30,000,000 car pictures later: The Ultimate Guide for Car Dealership Photography

December 20, 2022

Photography is an essential aspect of the customer journey, with 90% of customers surveyed by Dealer.com saying that photos influenced their shopping decisions.


Yet, more than 50% of auto dealers are uploading photos with subpar quality.


With over 300 clients, we get it, automotive photography can be:


 1- Time consuming

 2- Costly

 3- Complex


This is why the very first version of Pixel Guru was born on a showroom floor. It started as a “scrath your own itch” thing and scaled to hundreds of auto dealers. The goal is clear, make it as easyand fast for auto dealers to upload new or pre-owned inventory online. We’d like to share what we’ve learned with you after collecting more than 30,000,000 inventory photos over the years.


Professional car dealership photos are a great way to help customers get an idea of the quality and condition of your vehicles, so it pays to invest in professional photography.


Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know to take your car dealership photography to the next level. So put the pedal to the metal, and let's get started on your journey to automotive photography greatness.



What Is Car Dealership Photography?


If you want to show off your cars in the best way possible, you need to invest in dealership photography. This type of automotive photography is focused on taking commercial pictures of cars for dealerships and other vehicle retailers.


You have to be careful about choosing the right angles, lighting, and background so that all the important details of the car are showcased clearly. For example, if you're selling a used car, any imperfections or damages should be visible in the photos. Otherwise, potential customers may feel like they're being misled.


Why should auto dealers care about automotive photography?


Every time you put a vehicle online, you’re competing with MILLIONS of other vehicles online. Other dealers in your market are also most likely investing to put their vehicles on top of yours. You must have a smart plan to make sure your vehicle stand out.



The Role of Eye-Catching Car Dealership Photos in Attracting Customers


To be successful, car dealerships need to communicate the value of their vehicles. The right car dealership photos can showcase the car's features and make it stand out from the competition.


Here are some of the key benefits of investing in professional vehicle photography like Pixel Guru:



Build Trust and Credibility


High-quality car dealership photos will help your potential customers visualize themselves driving the car, creating an emotional connection that can lead to a sale. Professional car dealership photos can also help build trust and credibility with customers, as they will be assured that the vehicle looks exactly as it does in the photo.



Improve Brand Image


Well-taken car dealership photos can help boost your brand or dealer image and make car buyers more likely to do business with you. After all, auto dealers are judged by the quality of the cars they offer, and good car dealership photos can go a long way toward demonstrating the quality of your vehicles.



Differentiate a Dealership from Its Competitors


Even if you're selling the same car as your competitors, professional dealership photos can help you stand out and make customers choose your dealership over others. Taking the time and effort to invest in great auto dealership photography will not only help you differentiate your dealership from its competitors, but it can also help increase sales because greater customer attention will be drawn to your vehicles.



Increase Engagement


Whether on your dealership website or social media platforms, auto dealership photos can engage customers and build a strong relationship. High-quality images of cars can attract attention, create excitement, and drive more traffic to your dealership website.



Showcase a Dealership's Vehicles in the Best Possible Light


Sometimes a picture tells a thousand words. Automotive photography can bring out the best features of a car and make it stand out from the competition. Whether you're showcasing a car on your website, in a magazine ad, or social media platform, auto dealership photos can make it look its best.


This is precisely why we’ve got Artificial Intelligence built in our app to make your vehicles look their best. After all, increase perceived value can only mean more money for you in the end.



Save You and Your Customer Time


Let's take a scenario where a customer comes to your dealership, and you both discuss vehicles on the lot. Without auto dealership photos, your customer may need to spend more time trying to see each car physically.


But auto dealership photos can save you and your customer time by allowing them to browse through the cars in advance virtually. This will help customers narrow their selection before they even step foot in the dealership.



Tips For Professional Car Dealership Photography


Prepare Your Car


What comes to mind when you think of auto dealership photos? Clean cars. Before taking pictures of your vehicles, clean and dress them up with wax and polish. You want potential customers to see the car in its best condition and be impressed by your attention to detail. Getting the car ready will also help the photographer better capture its beauty.


If you don’t have the time or resources to do that, we’ve got you! Pixel Guru can take an average vehicle and make it shine. Here’s an example:






Choose the Right Location for the Shoot


Like it or not, the environment in which a car is pictured can have an effect on its attractiveness. More than just the car, customers will also be looking at other elements in the photo, such as the background and setting. It might seem you have limited options for locations, but a good photographer will be able to find better spots and angles to showcase your car.


Anotherger great way to improve car dealership photos is to take advantage of the latest technology. From drone shots to 360-degree views, modern photography techniques can highlight the beauty of your vehicles and better engage potential customers.


