Automotive Photography: Car Shows
Through out my articles on automotive photography I have covered several different ways to shoot a vehicle, whether a sports or custom vehicle. But one of the greatest opportunities for a photographer in the branch of automotive photography does not come from shooting a single vehicle at a time, rather from shoot a multitude of vehicles in competition with each other. Such as vehicles of a Car Show.
There are many types of car shows around, usually each with individual themes or broken down into individual themes. Some of the common themes these shows present are individual sports car classes (such as Mustang class, Corvette class, etc.), age classes (classic cars, post 2000 cars, etc.), engine classes (4 cylinder, V6, V8, etc.), and custom classes (custom body, custom engine, etc.). This wide array of types and styles of vehicles are usually accompanied by owners who take immense pride in their vehicles and love to show them off, meaning you will rarely find a car show that discourages photography.
While car shows a are great place to practice shooting vehicles, working as a photographer for one can tend to be a different matter entirely. If you are brought on as the photographer for a car show, you need to be ready for a more strenuous side of the event.
You cannot take photos of every vehicle
This is a rookie mistake of epic proportions. If you are only shooting for a small car show or you are running a photography booth for the sole purpose of individual vehicle photography, you can most likely do photos of each individual vehicle. Otherwise, it is a bad practice to get into. If the participants realize that you are the show’s main photographer, many of them are going to want you to do pictures of their vehicle hoping to get featured. If you do this for everyone you will never get any work done.
Shoot car rows as general photography
If you are charged with capturing general aspects of the car show, do not take individual images of vehicles. This is only acceptable if there is a vehicle that captures the attention of virtually everyone there. It is best to shoot rows of cars. This shows either a specific class or versatility of the show, depending how the row is set up, and does not make any vehicle owners feel they are special or being left out. When shooting car rows, two interesting shots to consider is a high downward angle and a straight shot from bumper level.
Do Not Reveal the Winner
Often times when you work as the photographer for a car show you will get to find out the results of the different contest the show holds, so that you can make sure to capture plenty of shots of the winner. If this is the case make sure you do it secretly. If you start ignoring everyone else and snapping shots of only one guy and his vehicle you are going to make it pretty obvious who won. Be discreet. Walk around the show and capture different individual vehicles and group shots while capturing images of the winning vehicle, that way no one thinks anything of it.