Car Dealership Photography

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SP TacoI have always loved photography and have been enamoured with cars even before my first lot attendant job back in the 90’s, to running detail shops in 2000.  I guess if I think about it, I have always been surrounded by cars in one form or another. As a child, day care was sitting in the back of my Dads Volvo 240DL as he taught students how to drive.  Over the years I acquired experience driving, observing and detailing a variety of cars; while gaining familiarity with the industry and how dealerships operate. When I began to photograph cars I naturally focussed on the details that I believed would be most exciting to the client depending on the make and model of the vehicle while drawing attention to its special features. I consider myself lucky to have Scotts Photography contracted by local car dealerships whom permit the freedom for me to be creative and offer a unique experience for the purchaser, all the while maintaining symmetry required for efficient web layout.

Scotts Photography can do more than provide images of new and used car inventory.  We edit and view each image for quality assurance, watermark with a logo of the clients choosing, and of course upload and organize the images to a site of the clients choosing.  Images are uploaded in a timely, professional and reliable fashion.  We can also provide headshots of staff and capture promotional moments during special events.

Auto Traders Dealer Smart Solutions has traditionally been the platform that I / Photographers use to upload and organize images. However other organizations are starting to emerge including rides.ca.  I look forward to the progression of the industry and it excites me to see new organizations as it promotes growth and innovation within the industry.  Scotts Photography strives to learn and grow to stay up to date with the latest ideas, and is always up for a challenge.

Here are some examples of my work. Just for fun, you can compare them to some photos of other vehicles I’ve found for sale online.

NOW THESE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW NOT TO PHOTOGRAPH A CAR.  I DIDN’T ADD ANY EXTERIOR IMAGES AS I DON’T WANT TO OUT ANY COMPANIES OR PEOPLE JUST TRYING TO EDUCATE.

You are a car dealer and you sell cars. You want to sell more cars.   97% of clients look online before going to a dealer, should you not be putting your best foot forward?  A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, thousands of dollars.

Scotts Photography can help you sell more cars! The images we take are not only of the highest quality, they include the car’s most prominent features from all angles. I have had many years experience working in car dealerships, and the industry I am familiar with a variety of vehicles I am licensed to drive almost anything from growing up in a family that owns a driving school,  With more than 10 years safe driving, and a clean drivers abstract, your vehicles are in good hands.

Scotts Photography will also customize each car’s images to your customers, they’re looking online at your cars, you should be taking custom photos of each vehicle to suit your clients needs.  Busy moms and families care about air bags, easy access, DVD players, Safety, seating and storage.

That’s a lot different than how I would photograph a sexy sports car, or a tough off roader.

But for those who don’t hire a professional photographer, take note: that warning light on the dash probably means the park brakes on, or the door is ajar keys in the ignition but not turned on.  All normal things when parked to be photographed… But do your clients know that? Can they see that in the image or does it just look like something’s WRONG.  97 % of buyers find their new car online before visiting the dealership. And when faced with buying two identical vehicles, its been proven that buyers will opt to purchase the car more stylistically showcased, even if it has more kilometres than the other one, (http://thedealergeek.com/online-automotive-techniques).

Here are some more tips.

  • Take as many pictures as are relevant to the vehicle. For example, BMWs are pretty basic inside but photograph well outside so take more exterior photos then interior.

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  • Other vehicles may have fully loaded interiors, DVD players, headphones, Navigation, backup cameras etc., take more interior photographs.

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  • This is your online walk-around so make sure to photograph from all angles. This ensures clients feel  the experience of the car. Our mission is to sell the car before they arrive at the dealership. Photograph everything from rims to Odometer, unless it is unflattering to the vehicle.  In some cases, no photograph is better than a poor photograph or an image that portrays the vehicle in a detrimental manner.
  • Show the ‘James Bond’ instrument panel.

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  • Don’t be afraid to get creative.

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  • Close all of the doors so there is no flashing alerts such as seatbelt, park brakes etc…

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  • Make your dealership look better then the next guy by photographing everything from DVD players, accessory buttons, headphones to extra keys and sunroofs. Customers will always choose the path of least resistance, so ensure that path leads the client to you.
  • Make photos relevant to the buyer.
  • Show how clean the carpets and seats are.

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  • Take the time to look around the vehicle. You do not want to miss options that might attract a niche customer such as adjustable pedals.  Also, if I hadn’t opened the hood on the car illustrated on the right; I would not have found the cold air intake or this Yellow Top Optima battery.

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The average time spent on your site is 5 Minutes. Higher quality images equals more time on your site.  Remember 97% of people know what they want from online research, so do your homework and take quality images that showcase the car in its best light.

 

 

Check out some more interesting points on car photography at Rides.ca The Art of Car Photography

 

 

4 Responses to “Car Dealership Photography”

  1. Ron McInnis says:

    Good Afternoon Scott,

    I was sitting with Everett @ Joe Cunningnham Ford.

    I think you’ve got some great ideas here and your work is very good.

    I’ve sent you blog post to a few of my customers as an example of what to do….. Let me know if you get an business out of it…

    • scott says:

      Thank you so much Ron, always great to have friends in the business. I am always happy to help if I can as well. Thanks again for the referrals.

  2. Hey there! I appreciate this article very much!

    I’ve just gotten into a working relationship with one of the local higher end dealers in my area, and I’ve been with them for about 2 months now. Since reviewing what it was that they wanted, it matched up very clearly with what you have here, and they’re so excited that their sales ended up higher and more positive reviews on their because of the quality of images. I truly do appreciate the hard work you guys put into this kind of subject matter. 🙂

  3. Roy Happs says:

    I currently work for a group of dealers as their only car photographer. Before, I worked for a company that contracted out to dealers to do their photos. I have over 12 years experience in this profession. I like the group of dealers I work for and get paid fairly well for what I do. Yet, I have the desire to branch out and start a business of my own taking photos at dealerships. Many dealers over the last few years, especially in my area, have taken to hire an in house person to take their photos. Are you finding that this is becoming more common? Is their still a market for dealerships to hire outside contractors?


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