Want To Take Brilliant Instagram Photos Of Your Car?

Wed 12th Sep 2018

We all love a good photo of our pride and joy and there’s some sweet satisfaction in uploading that fantastic image of your car to social media.

But with more than 80 million photographs shared on Instagram every day, the task of making those photos stand out is a huge one - so perhaps you need some expert help?

Well fear not, Skoda have teamed up with one of Britain’s most influential photographers, Julian Calverley, to snap up the top tips on making your motor look great under the Instagram filters.

Calverley, a professional landscape and advertising photographer is a huge fan of smartphone photography, having written the book #IPHONEONLY. He was given the opportunity to explore the Welsh countryside in a Skoda Octavia Scout and gave the following tips when photographing your car.


It doesn’t matter whether you’re holding a phone or a camera. Want to take pictures like a pro? Then you need to think and act like one. Be well equipped and ready to step outside your comfort zone. You might need to cross rivers, face bad weather, or spend days far from civilization. I always take good footwear, waterproof bags for equipment, an extended battery pack to upgrade battery life, and an umbrella which allows me to shoot when it’s raining. And I don’t accept average locations.

There are some great apps like Sun Seeker or Lumos which show you exactly when and where the sun rises and sets. Shooting cars at dusk and dawn provides beautiful soft light which accentuates the shapes of a car and provides gorgeous reflections. But the window of opportunity is small, and you need to be prepared. You’ll also need some time to clean the whole car before you start. Dirty cars rarely look beautiful, so make sure you have enough clean water and several wipers. If the vehicle has visible scratches, I’d advise focusing on the other side.

Use the simplicity of your phone to your advantage. No gear choices, just simple settings, and only the basic apps. Focus your mind on the pictures and take your time. Experience the location and its atmosphere; look around instead of playing with your gear. This is why I enjoy shooting with a phone so much. It’s a simple and uncluttered process involving a single piece of equipment and one simple app (Snapseed in my case) for postproduction. It keeps me focused on what I’m trying to achieve and doesn’t distract me with too many possibilities.

I’ll let you in on a secret: The best images are those which also work great as thumbnails or miniatures. Especially in social media, it should catch the eye even when it’s very small. So don’t get lost in the details and break the whole scene down to simple forms. Try to squint at the picture – this works very well for me. I always look for dramatic locations with strong leading lines that lead the eye through an image and increase its impact.

Clear blue skies are beautiful, but this may also make for quite a boring picture. Don’t be in a hurry, instead visiting one location multiple times. It can feel like a completely different experience under different lighting, weather conditions, or time of year. Clouds, rain, snow, or hail add drama to a scene. Rain, mist, and fog can make a busy scene suddenly feel calm, adding depth, simplicity, and atmosphere. Shooting in rain and mist can bring the car out of a busy scene, diverting the focus onto the vehicle itself. And raindrops on the bonnet look quite beautiful too!

You can follow Julian on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/jccalverley/