5 Tips for Car Photoshoot Locations – Best locations
Car photography is one of the most fun types of photography, we all have a passion for cars, and photographing them is fantastic. It is very difficult to find good car photoshoot locations, the places are often very busy or you are not allowed to get there by car.
With years of experience as a car photographer, I have done many photoshoots, often having to look up locations in advance. So I have quite a bit of experience with this and I would like to share that with you.
In this article, I will tell you exactly the best car photography locations tips, so you can get started right away to find the most beautiful places for your next photoshoot.
What are the best car photoshoot locations?
The best locations for car photography are not monotonous, because it varies completely for every car. I often photograph sports cars, so a forest is not that useful or beautiful. There are several factors that determine whether a location is suitable.
First of all, I would like to point out that you can have the most beautiful locations, but if your camera settings are not good, they will not be of much use to you. We all know that it is useful if a location is nearby, I will explain further in this article how you can find a location.
The environment is also important and finally, the location should not be too busy. I have noticed that a location that is too busy can be very annoying. Why is location actually important for a photo shoot? Well, that’s because the location covers most of the photo, without a good location you can’t get by.
Let me tell you the first tip right away!
1. Match the location with the car
Now that you know why a location is so important for car photography, I will explain what you should pay attention to when looking for car photoshoot locations. First of all, it is important that the location matches the car.
You can do this by looking carefully at the design and the type of car. A sports car often has sleek lines, is very low and a location that is modern is often beautiful. You can look at modern houses, apartments, and buildings in big cities.
An SUV is a completely different story. These cars are often very robust, large, and high. Then it is better not to place it in the city center. The purpose of an SUV is to access rough terrain, so a forest would suit this very well.
All in all, pay close attention to the type of car and choose the type of location based on this.
2. Look for quiet locations
So I’ve done quite a few photo shoots and this is a point I want to emphasize. A busy location is really not fun to photograph, while taking photos the car often has to be moved, which takes extra time.
When you have just parked the car in the middle of a road, another oncoming vehicle approaches, which is a common phenomenon at busy places. In addition, a busy location can also be dangerous, often enough I have to stand on a road to take a photo where there is traffic. So not optimal.
Look for locations that are quiet, such as the roof of a parking garage, a remote road, a forest, or something similar. You can of course also go to busy locations, but choose a time that is the quietest.
3. Go to the big cities
What I’m about to say may seem contradictory, but sometimes you have to try a few things to find the best photoshoot locations. You won’t find truly unique locations in the middle of nowhere, at least not where I live.
So it is also crucial to go to the larger cities to find unique places here. It may be a little more risky, but it will yield the desired result. The photo below, for example, I took in Rotterdam, the largest port city in Europe.
Sometimes you have to wait a while until no one is in the frame, but when the time comes, it’s worth it all the time. And if someone is in the picture, you can fix it using Photoshop (AI).
Nowadays you have to be careful in big cities, if you want to photograph an old diesel you may not be allowed inside. You might have to take an electric car to the city center…
How can you find car photography locations?
Now you should know what to look for when you want to look up a car location, now comes the real work. You really have to find the locations and that is slightly more difficult than it seems. I’ve found a few ways to do that.
It’s going to take you a lot of time, sometimes it takes me an hour to find one location, that could be just me, we’ll never find out. The two ways I have found are (1) Google Maps and (2) driving around in real life. I’ll also give you a bonus, namely finding (3) locations via social media.
1. Find locations via Google Maps
This option seems fairly easy, but it certainly isn’t. It is one of the simplest because you don’t have to leave the house to find car photography locations. To find locations via Google Maps, I usually go to a large city (virtually).
Using Street View I can then go around the streets, and when I see something that I think: hey, that could be nice, I will imagine what kind of photos I could possibly take at that place. The process takes a long time and you do not always have a chance of success.
There are many advantages to Google Maps, but I must also mention the disadvantages. Using Google Maps, you can’t see how busy it is, it can be very busy without you seeing this in the photo.
Google Maps may also be outdated, the location may suddenly look very different in real life. Remember that locations look different for every lens, so choosing the right lens is also important.
2. Find locations in real life
I actually think the second option is the better option, which is to drive through the city and save beautiful places on your phone. I have to admit that I don’t do this that often myself, I am often busy with a photoshoot and then I come across all kinds of locations.
When that happens I quickly go to Google Maps to create a pin at that location, so I can find it again later. There are many more advantages to this method, you immediately see how busy it is and whether it looks nice.
You can also see whether there is room to park the car, as Google Maps distorts some places. Finally, you are already familiar with the place, which makes a difference during the photoshoot!
3. Find locations via social media
I think the third way to find locations is probably better than Google Maps because there are many options via social media. On Instagram, there are many photographers who take beautiful photos, and often the location (city/village) is named above it.
You can then ask the photographer if he would like to share the location with you, they often do not find this a problem. If the photographer does not want to share the location, you can do two things: you leave it as it is, or you do your own research.
I prefer the latter option, Google Chrome provides a handy tool for searching using images. If you right-click next to the image you will get a menu. Then you can click on ‘Search images with Google’. This way you can select the photo and search.
Using this trick, I managed to find many locations where I later held photoshoots. A really useful tip!
In short, there are many options to find good car photoshoot locations. Look for locations that really suit the car, choose a track for a sports car and a forest for an SUV.
A quiet location is always desirable. This way you can take all the time to take beautiful photos of cars. Quite contradictory, I advise you to look for locations in the big cities. There are also quiet places to be found there.
You can search for locations on Google Maps, but driving around in real life is a better option. This way you will find all the great locations for car photography. Looking for locations on social media is also an option, there are plenty of useful tricks.
Don’t forget to share this article with fellow photographers, so we can all help each other and become a little better, thank you!
Who is Sebastiaan?
Hi! I am Sebastiaan, the writer of this blog. With years of experience as a professional photographer, I want to share my expertise with you. From recommending cameras and lenses to giving tips that make a world of difference, that’s what I enjoy doing most.
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