.

Some of my favourite memories of those visiting classic car shows. There is something so nostalgic about these older vehicles captured in gritty black and white.

No matter what, just get out there and start taking photos.

Photos by Analog Mike

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