What I Learned About Making Cars Look Cool

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A couple of weeks back, Hyundai flew me to the Arizona desert to go test out their new Genesis. Why? I asked the same thing when I was on a phone call with them. We don’t review cars: but they wanted the photo industry’s take on the car. As a native New Yorker, I barely drive unless I need to and it’s often never here in my own state. But upon exploring lots of the areas in beautiful Arizona, I ended up finding ways to make a car look cool.

Granted, I’m still a total novice when it comes to this.

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A lot of what I learned has to do with the notion of, “show don’t tell.” Let’s say you want to sell one of your cars. If you were going to put up an ad on a website, you’d want the car to look as amazing as you possibly can. Granted, I photographed a brand new car.

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Lots of folks love taking pictures of their car when its brand new and also put a lot of love and work into it. Once again, what I found works quite well is to not only show off the details but also find great locations as a backdrop. When you’re showing off a car, you want to give the viewer an experience that they can put themselves into. Driving along a scenic highway setting or to a park is something that we surely can all relate to.

If anything, it reminds us of road tripping.

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What I always encourage as well is using a bounced/diffused flash inside to get more out of the fine details. In the case of the Hyundai Genesis, it has to do with wood on the dashboard and the beautiful interior leather.

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Besides the interior though, you’ll want to photograph the actual car itself to show off the condition. Again, make sure that it is in top condition. Try photographing it after a fresh car wash and interior clean.

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Of course all of this isn’t about the technical details: it’s about actually trying to make the car look cool. And that takes a creative vision.

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