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Automotive Photography- Much More Than Sports Cars and Pretty Women

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Exotic Truck at Car Show

Automotive photography is a very profitable segment of the professional photographer’s arsenal. In addition to being potentially very profitable automotive photography can also be a lot of fun. There are many different ways to get involved with automotive photography jobs.

Automotive Stock Photography is one of the ways that many photographers use their pictures of cars for. It is not easy to get established in selling automotive stock pictures, but it is possible. Your neighbors Ford Pinto will even work, as many people need pics of junky cars. Sure the Lamborghini pictures may be more glamorous photography work, but it is also a well over-used car in the car stock photo business.

Here are a few automotive photography tips to help you get started in a career in automotive photography.

Retro Mazda Car Model
Being a photographer for Car & Driver magazine may be your dream job, but it won’t be easy. On your career path working towards a paid photography job you will learn a lot. It can be so frustrating at times that you may decide to become and car painter instead of a car photographer.

When starting out you need a lot of experience shooting cars in order to be able to adjust to various lighting situations. Take pictures in your garage, at car shows, the Wal-Mart parking lot, at the automotive dealership and anywhere else you can get away with taking pictures of cars. You need to familiarize yourself with numerous adjustments necessary in order to capture portraits of cars in the right light.

There is a time to use artificial lighting, but if you are new don’tworry about buying any photography lights for shooting cars until your are absolutely sure of what you need and have a place to store and set them up.

Automotive photography is often thought of as pictures of stationary cars and maybe a bikini model on the hood. Besides that there is the often overlooked niche of shooting moving cars. You may be able to secure a contract to take pictures at your local racetrack. Shooting pictures with your DSLR of constantly moving cars can be very challenging, but is also very rewarding.


In addition to racetracks you may be able to become a car paparazzi photographer. Car paparazzi shooters work cloaked in the secrecy of the desert areas in the South West near car proving grounds. Automotive manufactures will tape up the lines of a new car when they are testing it so as to not let the public know what the car will eventually look like, but these fluent photographers hide among the Cacti and use huge zoom lenses.

An independent freelance photographer may be able to sell the pictures he takes of these unreleased car models to automotive magazines for thousands of dollars. It sounds more glamorous then it really is, but it is a great way to combine nature photography with your love of nature.

Car Show Model

When getting into automotive stock photography the best automotive photography tip is to use rarer forms of transportation. Everybody wants to take pictures of Corvettes and exotic sport cars, but the problem is this segment of the industry is very saturated. Instead of find a less saturatedautomotive photography market such as farm tractors, combines, semi trucks, and even antique tractor photography.



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