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Complete Guide To Professional Car Photoshoot

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car photoshoot

Table of Contents

5 Min Read

Car photoshoot is a niche area that demands a blend of technical expertise, artistic vision, and appropriate equipment. Whether you’re capturing the essence of a vintage automobile, a high-performance racing car, or a practical family vehicle, your photoshoot should effectively convey the car’s character and distinctive qualities.

Automobile photoshoot holds great potential in showcasing a vehicle’s unique features and captivating aesthetics. It offers numerous advantages, such as enhanced visual allure, increased sales and marketing opportunities, and the ability to emphasize specific design elements and details. To delve deeper, we explore the different types, unique ideas, and equipment required for a successful car photoshoot. Let’s begin!


What is Car Photoshoot?

Car photoshoot encompasses more than just capturing images of cars. It involves creating a captivating series of car images that engage the viewer’s imagination and leave a lasting impression. Mastering this art requires skill and expertise. Cars offer an excellent subject for photoshoots, allowing you to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship involved in their creation. Various elements contribute to producing exceptional car images. It may be challenging, and there is a learning curve to navigate.



What are Different Types of Car Photoshoots?

Studio car photoshoot

This involves capturing images of a vehicle within a controlled studio environment. Typically, the car is positioned on a rotating platform, allowing for photographs to be taken from various perspectives, resulting in a comprehensive 360 car photography. Photoshoot with a new car in this manner is particularly effective in highlighting the car’s unique features and intricate design elements.

On-location car photoshoot

This involves capturing photographs of a vehicle in its authentic surroundings, whether it’s on the road, at a car show, or amidst a picturesque backdrop. This approach aims to present the car in a more genuine and lifelike manner, showcasing its capabilities and capturing it in action.

Action shot car photoshoot

This refers to the process of capturing captivating images of a car in motion, capturing dynamic moments with speed and energy. This specialized form of photoshoot involves photographing the car while it’s driving at high speeds, executing daring maneuvers, or engaging in races. It serves as a visually striking showcase of the car’s performance and capabilities.

Product shot car photoshoot

Product shot vehicle photoshoot is a specialized form of photoshoot that aims to capture top-notch images of a car, primarily for marketing and advertising endeavors. The main objective of this type of photoshoot is to showcase the car’s design, features, and specifications in a visually appealing manner, emphasizing its distinct selling points. Such images are used on a VDP (Vehicle Display Page) to showcase cars on a dealership website or marketplace, along with other promotional material. It serves as a powerful tool to create interest and promote the car effectively.

Lifestyle car photoshoot

This revolves around capturing the car in real-life scenarios, showcasing its integration into everyday activities. It involves incorporating people and settings that accentuate the car’s features, such as scenic road trips or vibrant cityscapes.

The aim is to create a sense of authenticity and a natural ambiance, prioritizing the narrative and the overall story rather than the technical aspects of the photoshoot. The focus is on portraying the car as a seamless part of a lifestyle, evoking emotions and connecting with the viewer on a personal level.

Race car photoshoot

This is a distinctive and demanding domain, calling for swift reflexes and acute attention to detail. Immortalizing the velocity and vibrancy of race cars whizzing across the track necessitates specialized gear and an intimate comprehension of the sport. From seizing the tension on the starting grid to capturing the thrill at the finish line, this is a captivating facet of motorsports photoshoot that unleashes boundless prospects for ingenuity and self-expression.

Vintage car photoshoot

Vintage or classic car photoshoot offers a distinctive and captivating approach to immortalize the allure and grace of timeless automobiles. By harnessing natural light and selecting intriguing settings, these photographs breathe life into classic cars and accentuate their inherent beauty.

Aerial car photoshoot

This encompasses the art of capturing captivating images of cars from above, employing the use of drones or helicopters. This particular style offers a distinct and thrilling perspective, showcasing the car’s design, proportions, and overall visual appeal in a unique and captivating manner.

Night car photoshoot

Nighttime car photoshoot is a captivating genre that focuses on capturing cars in low-light conditions, harnessing long exposures to emphasize the city’s luminosity and the interplay of lights and reflections. While it presents challenges, mastering this technique can yield breathtaking and evocative results, showcasing the car in a stunning and dramatic ambiance.

Concept car photoshoot

This is a specialized genre that aims to capture the innovative design and futuristic style of concept cars. It involves employing creative lighting techniques and shooting methods to accentuate the car’s distinctive features and showcase its forward-thinking design elements. This type of photoshoot requires a keen eye for detail and an artistic approach to effectively convey the visionary nature of concept cars.


