9 Common Car Photography Errors to Avoid | A Beginner’s Guide

Learn how to avoid the 9 common car photography errors when shooting a car from the beginner’s guide and become a successful photographer. In the recent past, the passion for car photography has increased a lot among youngsters.

As new people are taking it as their profession, they are making some common errors. Almost everyone comes with basic photography skills, but still, they make some common car photography errors when shooting a car. Even photographers with years of experience make the same errors. 

As a new photographer, the errors are typical to make. But, if you take a lesson from those errors, you can use them as your weapon. You shouldn’t allow the same errors to happen again, and you need to enhance your skill through it. The way of becoming a better automobile photographer lies in not committing those common errors. 

Why You Should Avoid the Common Car Photography Errors During Shooting

If you can avoid those common car photography errors, you can get better output from the shot. The reasons why you should avoid those common errors are: 

  • To get a perfect shot of the automobile 
  • It will be beneficial to get a perfect framing of the object 
  • There will be many details in the picture 
  • The background will be catchy to the viewers 

The 9 Common Car Photography Errors and How to Avoid

There are various errors that beginner photographers make while shooting a car. Apart from that, some errors are very common to automobile photographers. Even experienced photographers sometimes commit these errors during their shoot. Those common errors are: 

1. Not Using the Right Gear

The maximum new photographer doesn’t use the proper kits for an automobile shooting session. Selecting the right gear always doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive one. You need to pick a camera that has a good sensor and comes with a decent user review.  

As you may need to shoot the moving cars, the focusing and shutter speed should be top-notch. You can make a collection of various lenses that you might need for different shooting occasions. Along with camera and lenses, you need some extra kits that most of the newbies forgot, and those are: 

Sturdy Tripod: 

When you are doing car photography, you need to deal with high-speed vehicles. If the tripod you use is not strong, you won’t get stability while shooting. As a result, the image becomes shaky and blurry, and it’s one of the most common errors that maximum new photographers make.  

Crucial Polarizer: 

A polarizer is essential to shoot pictures of the cars. In the beginning, many photographers underestimate the importance of a polarizer. This gear helps to reduce glare and reflections and makes the photo much clear and spotless.  

Camera Remote Trigger: 

Using a camera remote trigger in-car shooting reduces the shakiness. You may have to run back and forth between the camera and lights while shooting a car’s picture, and that will irritate you. Many new photographers don’t want to use it, and that’s a big mistake.   

For having a regular photography session, you should use a camera remote trigger. Nowadays, you will find the remote trigger controllable with the mobile apps, which makes the thing easier for the newbies. 

2. Background Distraction and Garbage on the Floor

Most of the photographers suffer from the problem of not getting a perfect background while shooting a car. The automobile shooting mainly happens during a car show, and you won’t get your desired background there. Several photographers become demotivated by getting distractions in the background, and it’s a common mistake. 

Car Photography Errors

You can’t ask the car owner to move the car; you can’t tell the audience to move while in an exhibition. It is not even possible to move the vehicle by yourself. In that case, you need to put in the best effort and work with the situation you get there. 

But most of the new photographers commit the mistake that they either deny shooting or capture less-quality pictures. You shouldn’t commit this mistake; you must try your best to find the perfect angle to shoot. If not so, you need to focus on retouching the photo and making the background look attractive or replacing it. 

But never surrender before shooting starts, and put in your best possible effort. Hopefully, you will achieve the best result. Keeping the Floor unclean while capturing car photos is another mistake that maximum newbies commit. You can’t have garbage on the Floor at shooting time; otherwise, that will destroy the environment of the image. 

Clean all the rubbish, crushed soft drink cans, cigarettes from the Floor and each side of the car. But, some photographers mistakenly and unfortunately capture images without cleaning the Floor. To make your photos look clean and attractive, you should avoid committing this mistake. 

