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Taking photos of your car

Last updated on 6/1/2021

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Make sure to properly detail your car.

Detailing your vehicle is always the first step in taking the best photos possible of your car. Make sure to pay attention to not only the paint, but the finer details such as the wheels and interior to make sure the entire car is clean of any dirt, grease, and water stains.

Plan to shoot the car outside.

Placing the car in natural light will show bidders how the paint looks in sunlight and properly show off the bodylines without being obstructed by shadows and improper lighting.

Pick the proper lighting.

Many times the best time of day to shoot is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, known as the golden hour. Overcast weather also provides great photo conditions.

If forced to shoot in direct sunlight, make sure to have proper filters or provide a background and shade to the car to reduce glare.

Choose a proper location.

The background of the photoshoot many times can improve the look of the photos. DreamCars recommends picking a non-busy side street, parking lot, or driveway with a background that not only brings out the details of the car, but is not distracting to the viewer.

Try to avoid any large background objects or distractions that can draw focus away from the car. Many times a minimalistic background brings out the best in the vehicle.

Use the best camera/lens available to you.

We do not expect everyone to have professional photography equipment, but luckily any newer phone can take clean high resolution photos.

Photograph the exterior.

When beginning to take photos, try to position the car in a static place so you can work your way around and maintain a consistent background.

Begin by focusing on the drivers side front fender, and slowly make your way around until the entire exterior is photographed. Experimenting with angles, as well as erroring on the side of more photos can be beneficial.

Photograph the engine bay and trunk.

Everyone loves a great engine shot. Big block, small block, or even electric there is something powerful about seeing what gets the vehicle going. Take photos from different angles -- the drivers side, front, and passenger side to give the bidders a full view of under the hood and in the trunk if applicable.

Shoot the underside and suspension.

Unfortunately rust is always a concern with older vehicles, and bidders will want to see how clean your car is underneath. We always recommend putting the car on a lift to get a detailed view of the underbody, but we understand that is not possible for everyone. If the body is high enough, simply going underneath and taking photos of as many parts of the frame and body will be a great step towards improving bidders knowledge of the vehicle. If you see any problem areas, please make sure to document them properly, as it will only help sell the car better and prevent issues down the road.

Many times shock towers and other suspension parts are of upmost interest to prospective buyers. Try to get both exterior and interior photos of the suspension and any brake parts visible.

Take detailed photos of the interior.

Interior shots can be difficult to take, make sure to use a landscape mode or wide angle lens to capture as much detail in each photo.

Begin with the seats, dashboard, carpet, and doors. Once these have been captured, move onto any trim pieces, gauges, and other finer points.

Shots should also cover the headliner, under the dash, front and rear of the seats, top and bottom of the doors, and the dashboard.

Make sure to shoot from different angles, including the drivers side and passenger side to fully capture the interior of the car.

Point out any flaws.

The DreamCars community has experts on every vehicle that passes through, and they always want to check in on common problem areas, as well as any scuffs, scrapes, dents, or rust on the vehicle.

Don't try to hide or photoshop flaws, as this can lose the sale after the auction concludes. Fully documenting each issue with the car will create a more successful auction.

If cars are not documented properly we'll be unable to list the vehicle as a measure to protect prospective buyers.

Photograph any documentation or add-ons to the vehicle.

Generally we ask for a picture of the title/registration where applicable to show history, which is held privately.

Documented history of a car is incredibly important and adds value to certain buyers. Make sure to include any receipts, window stickers, original invoices, service records, or any other documentation if at all possible.

Be ready to add more photos/videos.

Many times during auctions, buyers will pose new questions. We encourage our sellers to remain engaged and embrace the questions. The good faith and proper disclosure can satisfy the curious people into making a winning bid on your vehicle.

Related Articles

Selling process during the auctionWhat types of vehicles are accepted?Taking photos of your carWhat is the listing process?Vehicle shippingSeller FAQ

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