Unique Car Photoshoot Ideas: Easy & Creative

These used and new car photoshoot ideas will be useful if you’re looking for images for a car catalog advertisement or if you simply want to share a stunning post featuring your car on social media. You don’t have to be an experienced photographer or spend a lot of money to bring these ideas to reality.

Shoot a picture with car exterior

To capture the entirety of a car, it’s recommended to use a wide-angle lens. Shooting from a lower angle provides the best perspective, allowing you to showcase the car in the most favorable way. A popular car shoot idea is to focus on specific exterior details, such as the front logo or the rims, to attract the viewer’s attention.


car exterior photoshoot


Additionally, you can use the car as a prop or background when taking portraits of models. Remember, number plate masking is important when posting car pictures online, if you’re using private vehicles for the shoot, for privacy concerns.

Choose an unusual pose for a model

Don’t confine yourself to photos of someone just driving or sitting in a car. Try out various relaxed poses both inside and around the car. For instance, a model could be reclining on a seat or placing their feet on the control panel. Poses play a significant role in setting the mood and character of the photoshoot. You have the flexibility to create anything from a car magazine advertisement to a personal travel album.

Seat on the trunk or hood

You don’t have to limit yourself to standing in front of a car. Explore different poses near the vehicle to capture unique and varied shots. For instance, you can sit on the hood or trunk for an interesting perspective. Additionally, you can accessorize to complement the car’s color or wear sunglasses to add a stylish touch.

Shadows on the model in a car

When you’re driving, you can witness a captivating interplay of light and shadows on your face. Take occasional breaks to capture portraits of the driver and capture unique photos with intriguing shadows inside your car.

To bring these car photo ideas to life, make sure to set the ISO to the lowest possible value. Keep an eye on the light sensitivity and adjust it accordingly. If you’re shooting at sunset, you may need to increase the setting. However, be cautious not to use excessively high values as it can introduce noise to your pictures.

Photograph models from the car

You can view a car as more than just a subject to photograph; it can also serve as a convenient support for your camera. For instance, you can capture shots by shooting through the front glass or direct a model to peer into the car through the window. This creative approach adds variety to your compositions and allows you to explore different perspectives.

Find reflections

You can generate unique and unconventional car photo ideas by observing your surroundings while driving. Consider incorporating objects that can add depth and narratives to your images. For instance, side view and rearview mirrors are commonly found on the road. Why not utilize them as part of your composition? Invite a model to gaze into one of the mirrors, capturing a captivating moment.

Shoot a picnic with a car in the background

Embarking on a picnic adventure presents numerous opportunities for creative car photoshoot. It’s an ideal moment to capture a plethora of delightful photos with friends, family, and, of course, your car. Amidst a picnic setting, you can capture inviting and heartwarming images. To enhance the experience, gather some props such as blankets, baskets, camping food, dishes, and flowers. These elements will add charm and authenticity to your photoshoot.

Capture a trip with friends

If you’re embarking on a long journey with friends or family, seize the opportunity to capture memorable car photos. Take a look at some friend picture ideas to spark your creativity. Enhance your photos by incorporating accessories associated with a car trip, such as a heated blanket, travel bags, or disposable tableware. Additionally, experiment with different camera angles to capture the mood and atmosphere of the moment.

Capture a couple in the vehicle

A car photoshoot can create a romantic atmosphere, especially when capturing a couple. Take photos of the couple in the front seats, trying different angles like shooting through the windshield or from behind. You can also ask the couple to turn around for interesting shots.

To capture captivating couple pictures, it’s important to select the appropriate aperture settings. Adjusting the aperture to f/2.0 can create a shallow depth of field, blurring the background while keeping the foreground sharp. This technique adds depth and focus to your images. Don’t hesitate to explore different couple poses to enhance the overall composition of your photos.

Turn on headlights in darkness

If you find yourself driving at night, take advantage of the opportunity to capture stunning shots with the headlights on. Avoid relying on Auto camera settings for these photos. Instead, take full control of the exposure triangle to maximize your results.


car photoshoot with headlight on


Adjust the settings by increasing the ISO, decreasing the shutter speed, and widening the aperture to accommodate low light conditions. Keep in mind that capturing steady shots can be challenging when holding the camera by hand. Using a tripod is a great solution to ensure stability and improve the quality of your nighttime car photographs.

