Tips for Car Show Photography

The outdoor car show season is almost over, but there are still a few indoor shows that are coming up. One of my favorites is the Creme de la Chrome Rod & Custom show that will be held November 27, 2011 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

To make interesting photographs at a car show, whether indoors or outdoors, you gotta love cars. A passion for your subject is always a plus and enables you to look beyond the surface of a car to see its essence, its soul.

Tip #1: Before taking pictures try to talk to the 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.

Tip #2: Try—it’s not always possible—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 is 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.