What Photography & Business Skills Does an Automotive Photographer Need?

Affiliate Disclaimer: Artmellows.com may contain links to affiliate websites( Amazon and others), and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links. For more Info check our Disclosure here.

What does it mean to photograph automobiles?

Automotive photography or Professional vehicle Photography, which can also be referred to as car photography or vehicle photography, is a field that can be deceptively difficult.

📈Checkout out our Latest and in-depth blog about 🌐The Ultimate Guide to start, grow and Make money in Photography Business
Automotive Photographer
Image from Unsplash

Photographers who work in this field are experts at capturing the most desirable characteristics of each vehicle they document. Their work contributes to the creation of stunning photographs that evoke strong feelings in the observer.

Where can one make use of automotive photography?

Photographers who specialize in this area typically collaborate with manufacturers of automobiles, vans, trucks, and other types of vehicles to develop advertising campaigns for the companies’ most recent products.

Many photographers who specialize in automobiles also collaborate with used car dealerships to compile photo galleries for use on their websites and social media platforms.

What Does a Car Photographer Do? Do you ask?

Photographers who specialize in automobiles capture images of autos for use in advertising and marketing. 

The location of this work is flexible. They might, for instance, photograph famous cars at races or take pictures of well-known automobiles for a magazine devoted to the automotive industry

Photographers specializing in automobiles may be employed by car dealerships to feature vehicles that have recently arrived on the lot or have been marked down in price, while automakers may want such photos to publicize the introduction of a new model. 

If you’re a car photographer, you know that it’s all about capturing the perfect shot that will show off the vehicle in its best possible light. Car photography is an integral part of many industries, and it is commonly used by auto body shops to record vehicle damage before repairs are made. 

A large number of car photographers also specialize in photographing trucks, vans, SUVs, and other automotive vehicles.

So, how do start your own car Photography business? here we go in 11 Nifty steps.

Get your Adobe Photography plan

Adobe Photography Plans

A trial version lasting just a few days is available- Check out Adobe Photography plan Review.

Get them both in the Creative Cloud Photography plan starting at just US$9.99/mo. 

Which photographic abilities are necessary for a career as an automotive photographer?

Getting your Photography Courses Sorted

The essential requirements for becoming a car /Automotive photographer are high school graduation and one year of photography experience. 

In order to prepare for this career, many prospective car photographers practice capturing photographs of a range of vehicles in diverse locations during their own time. 

Read automobile publications and follow other sources that utilize automotive photography to familiarise yourself with what companies seek in vehicle photographs.

Learn more about the industry and acquire practice with high-end photography equipment by observing a professional auto photographer. 

In addition, proficiency in digital and computer processing is advantageous. The duties and obligations of an automobile photographer necessitate close and far vision, perception of depth, and experience photographing enormous, moving things.

5+ The Best Automotive Photography Courses to Achieve Your Dreams

Acquiring Knowledge of the Focal Points

Maintaining focus on the automobile itself or on a particular facet of the automobile that the photographer wishes to highlight is one of the most important skills required of a good automotive photographer.

This implies that they must be lighting experts in order to ensure that colors are vivid, reflective surfaces do not produce an excessive amount of glare, and any distracting background features are “washed out” or faded.

Editing Knowledge is highly Desirable

The ability to edit photographs is a necessary skill for any commercial photographer; however, automotive photographers need to be able to combine their expertise with both a camera and a computer in order to produce images that are both beautiful and evocative.

Due to the fact that it is not always possible to take pictures under specific weather conditions in order to achieve the ideal lighting, many professional photographers have developed strategies to reduce the amount of time spent editing their photographs. One of these strategies involves only taking pictures under specific weather conditions.

Action is the KEY when it comes to Automobile Photography

As most
potential buyers want to see how a vehicle performs, automotive photographers need to be familiar with the technical aspects of photographing moving subjects.

In most cases, they accomplish this goal by employing various techniques, such as driving shots, tracking shots, panning shots, high shutter speeds, and other methods, in order to generate the particular feeling that a customer has requested. The purpose of capturing cars while they are moving is to drive home the point that they are “alive.”

Location & backdrop

Photographers who specialize in the automotive industry need to be aware of the environments and settings that best highlight a vehicle’s most desirable qualities.

For this reason, photographs of small, compact cars are typically taken in the city, whereas photographs of large SUVs are typically taken on muddy fields or in the middle of the country.

Photographers have the ability to highlight a vehicle’s sportiness, practicality, size, or handling by using specific locations and elements in the background of their shots.

Expertise in Detailed Shots

It is beneficial for automotive photographers, especially when it comes to photographing the interior of a vehicle, to have a working knowledge of how to compose macro shots.

Professional photographers are able to demonstrate a vehicle’s luxury, practicality, or any other distinctive features that are important selling points for a specific audience by ensuring that the focal point of the shot is on interesting features such as wood paneling, hand-stitched seats, or the dashboard. In this way, the photographer can highlight the vehicle’s distinct selling points.

Identification of the Brand

Automotive photographers, like those who specialize in any other kind of commercial photography, have the responsibility of ensuring that customers are able to identify the manufacturer of the vehicle without the use of any additional graphics or text.

Even though the majority of automakers give their vehicles a shape and design that is easily recognizable, which is one factor that contributes to the success of their brands, the companies still take care to ensure that their company logo is legible, unobscured, and simple to locate in every photograph.

