Tips & Ideas

Apr 03, 2020

How To Optimize Your Car Photos For Ads

A car is the highest value item most people will make in their lifetime short of property. So, the quality and type of photos you use with your ad can - and will - make all the difference in making a sale. People are five times more likely to look at ads with pictures - and 67% more likely to get in touch with the posters. 

Cover Image

GOAL: A quality image showing the auto in its best light so customers look twice.

Your main (cover) image is quite literally all-important to making a sale. If people don’t like what they see, they will just click on the next ad. At this point, customers are taking an eagle-eye view of what’s on offer, so they need to be able to compare like with like – type of car, size, color, etc. You want to carefully remove anything negative that might detract from the quality of the car, dirt, stickers, actual defects like broken bumpers. Remember how all you can see of that picture of yourself at Rob and Sarah’s wedding was the zit on your forehead? That. Why not pay to have scratches removed? It might be worth the small investment. Clean the car, perhaps professionally: make it shine inside and out.

A bright and sunny day will help sell the car, but you want to avoid direct sunlight which will create an over or underexposed photo (details in shadow or glare). Balance choice of shots with those that fill as much of the frame with the car as possible, shot from below eye level with those that capture the profile of the car from a distance. Show the car’s front and rear three-quarter, and straight-on front and rear views as well. Think of car adverts.

The background will make a difference – even though it maybe shouldn’t. So, either make sure you consider where you have parked, or use in order to strip the background away. Think about replacing the background with factory of the car brand, suggesting that it’s a relatively new car and emphasises the high-value. When the conditions are right, take a lot of photos and choose the one that is both the best one and the one that takes in the whole vehicle. Photos of other views of the car can be included in the posting as well. For more information, check out our page about photo editing for advertising with

Interior Images

GOAL: Inspire the customer to want to jump into the car and drive away (after paying, obviously!)

To do this, include the features of the car with driver’s point of view out of the window. Again, make sure everything is completely clean and avoid overexposed backgrounds in full sunlight. And you either want to be seeing pleasant things through the windows or replace the background.

Experts recommend turning on the car’s entertainment system for life and removing headrests to increase sense of space.

Closeup Images

GOAL: Focus on what’s special

What looks good inside the car? Decide which parts of the car to feature on. You might think a leather steering wheel looks good. To create a professional look, use a DSLR and create a shallow depth of field. If you are using a point-and-shoot, blur the background with an app such as AfterFocus which allows you to selectively blur the background behind complex subjects.

Exploded View

GOAL: Nothing to hide, here!

The „exploded view“ of the car is practical – but there’s also a smart psychological trick at play. By opening all the doors, hood and the trunk of the car, buyers will be able to see what the interior elements look like and you will also give them the feeling that there are no hidden secrets.

360° (interior and exterior)

credits: Insta360

GOAL: It’s like you’re right there!

Remember when Main Street stores introduced videos that allowed you to spin clothes around? The same technology is available to everyone with a smartphone, these days, and can really increase the chances of a sale.

Panorama 360 bills itself as the „Instagram of panoramas“ and will allow you to film the car from all angles so customers can explore.

You might want to film a 360° video in the car. As usual, make sure nothing ugly obtrudes and think about exactly what customers will be looking for.

For a truly professional panorama, you can use a turntable; Inside, check out specialised camera equipment such as the highly-regarded Insta 360 One.

Other features to include

Buyers will want to see certain things beyond how sexy your car is in order to help their peace of mind. Make sure you include the following:

  • Odometer showing mileage and VIN number
  • Engine
  • Front and back grills
  • Wheels and tires
  • Carpets and upholstery
  • Any scratches or dents

If you implement these tips to your car ad, it will surely stand out well. We wish you the best of luck selling your car and if you have any additional tips or tricks that are not on our list, let us know!

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