Car Show Photography Tips

It’s that time of year again. The trees are starting to bloom and it won’t be long until classic cars start rolling on manicured lawns for Concours d’Elegance or Hot Rod shows pop up an the nearest asphalt surface.

Joe Farace Shoots CarsTip #1: To make interesting photographs at a car show, whether indoors or outdoors, you gotta love cars. A passion for the subject you’re photographing is always a plus and enables you to look beyond the surface of a car to see its essence, its soul.

Tip #2: Before making any pictures try to talk to the car’s owner. You don’t need to be an expert; just be curious and polite. Most owners can talk for hours about their cars because there never was a restoration project that didn’t have some interesting twists and turns. One of the best ways to get to know the owner involves asking questions covered in the below tips.

How to photograph hot rods

1/200 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 320

Tip #3: Do not make photographs with the hoods—or bonnets if they are British—raised. Many owners like to display the cleanliness or sparkling chrome underneath but that’s not always the best way to photography a vehicle because it breaks up the car’s lines There are times, such as in the above image, where the car needs to have the hood up. Who makes that determination? You do. If the owner nearby, ask them owner if they would close the hood so you can make a photograph of the car. In exchange, offer to give them a print or e-mail them a JPEG of the finished image, both of which positions you as a photographer who cares.

Tip #4: It’s also a good idea to remove show placards such as the identification cards placed on the dash or under the windshield wiper. Ask the owner before touching any part of his or her car! It’s always best to have them do it, so ask politely.

to be continued…

You can find more tips about photographic cars in Joe’s eBook “15 Tips for Better Car Photos.”