We all love looking at classic cars, but unless you’re a professional photographer, taking a picture never seems to convey just how cool your car is. Art worthy shots of your classic car should be easy to take! With these quick tips, you can go from boring everyday snaps to awesome posters in the making in just a matter of seconds.

Consider The Setting.

One thing that will ruin your pictures, no matter how amazing they are otherwise, is an out of place item. A forgotten child’s toy on the driveway, the trashcan next to your house, a porta-potty in the background at the car show… these things draw your attention away from the car because they don’t fit with the picture. Try to cleanup your car’s surroundings before you take pictures, or find an open location without any visual distractions. Always look at every aspect of the photo’s composition, not just your subject car. And if there’s something that can’t be removed, like a telephone pole, think of different angles that might hide or minimize the unwanted object.

We couldn't move the trees or the power lines, but we could have been more careful with our reflection in the bumper.

We couldn’t move the trees or the power lines, but we could have been more careful with our reflection in the bumper.

Up High!

Speaking of angles, shooting pics from above your car can result in some really eye catching pictures, particularly if you have a street rod or lead sled with roof, trunk, or hood art, or even if your classic car just has beautiful lines. Climb a ladder, get on the roof, find a balcony that someone will let you use… whatever it takes get up high enough to see the whole car in your viewfinder. Shooting from an elevated position will give you a unique and different look for your pics.

Down Low!

For a truly dramatic photo, get down low. Lean over, crouch down, even lay on the ground. Don’t be afraid to get dirty to get a good picture. Trust me. It’ll be worth it!

Study the Light

Photographers will often talk about the “magic hour” (or “golden hour”) as the absolute best time to capture a picture. But, we can’t always take pictures at sunrise or sunset. That doesn’t mean you can’t get great shots, though. Just keep your light sources in mind, and use them to your advantage.

When shooting in direct sunlight, try different angles (like getting up high or down low) to change how the sun hits the car and your camera. It’s generally best to shoot with the sun behind you, which will really let you capture a beautiful blue sky behind your car. Of course, sometimes you have to work with what you’re given. If you have to shoot into the sun, try capturing a cool silhouette of your car. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?

Classic cars entering a recent Pomona Swap Meet... and there's that sun again!

Classic cars entering a recent Pomona Swap Meet… and there’s that sun again!

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

Every photo does not need to have every detail and every inch of your lowrider. Zoom in on just the front end, just the right front quarter, or even just the right taillight with just a sliver of the quarter panel visible. Tease your audience and leave the rest of the car open to the imagination. Focus on a really unique feature of your car and showcase its beauty!

If you’re shooting with a digital camera, go nuts! Shoot from different positions and camera angles, zoom in and out, play with your filters and shutter speed settings. Your only limitation is the size of your memory card… fill that bad boy up and delete what you don’t like later!

And of course, Instagram and other phone apps can help you make almost any photo look better. Personally, we like to use an old school laptop with Pixlr’s free online editing tools to really make our pictures pop!

Need a great place to practice your skills or to get a great shot of your car? There’s no better atmosphere to photograph classic cars than at the Pomona Swap Meet. And don’t forget, if you’re selling your car, great pics go a long way when listing your free ad on the the Pomona Classifieds!