How To Get Your Car Photographed At A Car Meet or Show

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This article is for those that go to the car meets and want to see a photo of their car in the event coverage. There are multiple ways that you can improve your chances of having your car be the target of several photographers that generally frequent meets.

  • Drive Something Unique – This is the obvious one, and the one that you have the least control over. You obviously have a better chance of having a lot of photographers run up and shoot a photo of your car if you are in a Ford GT, instead of a stock Civic. Do something that makes your car stand out – but make sure that it stands out in a good way.
  • Have It Clean – Unless you are driving a 4×4 truck and it’s covered in mud, you want your car to be clean. Clean cars attract people in general, not just photographers. Also, “clean” also means not loading it up with “ricer” stickers, or poorly modifying it. Do your mods right, and people/photographers will notice.
  • Arrive Early and Leave Late – The more time that your car is at the meet, the more of a chance your car will be seen and photographed. Additionally, by arriving early and leaving late, you increase your chances with the next item on the list.
  • Park Away From Others – I know that this might seem a little strange, but it is better for you  – if you want a really good shot. Photographers (and myself) are more likely to do more post-processing on a photo that they can get a good composition on. A good composition doesn’t generally work with a lot of “clutter” – other cars, people, chairs, etc in the background or next to it. By isolating your car, you improve your chances to get a really nice shot made by multiple photographers. At one of the local meets, there are six locations that I repeatedly check all day because I KNOW that I will get a great shot there.
  • Watch the Background – The background is important for photos. You want to look at how a photographer might look at the car and see what is in the background. You want to have a fairly clean background, with not much clutter. Look towards the edges of the meet, not the center of the parking lot. Find something simple or of interest that will be behind your car, and ideally, be darker in color, so that your car “pops” and stands out.
  • Don’t Put Your Lawn Chairs Out – Too many people bring lawn chairs and coolers to a meet, and set them right behind their car. Don’t do it. It reduces the likelihood that your car will have a really good shot, and could keep you from getting a shot at all in the event coverage. This fits in with the “Watch the Background” one.
  • Be Mindful of Where the Light Falls – You need to know where the sun is shining, and if it will be behind the car, in front of the car, or on the side. Ideally, you want the sun to light up the best side of the car, and evenly. You don’t want half the car in the light and half not in the light.
  • Watch for Shadows – If you have a tree, pole, etc casting a shadow over the car, it is not going to look as well, and might keep someone from taking the shot. Pay attention to how the shadows impact the visual appearance of your car – the photographers certainly will.
  • Watch for Reflections – Walk around to where you think that the photographers will be most likely to shoot the car, and see if you see any reflections from trees in the paint. If they are around 90 degrees from the sun, don’t worry about them. If they are 0 or 180 degrees, then you need to look closer. If you can move to a better spot, do it. If you can’t, don’t worry about it.
  • Talk to the Photographers – Ask the photographers that you see walking around and shooting actively where they post their photos. It’s possible that they post them on a blog that you aren’t aware of. Also, don’t hesitate to ask them to shoot your car. If you actively ask them to, it is very likely that they will post your car specifically in the event coverage. If you ask 4-5 of them, you are pretty much guaranteed to have coverage, no matter what you drove up to the meet in.

Below are some examples of people who followed these simple suggestions, and I have personally photographed their cars at the Caffeine and Octane meet in Alpharetta.