3. Improper Location and Dirty Car

When you have the privilege of selecting the shooting location, you need to choose it wisely. If the site is dull, the picture won’t look attractive. Every car won’t suit all the locations as well. The focus will always be on the vehicle, but the surrounding location also needs to fit. 

Maximum photographers make errors here and can’t relate the car to the proper location. You will get more ideas about the perfect spot after failing for a while. When you get enough experience, you will have a better idea about which location to choose for which car. But, finding the perfect angle can make the dull site look attractive. 

For automobile photography, a flat wall or the city in the background suits most cars. In any environment, ask your photographic mind whether the location is going with the car.  

Another common mistake is capturing the car image while keeping the car body dirty. The viewers won’t possibly like the dirty car picture unless it’s a theme. But you shouldn’t commit this mistake as you should clean the car and remove the spots from the car body. 

You should remain careful while choosing the car for shooting. Always try to select a vehicle that has more minor spots and is comparatively clean. Still, some dirt and spot can remain, and you need to clean that before capturing the image. But never capture a car photo with a dirty car body. The picture of a clean and spotless will catch the viewer’s eye quickly. 

4. Car Photography Errors | Clutter and Trying too Much

Car Photography Errors | Clutter

The interior of the car may remain in disorder, which will not look good. Unfortunately, most photographers overlook the inside of the vehicle and continue clicking images. But that’s a terrible mistake to commit when you are shooting a car indoor or outdoor. Repeatedly committing this mistake can even ruin your photographic career as well. 

So, check the interior first, and keep all the things inside in the perfect order. If any unwanted and anything not related to the car remains there, ask the car owner to remove that. Seats and door pockets should also remain clutter-free to keep your entire focus on the car when you capture the photo.

With a clean and clutter-free car interior, you will be able to take great shots of the chosen car. So, you should avoid keeping the clutter in the car interior while capturing the images. 

Sometimes, when the photographer is new, he/she may try to do something more, and in the process, forgets the basics. It may bring errors in the photographic settings, which can destroy the image. This too much trying may get hesitation to your mind and make your hands shaky during the shoot.  

Car Photography Trying too Much

So, you need to stick to the fundamentals and shouldn’t panic when you are a beginner. Trying too many things at a time and experimenting can make you unsuccessful for the first few attempts. It can even lead you to frustration and make you leave it forever.  

Depend on the basics, and keep shooting the car images with a confident mind. Hopefully, you will get the best shots of your chosen car, and the viewers and clients will like it very much.  

5. Details and Sharpness

Details and Sharpness

The viewer should get the best possible information about the car by seeing the image. To do so, the image needs to be a high-resolution one that the viewer can zoom in to inspect the car properly. As a result, it becomes mandatory for the photographer to capture the image containing enough details. 

The common mistake that most photographers make is somehow forgetting to capture enough details. You should try to avoid this common mistake as much as possible. When you will capture a car image with enough details, retouching it also becomes easy. 

Details and Sharpness

You also need to concentrate on the sharpness of the image, where most beginner photographers make a mistake. They make an error while setting the aperture and the shutter speed of the camera. As a result, the output doesn’t meet the qualifications. 5.6f to 8f is the perfect aperture range to keep enough sharpness when using an 18-55mm lens. 

The shutter speed should remain 1/125, and make sure you are not blurring the image by your movement. Perfection in both these sectors will help to keep enough sharpness in the picture, and the output will become marvelous. 

6. Telling a Story and Maintain a Theme

You should capture the car image so that it should tell the viewer a story without saying anything. When you cannot tell a story with the picture, the viewer will hardly find any interest. Focusing on visual storytelling is an essential part of the automobile and other sectors of photography. 

Telling a Story and Maintain a Theme

The car manufacturer will want to better view the car and the key information through the image. Use the perfect lens for the process, and capture something that represents the complete overview. Maintaining a theme for a whole series of car photography is vital as well. You can’t just click car images randomly. 

