Images can help buyers understand more about a business’ products and different offerings. Images also can help consumers put a face to a name when working with a sales team member virtually. Car dealerships probably know that images heighten the online user experience, but not all images are impactful.
Car dealerships should use high-quality car images online, on social media accounts and in advertising, too. What defines quality? High-quality car images include these features and attributes:
- Professional backgrounds
- Engaging content
- Impactful angles
- Proper lighting
- Correct sizing and cropping
- Ethically edited
Make a Checklist to Ensure the Photo Measures Up
Anyone can take a photograph, but not every individual can snap an impactful photograph. There are many issues that can turn a photo into a dud. While using stock car imagery from EVOX Images always ensures that dealerships have a professional photo of the model they need to market, sometimes dealerships have to take a DIY photo or hire a professional to photograph inventory.
Used or pre-owned inventory might require a custom photo. While EVOX Images offers older models among its stock photo libraries, these stock photos might be best used as placeholders for when dealerships need to reference used models that haven’t yet been photographed. When using a stock image for a placeholder to depict a used model, dealerships should make a note stating that the photograph is a stock image (not the actual vehicle about to be for sale).
Dealerships shouldn’t be intimidated about taking a photo for pre-owned/used models. They simply need to keep a few tips in mind when taking those photographs. Here are 10 tips for taking a custom photo of inventory:
- Wait for the sun to set a bit, as bright light can impact the photo and maybe affect the color, too. Ideally, keep the sun behind the vehicle.
- Choose an attractive and professional background
- Take multiple interior and exterior photos to show all the major details
- Photograph the odometer reading
- Photograph car flaws (rust, dents, and other imperfections can help buyers understand the condition)
- Delete any blurry images
- Don’t focus on artsy shots; black and white isn’t ideal, although it does look cool
- Zoom in on important details
- Opt for high resolution
- Keep a proper perspective (don’t take a photo that distorts the vehicle’s proportions)
Not everyone feels like they can take the best photos. Dealerships might designate a marketing team member to take photos for social media use or to advertise new models. There also could be local photographers who specialize in automotive photos.
The Attributes of a Good Photo
Dealerships who need to snap custom photos of used inventory also might wonder what attributes and features denote good or high-quality car images. Here’s what to know about all the attributes of a great car image.
High-quality car images are high-resolution photos. This is defined as a photo that has 300 pixels per inch or more. At this resolution, customers might be able to zoom in on features without blurriness or distortion. High-resolution images also can be resized without losing image quality.
Yes, the background of the photo is important. A car model might look less impressive or desirable if it’s in front of a grubby or boring backdrop. Keep the background professional and clean. Dealerships might photograph vehicles in front of their signage or maybe in their showroom.
An impactful image is engaging. Car photos should draw in customers. Photos also should complement the page on which it appears. This means that when a dealership is choosing stock images or using customer images that they snapped as part of their website content, the photos should complement the page content. If the landing page focuses on trucks, the photo shouldn’t feature a sedan.
In addition, photos depicting the staff or sales team should complement the dealership’s culture or brand. If the culture is fun, the photo should be playful and fun, too.
The angle of the photo can detract or attract. Snapping a photo of a car head on might not result in the best photo. Take a photograph that best showcases the lines, angles or curves of the vehicle. However, make sure the photo is an accurate portrayal of the car.
Improper lighting can cause glares or other distortions on the vehicle. If the photograph is taken outside during the brightest time of day, the sunlight also could distort the color of the vehicle. Take a photo outside when the sun isn’t directly overhead. As the sun starts to lower in the sky, the colors may photograph more accurately. Adobe recommends taking pictures an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise. Dealerships snapping photos indoors also need to be mindful of harsh lighting.
Correct Sizing and Cropping
High-resolution photos shouldn’t look grainy or blurry when they are enlarged or resized. However, dealerships shouldn’t stretch photos unnaturally as this could distort the proportions of the vehicle. Be mindful of cropping, too. High-quality photos should be cropped in such a way that nothing is cut off or looks awkward.
What does it mean to ethically edit a photo? When using photos to advertise and promote inventory, dealerships need to be cognizant of how they use tools like photo editing software. For example, editing out dents or rusty areas of the car can lead customers to believe that the vehicle is in better condition than it actually is.
Professional Car Stock Images are the Ideal High Quality Car Images
When dealerships need high-quality car images for new models, professional car stock images are the best option. EVOX Images offers numerous stock image options for many makes and models.
Car stock photos include base trim libraries for models that allow dealerships to accurately showcase the features of the lowest-priced trim for models. This can help buyers understand what the budget-friendly option offers.
EVOX Images also offers spin photos that encourage car shoppers to interact with a 3D image of a vehicle. Exterior spin photos show a 3D depiction of a model; consumers can use a fingertip (for a smartphone or tablet) or their mouse to rotate the car image and see the model from different viewpoints and angles. In addition, panorama spin photos let consumers investigate the interior of vehicles; these photos let consumers look around the interior of the car (they can even glance up at the moon roof).
EVOX Images also offers dealerships many options for animated photos. These images load automatically and can help buyers see all the different paint trims for a model. Animated photos can show the car driving into the photo and changing colors, rotating 360 degrees while showing different paint trims and even from different vantage points (think drone footage).
Since many dealerships are now interested in offering augmented reality experiences online to help customers better explore different vehicles, EVOX Images also provides a library of digital assets that are compatible with augmented reality and/or virtual reality. Using these assets, dealerships can create an augmented reality showroom that lets customers interact with a 3D depiction of a vehicle from home or anywhere.
Dealerships might prefer to use professional stock photos when they are advertising and promoting new models. However, if dealerships need to showcase their pre-owned inventory, they can follow a few simple tips to create the most impactful and high-quality images.