If like most dealers you don’t want to setup a $25,000 studio to pull cars in, you can always use our Pixel Guru app. It will let you take pictures in any environment, even bad ones, taking away your background using our advanced and proven AI system.



Capture from High and Low Angle


If you want to catch a viewer's attention exceptionally, break away from the norm of photographing at eye level and explore high and low angles for photos instead--this will give your car an original look.


When it comes to professional photography, don't be scared to explore new avenues. For example, you could try lying on the ground to get a shot from a lower angle. Additionally, using a ladder can enable you to shoot from higher up. The options are limitless; it depends on your creativity and how you want to showcase the car.


If your team is unsure of best practices, we’ve built in a smartphone screen overlay that lets you position your vehicle perfectly. So you’ll have consistent photos, whoever is behind the camera.



Capture the Features


Some cars have better features than others, so properly show them off in your auto dealership photography. Capture close-ups of flashy headlights and grills, and detail the car's interior.


Your goal is to make potential customers feel as if they're inside the car, so make sure the photos are clear and well-lit.


When auditing auto dealers’ listings, it’s not uncommon to see listings with 10-15 pictures missing key elements that could help justify a higher price or make it appear more competitive.


Knowing this, our app always uses the same sequence, taking users step by step through the photo-taking process to ensure no features and options are left out.



Explore Interior and Exterior Shots


Customers can better appreciate a car's features if they're given a better idea of it from the inside and outside. Take pictures that showcase the car from all angles, and make sure to focus on better shots of the exterior features, such as the wheels, door handles, and other intricate details.


When it comes to interior shots, be sure to capture all the features that customers would like to see in a car—capturing better pictures of the steering wheel, dashboard, seatbelts, and other amenities could be helpful for potential buyers.



Choosing the Correct Camera and Equipment


As the saying is, "the better the equipment, the better the work." Make sure to use a camera with better features and clarity, so your car looks better in the photos.


Depending on your needs, consider investing in better equipment, such as a high-quality camera lens, tripods, better lighting, and more.


The better the camera equipment you have, the better your car dealership photos will come out, and the better you'll be able to showcase your vehicles.


Luckily, smartphones have become as powerful as the most expensive DSLRs while also being easier to use. That’s great because we all know most dealership employees are not willing to buy a DSLR (leaving the dealer with the financial burden & training) but 99% of them got a smartphone where the Pixel Guru app can be downloaded.



Try the Bokeh Effect


The bokeh effect is one of the most popular photography techniques used to make a photo look more attractive and professional. This technique is perfect for car dealership photos, as it can help create an artistic blur and also draw the viewer's attention to the car.


To get this effect, you should use a camera with a wide aperture setting. You can also adjust the focus and make sure to take pictures from the right angles for a better result.


The goal is to make the car stand out, and this effect can certainly help you achieve that.


Again, if



Edit Your Photos Professionally


After all the tips we've discussed, editing the photos and making them look even better is essential. Editing can bring out the details of a car and make it look more attractive and professional.


You can use photo-editing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to tweak the photos and make them look better. Make sure to adjust the car's brightness, contrast, saturation, and other features for a more professional look.






What are some best practices for organizing and storing car dealership photos?


Helpful tips for organizing and storing photos from your car dealership include:


  • Creating a consistent naming convention for all photos, such as using the vehicle's make, model, and year in the file name
  • Using a cloud-based storage solution to back up the photos and protect against data loss
  • Organizing the photos into folders by vehicle make, model, and a year or by a custom organization system that works best for the dealership
  • Regularly deleting outdated or low-quality photos to keep the photo library organized and up-to-date.


Is a 50mm lens good for car photography?


Almost any car photographer will tell you that 50mm is the perfect focal length for shooting cars. Not only does it maintain their proportions, but it also doesn't distort them like a wide angle can.



What lens is best for automotive photography?


The 24-70mm is a versatile lens that can take both close-up and wide shots, making it ideal for car photography. Its zoom function also allows you to take pictures of cars in motion quickly and easily.



How can car dealership photos be used in marketing?


Car dealership photos can be used in various marketing channels, including the dealership's website, social media, email marketing, and print advertising. High-quality photos can help to attract potential customers and showcase the dealership's vehicles professionally and appealingly.



Make Your Inventory Stand Out


No matter what kind of car dealership you run, having quality photos of your vehicles is essential. With the tips we've discussed, you'll be able to ensure your car dealership photos are up to par so potential buyers can get a good look at your inventory.


By investing in better equipment, using the bokeh effect, and editing your photos professionally, you can make sure that your car dealership photos truly stand out. So don't hesitate to get the best shots of your vehicles and make sure they look their absolute best.


Try Pixel Guru app for FREE or book a Demo

Click here