As you will provide a visual presentation, you should go step-by-step. Following a theme is a must for that. When you follow a theme, the viewers will find it more interesting. So, try not to make errors like being unable to visualize storytelling or being unable to maintain a theme for any series. 

7. Framing and Noise

Framing the main object in the image is the fundamental lesson of photography. But, in the beginning, hesitation leads the newcomers to do improper framing of the principal object. The car body should remain in the middle of the image, and it should catch the viewer’s eye at a glance.  

Framing and Noise

So, keep your mind fresh, focus on the main object, put the car right in the middle of the frame, and then capture the image. Noise in photography doesn’t mean sound, as it is the grain that may appear when the surrounding environment gets darker. It mainly depends on the ISO settings of the camera. 

Increasing ISO can also lead to noise and grain. It is better to keep the ISO between 400 to 800 while capturing car images. If you go above that, the image will become noisy and grainy, and that’s a common mistake for beginners. So, you should keep it in check while shooting a car. 

8. Reflection and Flash

Remaining careful about the light reflection on the car body is crucial as well. All the cars have mirrors and glasses throughout the body, and light can reflect from any angle. Many photographers commit this make and remain unaware of the light reflection. It can destroy the whole picture in a blink of an eye. 

So, you should search for the angle where there is either no reflection or comparatively less reflection. Sometimes, controlled reflection can be the theme of the image, but you need to master it first. When you are a beginner, try to avoid having reflection in the picture. 

As a beginner, you shouldn’t use the flash at all while capturing car pictures. Flash setting is a bit complex for a newcomer, and you should avoid using it initially. Adding to that, improper flash settings with a car’s mirror and glasses can provide horrible output. But several photographers use flash when darkness starts to arrive. 

It’s OK that you have made a mistake once or twice, but you shouldn’t commit this repeatedly. The best option is, forget about using flash for the first two years or so, try mastering it, and then use it when necessary. 

9. Not Shooting Enough Images

You need to click as many photos as you can. But that doesn’t mean that you only focus on increasing the number of pictures without focusing on the quality. It’s not like that; your primary focus should be on the image quality. Keep the image quality high, and then concentrate on shooting more quality images. 

But several beginner photographers don’t do it and then face a shortage of images. You need to keep as much as quality images option in your hand to use. That’s why you need to focus on capturing more and more images without sacrificing the image quality.

FAQs on Car Photography Errors

Is it necessary to use tripods while shooting a car image?

You should use tripods while shooting a car image, and it is much essential. As you will capture the picture, the camera needs to stay stable. It’s a bit tough to keep your hands stable in the outer location. That’s why you need to use a sturdy tripod and attach your camera with it. 
Ensure the camera is stable while shooting, and then capture the car image without making it blur.

Can I use flash for capturing the car images?

You shouldn’t use flash when you’re a beginner as the flash settings are a bit complex. Besides, improper flash settings and car glasses can lead you to a disastrous result. Try to master the flash settings by practicing and testing for one or two years. 
When you have a better idea about it, you can use it as per your necessity to capture tremendous car shots.

Does the image quantity or the image quality matter the most for car photography?

You need to keep as many options as possible in your hands. In this case, both the image quality and quantity come into the game, as you need to capture images with higher quality. Only capturing images without quality is strictly forbidden, and clicking a small number of pictures with an average is also not expected.

So, as a beginner, you should focus on taking the maximum number of quality images.

Conclusion on Car Photography Errors

As a beginner car photographer, it is normal to make some errors during the shoot. There are some common errors that most photographers commit and keep committing repeatedly. But, to survive in this sector of photography, you need to learn from those common errors when shooting a car.  

Learning from errors will slowly lead you to capture the perfect images. Those errors will make you experienced and skillful as time passes. Avoiding those errors will help to get the best possible output and lead you to perfection.

You may read:

10 Car Photography Techniques for Beginners to Follow

Professionals Car Photography Tips & Photoshoot Ideas

How to Composite Car Images into a New Background