Car shoppers are researching online more than ever, with an average of 75% of shopping time or 11 hours spent online looking at cars.  This trend has increased significantly from just two short years ago which means car photography is more important.

However, this may not mean that car shoppers are spending extra time on your site.  In fact the average is only 5 minutes per visit.

A strong impression of your dealership and photos are of the essence.  These images are the first and sometimes only glimpse that the car buyer will have of the vehicle for sale.

Scott Weighton Photography of Maple Ridge, BC, recently inked some great insights on car photography, which may be of value to car dealers when taking pictures of their cars.

These and some other great tips for dealers to consider are for their car photography:

  • Take as many pictures as are important to the car being sold.  If the car looks better on the outside than inside, take more outside pictures.  However if the car has a great instrumentation panel and other nice interior options, do the opposite
  • Close ups please!  A couple of generic inside or outside shots are much less valuable
  • Photos of all angles are of relevance, make the user feel like they are very familiar with the car before coming to your dealership
  • Detailed photos to show cleanliness of car are very important
  • Photograph everything of relevance, including DVD player, accessory buttons, headphones, mirrors with lights etc.  Everything a purchaser will look at when in the car.
  • Don’t be afraid to be creative, show car angles, logo and other images too

Try to avoid:

  • Blurry, out of focus shots please
  • General photos that don’t highlight car specifics.  These are usually done when showing the inside of the car
  • Keep the photographer image out of mirrors, shadows if possible.  Suggest that the photographer wear dark clothing to not reflect their image on a shiny car
  • Keep inside dashboard lights off, except to perhaps show navigation equipment or map features.  Turn off the emergency brake, buckle signs etc for the photo op.
  • Extras in photos are not important – papers, water bottles – the car shopper is also not interested in the jacket in the corner I found in one photo!!

Car buyers will often select a make and model to purchase before they visit the dealer, and will often compare this make/model to others online.

Car shoppers will also usually visit only one dealership, make sure your car and dealership are chosen.  Your car photography will lead the way.