Tip #1: Research camera options and settings
The best camera for an apparel store or restaurant is not necessarily the best camera for your dealership. First, it is important that you select a camera with features like polarized filters that help eliminate the glare off car windows. Next, to avoid capturing your reflection in the frame, look to self-timers and tripods. Finally, ensure that the vehicle photos can be resized and that the image quality remains high. This 2014 Camera Buying Guide will help you start your search.
Tip#2: Be aware of lighting
The time of day affects the appearance of the paint color of the car. If you are selling a dark navy-colored vehicle, the last thing you want is for a customer to arrive at your dealership, confused about why their car is not black. The best time to shoot is a few minutes after sunset (or a few minutes before sunrise) whenever taking vehicle photos outdoors.
Tip#3: Focus on the features customers are interested in
The goal is to answer a potential buyer’s questions before he or she sees the car in person. If your car has a unique feature that makes it stand out from other models, be sure to showcase it in your vehicle photos.
Tip#4: Use custom photos to increase your VDP
Car shoppers are substantially less likely to click through from a search result page (SRP) to a vehicle display page (VDP) on a vehicle listing with stock photos. If you are still using stock photos, you are missing an opportunity to capture online shoppers. Regardless of whether you are using a full service photo collection provider or taking vehicle photos yourself, make sure to take unique photos of both new and used vehicles. Using custom photos vs. stock photos increases VDPs by 155%.
Tip#5: Show the full view
While artistic angled shots are appealing, it is important to show the customer what they are receiving. Remember, the shape and size of your vehicle model can be a selling-point for the customer, so show it off!
Tip#6: Be consistent
If possible, try to achieve a consistent background. You want the focus of the customer’s eye to be on your cars, not on the background. Many dealers use Photoshop to achieve a streamlined vision. See here for a background replacement tutorial.
Tip#7: Aim for a realistic portrayal
No surprises, right? Over-editing can ultimately sabotage a sale if a customer feels that they have been deceived, especially in used-car sales. In addition, state governments have a variety of unfair competition laws, which regulate false advertising, trademark, and related issues.
Tip#8: Think about composure
There are many different ways to show the full view of the vehicle you are representing. Colors, lines, shapes, light and dark, and empty space are all components of an aesthetically pleasing image. You can choose to place the car in the corner of the frame or have it dominate. Taking an image from ground level provides a different perspective than from above on a ladder. While all of these choices are subjective, photography courses and tutorials feature best-practices.
What are your customers’ favorite photos? This information can be gathered through surveys and contests. You may even consider featuring select customer photos to present a trustworthy product and portrayal. Think about what customers are looking for when they view your content.
Tip#10: Replicate your favorites
Inspiration is just a Google search away! Look to photography sites and other dealers for ideas on how to present your vehicle. Forums and blogs can also be valuable sources of information.