Locations for Car Photography: How to Find the Best Spots

Michael • Updated February 2, 2023 • 4 min read

Locations for Car Photography

Welcome to the exciting and dynamic world of car photography. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, capturing the beauty and power of a car through the lens of a camera can be a thrilling experience.

But let’s be real, location is key to making a great car photography shoot. So, let’s dive into the art of scouting locations for car photography. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about finding the perfect spot for your next shoot.

From avoiding common mistakes to creating a mood or atmosphere, you’ll be well on your way to crafting stunning images that stand the test of time.

1. Determine the Purpose of the Shoot

Car photography can take many forms, from high-end advertising campaigns to editorial shoots for magazines. The purpose of the shoot will determine the type of location you should look for, and it’s crucial to consider the different considerations for each type of shoot.

For example, an ad for a luxury sports car or vintage car might need a place that feels rich and classy, while an editorial shoot for an off-road vehicle might need a place that feels rough and full of adventure.

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2. Identify Key Criteria for Location Selection

When scouting locations for car photography, there are several key factors to consider. Accessibility and parking facilities are crucial, as you need to ensure that you and your team, along with the car, can get to the location and set up quickly and efficiently.

You should also think about the lighting, the weather, and the background, all of which should make the car look better. Lastly, it’s important to know about any legal restrictions and get the right permits if you need them.

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3. Research and Find Potential Locations

There are several ways to research and find potential locations for car photography. Utilizing mapping and satellite images can give you an idea of the location’s surroundings and potential background.

Online databases of locations and social media can help you find new and interesting places. But remember, online images can be misleading, and it’s always best to visit the location in person.

4. Visit and Evaluate the Locations

Visiting the locations in person is essential to evaluating their suitability for your car photography shoot. During your visit, think about things like the amount of traffic and noise, as well as how easy it is to get to and where you can park.

Take notes and photos to help you remember the details of each location and make it easier to compare and decide on the best option.

5. Finalize the Location and Prepare for the Shoot

Once you’ve found a spot that you like, it’s time to start preparing for the shoot. This means securing any necessary permits and permissions, coordinating with any necessary parties (like property owners or local authorities), and scouting the location again, this time with the car, to make sure everything is just right.

Once you’ve finalized your location, it’s time to start preparing for the shoot. This means setting up your equipment and props, getting any permits and permissions you need, and making any last checks and preparations before the day of the shoot.

And when it comes to the actual shoot, keep a few things in mind. For starters, safety should always be your top priority. Be aware of any hazards in the area, and make sure you’re in compliance with all relevant traffic laws.

6. Best Time for the Shoot

When taking pictures of cars, the lighting and weather can have a big effect, so it’s important to think about the best time for your shoot. Optimal times for shooting will vary depending on the type of car photography you’re doing, but it’s always important to consider local traffic patterns and noise levels.

7. The Do’s and Don’ts of Location Scouting

When looking for places to take pictures of cars, there are a few key things you should do to make sure you’re successful. First and foremost, be prepared, take notes, and have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.

Don’t overlook the importance of visiting the location in person, and avoid making common mistakes like not obtaining the necessary permits or not considering local traffic patterns. Follow these best practices to make the most of your location scouting experience.

8. Tips for Location Scouting

Oh, and one more thing, be respectful of the location and the community. Clean up after yourself and leave the area in better condition than you found it. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it’ll also make it more likely that you’ll be able to come back and shoot there again in the future.

Another piece of advice is to always have a backup location planned, in case your first choice doesn’t work out, or if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Scouting multiple locations and having a plan B will save you time and worry and make your shoot more productive, because that’s what we want, right? Killer shots of killer cars!

9. Things don’t always go as Planned

When I first started out taking car pictures, I had grand visions of shooting on the winding roads like the Amalfi Coast and the rolling hills of Tuscany. But reality soon set in, and I found myself struggling to find the perfect location for my shoots.

One time, I stumbled upon a dirt road that I thought would be perfect for a Jeep photoshoot. I envisioned a rugged, adventurous scene with the Jeep kicking up dust as it roared down the road. But as soon as the Jeep hit the dirt, it became apparent that the road was less of a dirt road and more of a mud pit.

The Jeep sunk in up to its axles, and I was stuck there for hours trying to extract it. I got the shot, but let’s just say the Jeep never looked quite as adventurous as I had hoped.

10. Car Photoshoot Location Ideas Gallery


11. Conclusion

Scouting locations for car photography requires research, preparation, and planning, but the effort is well worth it in the end. Finding the right location can make all the difference in creating stunning and memorable images.

Remember that figuring out the purpose of the shoot, figuring out the most important things to look for in a location, researching and evaluating possible locations, and preparing well for the shoot are the keys to success.

How do you find locations for your car photography? Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Michael
Furoore Team is here to assist you in capturing the most significant moments in your life. To create exciting photographs, discover photography guides, find unique photo ideas, and limitless image inspiration.

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