Car Product Photography Stats

In 2023 Car Product photography and its influence on automobile sales in the digital age is more than ever before.
Product photography for the automotive industry aims to do more than only depict the vehicle’s outside; rather, it seeks to evoke emotion and a desire to learn more. 

Significant amounts of digital advertising are consumed by the car industry. This is understandable, given the requirement for a presentation to attract new prospective clients and dealers. Each time a manufacturer produces a new model, advertising is necessary.

We live in a visually-oriented society in which the internet frequently replaces noise. Prior to making a purchase, car purchasers anticipate receiving a thorough online summary of the desired attributes.

Fees, undercutting, pricing yourself, expenses, usage, and deliverables.

Finally, it comes to Business. This one presents a challenge and is Business related. There is a tonne of websites and articles on the internet that will try to assist you in determining the costs associated with these things; however, sometimes the only way to do so is through trial and error.

Things are very different depending on who the client is, how much other photographers work for their charge, how much they want from you, and whether the work is editorial or commercial, among other factors.

There are professional photographers who charge additional fees on top of their day rates, including travel day rates, editing costs, usage costs, and expenses.

Having a good Knowledge of Tools & Gears For the Car Photography Business


Best & Top 5 Cameras for Car Photography as per leading car  Photographer Miller from Melbourne

The optics/Lens

“I use a 24-to-70-millimeter focal length lens. It is really versatile and simple. “You have your wide-angle lens, and then you have your telephoto lens on the other end,” suggests Miller. 

“And I would argue that 35 mm and 50 mm lenses are the most common for car photography. This is what I see many folks beginning with.”

Also Read: 9 Best lens for car Photography [ Nikon, Sony & Canon]


For exterior pictures, a reflector that captures and directs natural light onto the car may be sufficient. 

However, automotive photography frequently includes inside images. Miller states,

 “I have a camera flash as well as a light bar( For studio setup)” It is extremely useful to have a flash since it illuminates the inside and reveals the colors of various features.

However, you must use a softer flash in order to provide good illumination without harsh shadows. 

“If you use a flash that is too intense, white lines will appear on all the leather,” explains Miller “You should attempt to maintain the interior’s sleek appearance.”


A tripod for steady photographs is always a wonderful asset, especially for nighttime photography. Consider purchasing a basic reflector kit to alter the sunlight.

Light limiters

Most automobile paint captures and reflects light, which can be problematic without the proper tools.

 Similar to a pair of sunglasses for your lens, a neutral density filter restricts light. A circular polariser, which specializes in decreasing glare, can also be utilized.

“If you don’t have a circular polariser, you’ll have a lot of reflections coming off the windshield and the side of the car, and they won’t look as beautiful,” adds Miller.

Camera & lens Cleaning supplies

Unless you’re photographing an off-road vehicle, dirt and smudges will not enhance your car photographs. Please bring detailing spray and polishing cloths.

 “If you get too close to the wheels, driving the automobile just a few feet can result in dust and debris,” explains Miller. “Keep that on hand in the event that you need to clean.”

And that’s all about fostering and flaunting a love for these automobiles. In order to succeed in automobile photography, “you absolutely need to be passionate about vehicles,” adds Miller.

Pro Note:

  • It’s not always easy to get pictures that do justice to your car’s beauty. Before the automobile even begins to move, you have to deal with a whole new set of challenges, including unusual angles, reflections, and iffy lighting.
  • However, if you’re prepared with the correct tools, you’ve already conquered half the battle. Because of this, we’ve selected a wide range of cameras, all of which are well-suited to photographing automobiles.

Q & A – Car Photography

What makes a photograph of an automobile perfect?

For a powerful and enticing automotive image, the most important aspects are:

  • The location
  • the right light
  • the right concept
  • what and who is the audience ..
  • where and when the car will be presented
  • post-processing + Editing

How to take good vehicle photographs

Successful vehicle photographs are the result of the right mix of aesthetic light, an attractive location, a gripping contrast, and the photographer’s more unusual avant-garde vision, which conveys to the viewer a certain sensation or emotion.

What to consider prior to the automobile photoshoot

Prior to beginning a picture session with an automobile, it is crucial to establish the objective. Which one should receive the greatest attention? The rate? Economy? Luxury? Safety?

However, visual information must be presented differently to different users, as a Mercedes buyer may be more concerned with their heated seats and leather inside, whilst a family car shopper may be interested in spaciousness, safety, and fuel efficiency, for example.

Now is the time to identify the type and composition of the audience whose attention we seek.

Luxury automobiles, along with watches, golf clubs, etc., are typically a symbol of social prestige and material prosperity. The graphics that portray them correspond to a comparable way of life and reflect comparable surroundings.

Camera Related Articles:

About the Author:

Manny Acharya is the co-founder of Artmellows. Your go-to place for Design, Digital Art, Digital sculpting, Photography, Design Tools and gears Info, and Product Reviews. Manny is a Digital Artist, 3D Sculpt Designer, Ardent Photography, Drone flying Enthusiast, and tech Lover. He supercharges Digital Art and design by crafting memorable 3D sculptures & 2D Design and art. Learn more About Manny:

PS: Manny has created a Beginner Friedly ebook to Learn the Nomad 3D Sculpt App. Know More about the eBook. Know more about Manny

Similar Posts