Take a picture of a car wash

You can capture unique and unconventional shots with a car in more than just travel situations. One creative opportunity is to explore car photoshoot ideas and poses while washing a vehicle. Water and foam can serve as excellent props to enhance the visual appeal of your photos. You can visit a car wash for this purpose or enjoy some family fun in the backyard. Afterward, you can further enhance and refine these photos using the Spyne car image editor.

Involve pets in the photoshoot

Many people who own dogs enjoy bringing their furry friends along on trips. You can also include these adorable companions in your session. For instance, you can capture a picture of a dog peering out of a car window or catch their reflection in a rearview mirror. Additionally, you can create some lighthearted and amusing photos by dressing up the dog in an adorable outfit and placing them behind the wheel while people act as passengers.

Capture beautiful scenery from a car

While embarking on a lengthy car journey, you’re bound to encounter stunning landscapes and captivating views. These moments provide the perfect opportunity for a photoshoot. Capture picturesque scenes by photographing the landscape through a car window or by stepping outside and opening the door.

When adjusting your camera settings, pay close attention to the aperture. Optimal values for achieving sharp images range from f/7.1 to f/13.


The Expertise Required to Photograph Cars

Let’s delve deeper into the essential knowledge that photographers should acquire to master the art of car photoshoot.

1. Keeping the car a key player in the photo

In car photography, the main focus is always on the car itself. The challenge lies in capturing the essence and vitality of the automobile through a static image. During the photo shoot, the automotive photographer must ensure that every element in the frame enhances the appearance and functionality of the car, elevating it beyond a mere inanimate object.

The location and background should not divert attention from the car; instead, they should accentuate its prominence within the image. If the photographer chooses to include other objects in the photograph, they should not overshadow the car. Every aspect of the shot should harmonize with the car’s color, shape, and distinctive features, creating a cohesive and captivating composition.

2. Skills to capture fast moving vehicles

Many advertising campaigns for car photoshoots require capturing images of cars in motion. Photographing a moving object can be challenging and requires extensive experience, but it adds excitement and dynamism to the images. It showcases the car in action, emphasizing its speed and durability.

There are various techniques you can explore to capture motion, such as driving shots and panning shots to create a sense of blur. You can also adjust your shutter speed or use tracking shots if you prefer a slower shutter speed. It’s important to choose a technique that best suits the purpose of the photograph and aligns with the car’s design and capabilities.

A successful motion shot will effectively convey the car’s defining qualities, whether it’s safety, luxury, or another desirable attribute. It showcases the essence of what the car represents in a visually engaging way.

3. Be an editing expert

Editing a car photoshoot requires more time compared to other types of photoshoot. It demands proficiency not only in handling a camera but also in post-production processes using computer software. Having a good understanding of editing techniques is essential for enhancing the impact of your car photos, and dedicating ample time to editing is crucial.


Person editing car images


To minimize editing time during the shoot, it’s important to meticulously set up each photo according to your desired vision. Ensure that every image captures the essence and purpose of the shoot, reducing the need for extensive edits later on. By putting effort into the initial setup, you can streamline the editing process and achieve desired results more efficiently.

4. Scouting out the right location

The choice of location plays a vital role in automotive photoshoot, just as it does in other forms of photoshoot. It is important to invest time in selecting a background that adds intrigue, sets the desired atmosphere, and complements the subject and its unique qualities while avoiding any distractions.

For instance, when showcasing the durability and off-road capabilities of an SUV, a rugged and mountainous landscape can effectively highlight these features. Conversely, if the goal is to emphasize safety, a neighborhood setting may be more suitable to convey that message. By carefully considering the purpose and desired narrative of the shoot, you can choose a location that enhances the overall impact of the automotive imagery.

5. Showcasing the brand

It is essential to include the brand’s logo in the photographs as it serves as a clear indicator for the audience to identify and connect with the vehicle’s manufacturer. Additionally, capturing any distinctive brand features can further enhance the overall presentation. The brand not only provides valuable information about the car but also offers insights into its lineage and heritage.

6. Well-rounded know how about cars and photoshoot

Capturing the perfect picture requires photographers to possess knowledge and skills in both photoshoot and automotive subjects. It is crucial for them to be proficient in operating their equipment, employing various shooting techniques, and conducting effective editing. Additionally, photographers must have a clear understanding of the shoot’s purpose and be well-versed in the unique capabilities and features they are capturing through their photographs.


