Taking a photo of your car can be fun, particularly if you know how to present it in the best possible way. Professional photographer Amy Shore lets us in on her most valuable car photography tips.

We all want to try and take the best car photo we possibly can. But there are certain rules of thumb you need to use to capture the best shot you possibly can.

Professional photographer Amy Shore is more than qualified to offer us her best car photography tips. Having specialised in car photography for several years, she is highly sought-after in the world of motoring.

“When I was a child, the idea of becoming a professional photographer seemed as unlikely as my chance of becoming an actress,” Amy says. But talent and hard work can overcome any barriers and make what seems like an impossible dream come true.

Here’s what Amy has to say about taking the best car photo possible:

1. Location is all-important

Here in Australia we’re blessed with any number of dramatic backdrops that you can use to photograph your car with. Just think of the gorgeous coastlines, dusty Outback towns and lush rainforest drives many have of us have access to.

The key thing is: you can’t take pictures of a car just anywhere. You need to take your car for a photoshoot somewhere where it can be the focus of the photo.

“You want places that have dynamism and are visually interesting in their own right,” Amy says. “If I pass somewhere interesting, I’ll put down a pin on my phone map and take a quick picture of the place with my phone to remind myself of the scene or the light.”

But she cautions that it’s important to always be respectful. Never take photos where you’re not allowed to take your car or where photography is not permitted.

2. Use your mobile phone

You don’t need expensive gear to take a great picture. Amy shoots with two SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras and a relatively modest number of lens, albeit lenses that are high-quality.

She says using a mobile phone is perfectly adequate when you’re starting out. “One of the books I’ve been published in is dedicated to mobile photography. So these are pictures that I took with my iPhone and did some simple editing on right on my phone.

“Mobile phones have limitations as regards lens quality, and especially the level of detail in the images, but for social networking or normal online use, the quality of the images is sufficient,” Amy says.

But that doesn’t mean you can just forget to apply the fundamentals of good car photography. “You need to stick to the same principles as when shooting with a conventional camera. And, of course, I always edit the image afterwards, either directly on the phone or on the computer.”

3. Give the car space

Amy says not giving your car “room to breathe” is a common mistake many people make.

“There’s just a little frame around the car in the photo, which makes it look like you’re viewing the car through some sort of crack,” Amy says. “Try different compositions and don’t be afraid to use the scene to your advantage.

“If you’re shooting a car from a crouching position and there’s a beautiful sky above you with dramatic clouds, don’t be afraid to point the lens a little higher, position the car in the bottom third of the image and give the sky space. You’ll see how great the car will look,” Amy explains.

Another tip for getting the best car photo: “Don’t be lazy: keep moving. Instead of zooming in, get closer to the car, or move away from it,” Amy advises.

4. Headlights are eyes

Naturally, we can take photos of a car from several angles, but Amy’s advice is to always start in line with the headlights.

“The lights are like eyes. And just like we focus on a person’s eyes in portrait photography, with cars with focus on the headlights,” Amy says.

She usually takes all her photos at the level of the car’s headlights – the traditional side profile, but also the three-quarter front and rear angles.

“Among other things, these are the angles that make the rear bumper stand out, and that’s usually one of the most important design features on a car,” Amy explains.

Once she has captured her basic shots, she then experiments with different angles. Shooting the car from above never hurts, for example. “Try to use reflections to your advantage. The glass panorama of the roof can create interesting effects,” Amy says.

5. Find your own style but don’t overdo it

Taking the photo is only half the job – you’ll still need to edit the photo to bring out its best qualities.

“The camera is a tool and in our hands it creates a kind of half-finished product. It’s a basic material that has the same quality regardless of the photographer. It’s the subsequent editing that determines the result,” Amy says.

She advises that editing should be used sparingly. She adjusts the brightness and contrast, and adds some warmer colours, but otherwise tries not to overdo it.

Amy says everyone should develop their own editing style. The various preset filters in modern apps may be tempting, but you can’t use them as a photographer to create your own signature look.

“Don’t copy other photographers. Learn from them, see what editing they do and why, but go your own way,” she says.

Tempted to try out your car photography skills on one of the latest ŠKODA models? There’s an entire range to choose from. Check out all the latest ŠKODA models here. And see you soon with camera in hand!

Note: Images shown are of the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV, which is not available in Australia.