Photographer’s Guide

for smartphone users

Photographing your car for a listing on The Driven Exchange is easy! To start, all you need is a smartphone and a recently-washed car. Here are some tips and pointers to assist you. We also recommend that you take a look at our mock photo set. This set contains the bare minimum that you would need to sell your car, but we would recommend having more.

  • First, you will want to consider your background. Simple, clean backgrounds that don’t distract the viewer are best. Avoid backgrounds that perfectly match the color of the car.
  • Lighting matters. Generally, “golden hour,” or the hour right before sunset gives the best lighting, but this really depends on the color of the car. We invite you to experiment here, and see what time of day looks best. Keep in mind that you don’t only want your car to look good, but you also want to give buyers a good feel for the true paint color. Many paints look different in different lighting, so we recommend shooting the car at different times of day.
  • Avoid shooting into the sun. Shooting into the sun will make the car appear dark and will wash out the color. However, if you are shooting with the sun behind you (as we recommend) be mindful of your shadow, which may appear in the shot.
  • For the exterior, you will need to provide lots of angles, such that every inch of the bodywork is shown in at least one photo, but ideally more. Zoomed-out photos of the front, back, side-profile, and diagonals give users a feel for the look of the car.
  • We also need detail shots, which are best taken with as much light as possible. This means close-ups of trim pieces, chrome, etc. For the interior, be sure to photograph buttons and commonly-touched items. We need shots under the hood and in the trunk. If you mentioned any damages or imperfections in the submission, we will need to see photos of these. We would like close-ups of the wheels to see wheel condition and tire markings. Be prepared to also take photos of known VIN tags. Take photos of any tags the car has on it. If it has words or number, we want to see it!
  • If possible, we highly recommend that you take undercarriage photos. The best way to do this is with a shop list, but with adequate light, holding your phone under the vehicle at the front, sides, and rear can give prospective buyers a good impression. These do not need to be perfect; the main thing here is to show rust if it exist, or show that the undercarriage is clean if it doesn’t. Keep in mind that if you are going to use a jack or jack-stands, please refrain yourself from climbing under the car, as this is unsafe. We recommend just holding the camera under the car instead.
  • Have the window sticker, manuals, service records or anything else relating to the vehicle? Snap them! The more paperwork and/or documentation you have, the more likely it is that bidders will want to participate.

We also highly recommend taking videos of your car

Don’t worry, these do not need to be professional. In the application form, we will ask for links to these videos, so be sure to upload them publicly to YouTube so that prospective bidders can watch them. Does your car have a story or a special place in your heart? Have a family member take a short video of you talking about the car. Watch the video below for reference.

We also highly recommend adding a walk around and driving demo video. This should show the car starting up, accelerating, braking, and turning. watch the video below for reference.

And finally, if you really want to go all-out, you can add a cinematic video of your car to win the bidders’ hearts. Here is a video showing what can be done. Keep in mind that this will likely require a professional videographer (or a very dedicated amateur).