If your dealership has an online presence, whether it be through social media, a website, or local citations, then you probably already know how important it is to have photos ready.
Hiring a professional photographer can be expensive, as well as time consuming. While it’s helpful to have your photos taken by a professional photographer, if it’s out of your budget, then there’s no need to worry! At AutoJini, our goal is to help our dealerships have a strong online presence. The rest of this article will cover tips and tricks on how to take the best photos for your car dealership by yourself.
You don’t need to buy a fancy or expensive camera to take high quality photos. As long as you have good lighting, don’t zoom, and have good eye for angles, your smartphone should be enough. The iPhone 6 and newer, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and newer, or any smartphone that was released within the last few years all include a back camera with at least 8 megapixels or above. This is sufficient for online publication. However, if you do have a professional camera or know someone who does, that would be a better option.
Taking Photos of Your Vehicles
Make sure to take your photos on a sunny day, because lighting will be one of the most important factors in whether you can get a good photo. Take pictures outside with plenty of natural light and space. Place the car away from any other vehicles and make sure the scenery isn’t too distracting; the goal is to make the car stand out. A cleared parking lot or open area of grass are good options for photo locations.
The first thing you will want is a good shot of the front corner of the car, which is also known as the three-quarter view. This is typically the photo that is used for thumbnails. This angle allows you to show off a lot of the vehicle in an attractive way.
Next, you will want more pictures of the outside of the car from different angles. Customers want to get as much information as they can, so you’ll want to take a variety of shots. Try to avoid taking photos at eye level when you can, because it’s the least flattering angle for a car. Shoot vertically, especially if you’re using your smartphone, because vertical images look better on mobile devices. Another great tip is to be careful not to get your reflection in the picture. The exteriors of cars are shiny and reflective which looks great, but seeing a person holding a phone in the reflection doesn’t look very professional.
Photos of the inside of the car are important as well. Some cars are more attractive on the inside than they are on the outside, so you’ll want to get good pictures if it’s a selling point. Some examples include the dashboard, a picture with the front door open showing the inside and front seat, the back seats, and more. Be sure to get some detail shots as well. Does the vehicle have a back-end camera, a DVD player, or any sort of special features? Show them off in your pictures!
Avoid using filters or editing your photos too much because it will take away from the authenticity. Customers are looking to purchase a car, not to judge your artistic skills.
Taking Photos of Your Dealership
Along with photos of your vehicles, it’s a good idea to have high quality photos of your dealership ready at all times. Your online business directory listings will look more credible with photos, and they look good on social media as well. Potential customers are more likely to trust dealers that show pictures of their dealership online.
Take photos during the day and try to take shots near large windows to get the best natural lighting. Photos are more interesting to look at when there are subjects, so ask your employees if you can take candid shots of them working with customers. You don’t want to have a bunch of photos of an empty dealership because they’re not fun to look at. Remember the rule of thirds when you take photos of your dealership. Your pictures will look more professional and aesthetically pleasing.
You will also want to get a variety of different photos to avoid all your pictures looking the same. Show off different parts of the building, including the main office, waiting area, service department, and car lot.
Take your time, and practice. It might take several tries to get a good photo, but you can’t become a professional photographer overnight. Be patient and you will find that your pictures improve over time, which will help your online presence and gain trustworthiness in your customers.
AutoJini is happy to help in any way that we can. Contact us today for guidance or let our professional graphic designers help transform your photos. Our content management system and inventory management system
make it easy for you to upload photos whenever you want to update your website, even on-the-go on our mobile apps!