How often has the following happened to you? You decide you’re ready for a new car and pay a visit to a website with thousands of ads like JiJi. There is an offer that catches your attention, so you click on the ad, but instead of a couple of detailed and well-lit photos you see just one photo where the car is not even fully in frame. Or there are several photos, but they are all blurry, dark, and there is nothing you can really see.
How annoying are these situations? This is why, if you’re finally ready to sell your car, it’s important to take good photos of your vehicle out of respect for potential buyers. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional photographer or to have expensive equipment to take decent photos – stick around and we’ll show you how!
Which camera to use?
Although expensive cameras usually give excellent results in terms of quality, you don’t need one to create an appealing online ad. Instead you have two options. One, take your regular digital camera – even if it’s a few years old, it will still give you the result you expect. Two, use your smartphone to take photos. You need to be careful there: not every smartphone is good for taking high quality pics. For example, a new iPhone 6 will take perfect photos, while an old BlackBerry might disappoint you with the quality of the pics.
Choose the right time
The time for taking the photos has a crucial effect on the overall quality of the pictures. Taking photos at noon is not a good idea – the lighting is too harsh and the sunlight will distort the way your car looks in the pictures. Obviously, taking photos during night is an equally bad idea – even the most expensive camera will produce badly lit and blurry photos, regardless of the flash or additional equipment.
To achieve the best result take advantage of what is known among professional photographers as the golden hour – the time when the sun rises and when it’s just about to set. During this time the lighting is so mild and warm that every car will benefit from it, and your photos will look much better. Schedule your photographing session between 7 and 9 in the morning, or between 6 and 8 in the evening.
How many photos do you need?
When you can upload an unlimited number of photos, it becomes tempting to use dozens of pictures, especially if they turned out so good that you can’t choose the best one. However, an ad that is overcrowded with photos may seem exhausting to some viewers. Generally, it is recommended to upload 10 photos – that way you’ll be able to show every part of the vehicle without making the ad seem overwhelming. Make sure to take the photos at eye level – even if you’re tempted to play with angles and positions, leave it for your recreational photography and make the photos of your car presentable and impressive.
What needs to be in the photos?
First of all, be sure to include a couple of full body shots of your car – from the side, from the front and from the back. Pay special attention to the wheels – the buyers may want to check your tyre thread. Open up the hood and take detailed photos of the inside of the car. Then move on to the inside. Take a couple of pics from the front, then sit in the back and take a detailed photo of the front part of the interior. After that snap a picture of the instrument panel, the steering wheel, and the stereo. If your vehicle is a convertible or a pickup, or has sliding doors, make sure to take photos of the transformation. It’s ok to take more photos than you need at first – you can sort them out later.
Just as you like it when authors of online ads are honest about the imperfections in their offerings, you also need to disclose if there is anything wrong with your car. If there are cracks in the car’s body, chipped paint, broken windows, dents or scratches, curbed wheels, or any other visual defects, don’t try to hide them with a favourable angle – better show them upfront, so that if a potential buyer sees the defects during the one-on-one showing, you wouldn’t have to make up an excuse and could rightfully say that you pointed those imperfections out in the ad.