Shooting During Car Show PhotoWalks

As I mentioned in my last post, car show season may be over but many Cars & Coffee events, such as those sponsored by the Vehicle Vault in Parker Colorado are year round events. At many of these events I hold informal PhotoWalks and we stroll around making images and have fun sharing our love of cars. If you’re interested in attending a PhotoWalk at these events, drop me an email at joefarace at gmail dot com and let me know. If you prefer use the Contact button above. That way I will wait for you at the main entrance to the event. If you like to go it alone, here are a few tips…

Tip #1: Before taking pictures of any car, talk to the owner—if they’re around. You don’t need to be an automobile expert; just be curious. Most owners can talk for hours about their cars because there never was a restoration project that didn’t have interesting twists and turns. One of the best ways to get to know the owner involves asking about their cars, even if it’s “What’s the name of this paint color?” That’s one of Mary’s favorites.

Tip #2: Do not make photographs with the hoods raised. Lots of car owners like to display the cleanliness or sparkling chrome underneath the hood but that’s not always the best way to photography a vehicle because it breaks up the car’s lines. Here’s an example. If the owner is nearby, ask them if they would close the hood so you can make a photograph of the car. In exchange, offer to e-mail them a JPEG of the finished image, which positions you as a photographer who cares not just a snapshooter.


Tip #3: At car shows, it’s a good idea to remove show any placards such as the identification cards placed on the dash or under the windshield wiper. (That’s the nice thing about Cars & Coffee events—no placards.) Please ask the owner before touching any part of his or her car! Have them do it, so ask politely.


Tip #4: If it’s late in the day, ask them to turn the lights on. Most Cars & Coffee events are held in the morning but for day long car shows get there late in the day: The light is awesome and turning on the lights adds a touch of elegance to an image.

cuban.carsLook for my review of Tom Cotter and Bill Warner‘s new book Cuban Car Culture in an upcoming post. It’s available from Amazon and all the usual suspects including your local book or camera store.