JK's Guide to Photographing Your Vehicle

JK's Guide to Photographing Your Vehicle

JK's Head of Marketing
Published 2 August 2022
Josh Reynolds

Pretty much everyone has got a great quality camera rolled right into their phones, but snapping great pictures of your vehicle isn’t always that easy.

With so many people using the JK Marketplace to offer up their classic and modern VWs for sale at the moment, we’ve put together this quick guide to getting great shots of your car.

Whether you’re looking to sell your vehicle on or just want to show off how cool it is, these tips should help you get some great photos.

First things first
A great place to start is giving your camper, van or classic a good clean. Not only is this an excellent way to make sure your vehicle is looking its best, but it’ll also help you spot any dents, scratches or other bits and pieces that may have appeared without you noticing.

Give the exterior a good scrub down, and maybe dry it off to stop any water marks forming on the glass and panels.

Then give the interior a good clean – empty those door pockets, hoover the flooring, dust off the dash and generally spruce the whole thing up.

Again, not only will this make for better photos, but also help you spot any little nicks, issues or cosmetic damage which may need addressing.

Obviously spotting these little imperfections is more important if you’re taking photos to sell your vehicle, but it’s still a great chance to have a good poke around and inspect the whole vehicle.

Work those angles
When it comes to actually photographing your classic car, camper or van, it’s all about those angles!

We’ve found that crouching down to get a lower angle makes for a dramatically better shot, especially if you’ve lowered your vehicle.

Here’s a quick list of some angles which really help give a great impression of your car, bus or campervan. If you’ve got space on your driveway to walk all the way around the vehicle with enough room to take a few steps back and snap a photo, it’s easiest to work your way around it clockwise or anti-clockwise, so you know you’ve got everything.

Exterior shots:
Front on, from a lowish angle,
Get a closeup of the windscreen to show there’s no cracks, chips or damage,
Take a few steps to the side and shoot again, so the side is in view, at a ‘three quarters’ angle,
Get a closeup of the mirror to show it’s in good shape and the glass isn’t damaged,
Side on, from a lowish angle,
Get a closeup of the front and rear wheels and tyres, to show their condition,
Grab some photos of the underside of the vehicle, while you’re here – you may need to try a few different angles, with and without flash, to get the right shot,
Take a few more steps toward the rear and get a shot of the side with the rear in view,
Rear on, from a lowish angle,
While you’re crouched down, get a photo of the exhaust system,
Get a closeup of the rear window to show that it’s undamaged,
Take a few more steps toward the side, and get a shot of the other side with the rear in view,
Side on, from a lowish angle again,
Again, get some shots of the underside of the vehicle,
Don’t forget to grab photos of the wheels and tyres on this side of the vehicle, too,
Take a few more steps toward the front of the car, and get a photo side on, with the front in view at a ‘three quarters’ angle,
Get a photo of the mirrors on this side.

Interior shots:
Photograph the dash instruments, showing mileage, etc. You may want to switch your vehicle on to show that they’re all working and the dash lights still light up,
Take a photo of the steering wheel, to show wear (or that you’ve got a cool wheel!),
Photos of the shifter if you’ve fitted an aftermarket one are a must,
Grab some photos of the seats, especially if you’re selling, as people will want to see what state they’re in,
Floormats, carpets, seat runners, vents, etc. are also important if you’re selling – might as well take them all at the same time while you’re scrabbling around at floor level!,
Photograph any cool or interesting accessories in the interior (or exterior!) to show them off,
If you’re looking to sell your vehicle, photos of the headlining and other details are vital, too.

It's the little things
There's loads of other little bits and details which are important, especially if you're taking photos to sell your vehicle. Here's a few that we could think of off the top of our heads!

The engine and engine bay, especially if you've got aftermarket parts added on,
Paperwork, especially stuff like your service history,
Accessories, particularly any bits which are rare, especially cool or totally unique,
Rust, damage or 'weird bits' - people will be a lot more forgiving if you're up front about any issues the vehicle has, rather than letting them find out when they arrive for a viewing! 

Location is also important
Whether you’re hoping to get your camper or classic VW into a magazine, or need to get it sold, having the right background for your photos makes a massive difference.

You may not want to photograph your car on your drive, and end up with images of your vehicle and your house floating around, so see if there’s anywhere near you that might make for a cool shoot location. A quiet carpark outside a supermarket at night, or a carpark by a nearby woodland walk or something can be ideal, as can industrial estates and other sites.

You'll notice we've taken the photos of our yellow T2 Microbus outside JK HQ, and gotten some nice shots of the nearby fields - but also some farm machinery and other bits! 

For the JK Marketplace
If you’re looking to list your vehicle for free on our JK Marketplace to help get it sold, then sizing your photos to around 500 pixels by 375 pixels is ideal for getting them looking their best on the site.

This is a 4:3 aspect ratio, so you can scale those numbers up (1000 pixels by 750, for example) as long as the ratio stays the same, they’ll look great!

2 years ago