How to Catch a Car Buyer’s Attention with Photos

on June 28, 2019

When a person is searching for a car online – no matter how phenomenal the specs are – the photo is what’s going to catch their attention; which is why they must capture the essence of the car. We live in a very visual world, and we have become acutely aware and attuned to beautiful images online over the past few years. In this Facebook and Instagram-influenced era, beautiful photos and videos are the ones we click, save, and like, and they can make or break a purchase decision.

The Way We Buy Cars

You don’t have to be an expert photographer to create an effective used-car listing, and the following tips will show you how to better photograph your car. Before we dive in, though, the first thing you need to do is wash the car to ensure that it’s spotless and that the wheels and tires are shiny.

6 Ways You Can Catch a Buyer’s Attention Through Your Photos

  • 1. Lighting

    Park the car outside and make sure it is not in direct sunlight, which as any photographer will tell you is difficult to shoot in. Shoot on a cloudy day, or, if that’s not possible, shoot in the shade. In terms of timing, shoot in the golden hour – when the sun rises or when it’s about to set. This will help to guarantee that your pictures aren’t overexposed and that the colors look warmer.

    If you prefer indoor photography, you obviously don’t have to worry about the time of day, as indoor locations are comfortable and convenient and you have access to light. However, shooting indoors can be challenging, with reflections being captured in the body and windows of the car being a common mistake. The most effective method to avoid this is to line the floor around the car with black fabric or to remove anything that could reflect.

  • 2. The Angle

    Think about if you were going to buy a car online. You’d want to see every angle of this car before you make your decision/ Well, so would your buyer. So get creative, take photos from several heights, including birds-eye shots, headlight shots and from a normal standing position. Take time to capture intricate details – such as interior trim, alloy wheels, steering wheel buttons, and infotainment screens. Extra photos add additional transparency, eliminating doubt, and helping to drive inquiries.

The Angle
  • 3. The Location

    A suitable location is essential to create informative, transparent, and engaging visuals. The location can help tell a story, without you having to write one. As a starting point, capture a series of basic shots in an area with a clean background. Avoid places where other cars, light poles, bins, and other objects are cluttering up the background, which can distract the buyer.

    Similarly, for the actual car, remove any clutter in the windshields, like tissue boxes or stickers, any clutter from the seats or between them as well as in the door pockets, which can distract from the interior.

    Once you have done the basic shots, it’s time to get creative. If you’re taking pictures of a 4×4 truck or Jeep, why not get out into the country or on some rough terrain? If you’re shooting pictures of a compact car, shoot in a more urban area.

The Location

  • 4. Driving Shots Add Appeal

    You’ll need friends to help with this one but think about capturing the car in motion by shooting it from another vehicle. The key is to match the speed of the vehicle to the speed of the camera, so it would seem that the car is standing still while everything around it moves.

    To match those speeds, the photographer is positioned in a ‘camera-car’ that is driving beside the one that he’s taking pictures of. A shutter speed of 1/60 should be enough to show motion and keep the object sharp, and there are a few ways to position yourself in a ‘camera-car’ – you can sit or kneel in a passenger seat or in a back seat.

Driving Shots Add Appeal
  • 5. Getting the DSLR Ready

    Remember that this should be done on a very quiet road. Travel at around 30mph, slow enough for most DSLR cameras to retain a steady focus, or, if you’re looking to get a blur effect, driving above 50 mph is best. You can show movement in these kinds of photos by getting trees, buildings, and bushes into the picture.

    You could also try panning – following the motion of an object while photographing it at a shutter speed of about 1/20. This will keep the car sharp, but blur out the background, giving the feeling of motion.

    If you are shooting at night, try long exposure – with car light trails, you can capture the movement of other cars against the car you are photographing which should remain static. Take some time to play around with your shutter speed, which will change the brightness of your photo, and create dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion.

Getting the DSLR Ready
  • 6. Professional Photo Editing

    New car launches are a perfect example of the importance of photo editing. The reason that these slick campaigns hold our attention usually has a lot to do with photography and photo retouching. Sometimes, no matter how experienced a photographer is, a photo won’t be 100% perfect. In the competitive automotive industry, photo editing plays an important role in branding and marketing.

    high-quality edited photocan easily communicate with the prospective buyers, so professional photo editors must make sure that their images are well enhanced and HD quality.

    Smart Photo Editors (SPE) can provide Photoshop image clipping and car effects that remove distractions and enhance images, creating a buyer-friendly photo experience. Perhaps the biggest advantage of working with SPE is that they can help business owners who don’t have huge marketing budgets, through image clipping, re-coloring, and 360-degree before and after pictures.

Professional Photo Editing


As a final point of call, your call to action or CTA is your chance to motivate your audience to take steps toward becoming a customer or client. Traditionally, it might be tempting to put a link to your website. However, more modern methods include just adding a logo, an image, a discount offer, or an invitation to subscribe to the weekly newsletter with some added benefits.

Visitors look for your “Call Now!” or another CTA button, and feel confused and disappointed when they don’t find it. Strong calls to action on social media, websites, the end of videos, copy messaging, digital advertising, and elsewhere are expected parts of the campaign. Whether you use your CTA to create a sense of urgency or to gently steer your users toward the checkout line, the important thing is that you use it.

Some common CTA’s include: Click, Buy, Listen, Download, Watch, Share. The best CTAs begin with simple commanding verbs.

Trust a Professional Team with Your Photo Editing Requirements

Poor photos can make your car less appealing to a buyer, prolong the selling process, and lead to customers who aren’t sure what they’re getting. It is only once you can incorporate all the above into your photography and marketing tactics, that you will be on your way to catching future car-buyers attention.

At Smart Photo Editors we knew that quality is everything. You need powerful car photos that make an impact and communicate your chosen message to prospective buyers. Trust us to take average photos to the next level.

– Smart Photo Editors

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