Equipment Required for Great Car Photoshoots


Car Photoshoot Equipment



Canon EOS Rebel T5i has compact size and is lightweight. This makes it easy to handle, and it features a screen that can be rotated 180 degrees for flexible shooting angles. However, it has slightly lower resolution compared to higher-end cameras, with 18 megapixels. Despite some limitations, you can use the manual mode for more control, keeping ISO settings at 100 or 200 for clear images.


An 18-55mm zoom lens has some limitations with low light and a zoom range. If your finances allow, you can purchase a 24mm lens as a replacement. The images have a zoom factor of 1.6, making the 24mm lens behave like a 38.4mm lens. This lens belongs to the compact “pancake” category, maintaining portability while providing a suitable zoom range for capturing wide-angle shots without distortion. However, the lens’s small front opening is prone to collecting dust and debris.


If you’re actively using the camera throughout the day, frequently turning it on and off or relying on auto-focus, the battery life can significantly diminish. To address this, you will need a second battery. Instead of purchasing the Canon-branded spare battery, you can also choose some third-party battery that fits seamlessly and delivers the same longevity as the Canon battery.


Known as a polarization filter or polfilter, it comprises two glass components coated with a specialized film. By rotating one of the pieces (while the other remains fixed), the light reaching the sensor is filtered, resulting in several notable effects:

  • Reflections on the car’s surface vanish, ranging from partial elimination to complete eradication, depending on the angle.
  • Windows and windshields transition into a translucent or opaque state, depending on the filter’s adjustment.
  • The blue sky appears more vibrant and pronounced, naturally enhancing its color without the need for digital manipulation.



A tripod serves multiple purposes. When fully extended to its approximately 60cm height, it excels as a vertical handle. You can elevate the camera using it, fold it for convenient transportation resembling a suitcase, utilize it as a compact tripod just above ankle-height, or extend it to capture shots of interiors or vehicles from a distance without physical contact.

Memory card

If your primary focus is capturing stationary cars, the choice of a memory card becomes less critical. Opting for excessively large cards is unnecessary, as it minimizes the potential loss if one were to be misplaced or damaged. Additionally, larger capacity cards tend to come at higher prices, while a 16GB card can store over 1000 high-resolution JPEG images.


Accelerate Your Next Shoot with Spyne

Spyne is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance your car photoshoot experience. With it’s advanced features and capabilities, you can streamline your workflow, improve efficiency, and elevate the quality of your car images.

Spyne offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed specifically for car photographers. From automated image editing and retouching to AI-powered object detection and background removal, it simplifies the post-processing stage, saving you valuable time and effort.

Additionally, Spyne provides seamless collaboration and sharing options, allowing you to easily showcase your stunning car images to clients, colleagues, or online platforms. Its intuitive interface and user-friendly design make it accessible for both professionals and enthusiasts alike.

By harnessing the power of Spyne, you can accelerate your editing process, optimize your workflow, and produce exceptional images that captivate and inspire.



In this article, we explored various categories of car photoshoot, unique ideas for them, the skills as well as the skills and equipment required for a successful vehicle photoshoot. By selecting the appropriate style for each endeavor, you can present your car in the most favorable way and capture captivating images that truly embody its essence. Whether you’re an experienced photographer or an enthusiast passionate about capturing cars, having a comprehensive understanding of car photoshoot is essential for achieving professional-level outcomes.

By employing AI tools like Spyne, mastering lighting techniques, and grasping the unique characteristics of each vehicle, you can produce remarkable images that showcase the car in its finest form.



  • Q. What is the best camera setting for car photoshoot?

    A shutter speed of 1/80, an aperture of f/2.8 and an ISO of 100 is the most popular camera setting used for car photoshoots.

  • Q. Tips for taking amazing photos from the passenger seat?

    Here are some things you must follow while doing a car photoshoot from the passenger seat:

    • Reduce shutter speed for capturing motion.
    • Start on an elevated highway to get a point of perspective.
    • Use the zoom function of the lens to rapidly change the perspective.
    • Be mindful when using exposure for the sky.
    • You can experiment with creative lenses for unique images.

  • Q. How do you photograph a classic car?

    For a classic car photoshoot, you want to first ensure that the car is clean. Then look for a location that will make your car stand out. Try to eliminate distractions as much as possible. You can use unconventional angels and wide lenses for unique shots.

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Team Spyne

Young, enthusiastic, and curious are the three words that describe Spyne’s content team perfectly. We take pride in our work - doing extensive research, engaging with industry experts, burning the midnight oil, etc. Every word we write is aimed at solving our readers’ problems.

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