Photo Taking Tips & Sample Photos For Your Classified Ad

Many people feel that photos are the most important part of an ad when selling a vehicle, and I have to agree. You only have one chance to make a first impression and you want it to be a good one! To capture some great shots, here's a few tips of do's and don'ts when it comes to photographing the vehicle you are selling.

Helpful Tips: 

1. Wash or wipe the vehicle down, including the floor mats.

2. Try to choose a background that compliments the vehicle.

3. Always, Always, Always have the sun behind you. Move the car if you need to, but the sun has to be behind you. I see lots of pictures come in with ads where pictures were taken with the sun in front of them and it blasts out the pictures.

4. Always hold the camera steady while pressing the shutter release button.

5. When taking full body shots of the vehicle, it's best to stand a good distance of about 20 to 30 feet away from the vehicle and zoom just a bit, (if you have a zoom) without cutting off any part of the car. If you do not have a zoom, then you may want to stand a little closer to the car.

6. We recommend the 5 pictures to include...
    1. A 3/4 front shot
    2. A 3/4 rear shot (opposite sides of the vehicle)
    3. Either a side shot, a straight front shot or rear shot, depending on your preference.
    4. An interior shot (generally of the dash/console or seats). Take this picture in either full shade (using a flash), or in full sun. 
    5. An engine shot. Take this picture in either full shade (using a flash), or in full sun. 

Of course, which pictures you take can vary because each car is unique. You'll want to make sure to focus on what will sell the car.

7. In most cases, photos are best taken outside and in full sun, in order to capture the true color of the vehicle, rather than in the shade or half sun/half shade. With the sun behind you, photograph the side of the vehicle that the sun is shining on. If you feel your car is too bright in the sun, such as a white or yellow car, then by all means go for shade, or take the photos early in the morning or later in the evening while there's some good light left. Try to take more than one photo at each angle to insure proper focus, etc.

8. Interiors and Motors - Full sun shots are NOT recommended for interiors and motors. For best results, take photos of interiors and motors either in the shade, on a cloudy day, or on a partly sunny day when the sun goes behind the clouds. This will give you more even lighting without harsh shadows and without some areas of the photo being over-exposed or too bright. A flash is recommended, but at an angle to avoid it bouncing right back at the lens. You can attempt to take photos of interiors and motors in the shade of a garage, but  there's usually not enough overall light coming in, and artificial light from bulbs can have an adverse effect on the color. When taking these pictures inside the garage, keep the garage door open to let natural light in.

9. When possible, include a video of the vehicle. Sellers often include a 'walk around' video and/or a video of the motor running. Many sales from our website are from outside the local area, so it's helpful to a potential buyer to watch a recent video of the vehicle and to hear the sound of the engine.

In summary, use this as a guideline since all the above scenarios may not be available and/or possible.

Feel free to call us with any questions.

(503) 577-3100

Samples of "Do's" for taking pictures.


Samples of "Don'ts" for taking pictures.

The picture above was taken in the shade
with some sun spots peeking through.
The grill was also cut off in the picture.


The picture above was taken half in the
shade and half in the sun.


When a picture is taken indoors, there are
often areas on the car that show reflections,
making it appear as though there could be
body damage or discoloration on the vehicle.


The picture above shows alot of reflections
on the car on the side and trunk area, and
part of the rear bumper and body is cut off.

Stay informed about newly listed vehicles for sale and upcoming car events!
Sign Up for our Northwest Classic Auto Mall Newsletter.

Bring Kyron Home

Random Classified Ads

1961 Chevrolet Impala Bubble Top Cruiser

1959 Pontiac Catalina 2dr Post SURVIVOR! *SOLD*

1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 ORIGINAL OWNER

Bourget Custom Bikes (Selling as a Pair)

Gas Pump and Lubesters

Back to Northwestmall
Site designed and hosted by Designer Visuals