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Taking Show-Stopper Pictures for a Classified Ad

A cliché, yes but… A good picture still says a 1000 words about the vehicle you are selling!

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Framing the shot

When taking pictures, be sure to fill the entire frame of the picture without the car being cut off. It is good practise to leave a slight, but big enough bezel around the car’s edges as some classified websites might cut away the edges of your submitted pictures to fit their format. When taking full body shots of the vehicle, fill the frame of the camera with the car body until you see the sides touching the edge of your camera viewfinder, then take two steps back or zoom out about 20% and take the picture.


Don’t limit yourself to exterior shots. Include a variety of photos both exterior as we as interior photos of the car. Try to post about 10 pictures, but at least the following 4 pictures for your classified ad.
• A ¾ side frontal shot (This should be your featured image – The most common angle people are accustomed to when browsing car ads – it gives a good look at both the front and the side of the car.)
• A side rear shot (Opposite side of featured image)
• An interior shot (generally of the dash/console)
• An engine shot (Make sure it is spotless!)
A huge variety of pictures shows potential buyers that you aren’t hiding anything. It is often hard to determine how good a picture is on the camera display. To increase the likelihood of getting great shots, take as many pictures as possible which can then be narrowed down further when viewed on a computer.

Picture quality

Used car buyers are very shrewd and will quickly get frustrated with pictures that are dark, blurry or lack detail. Make sure your photos are clear enough to accurately show the condition of the vehicle. Posting poor quality pictures might hurt your ad and buyers will promptly move on to the next car. If you are selling a good quality car and are aiming to get top dollar for it, you’ll need to prove your car’s condition with quality photos.

Lighting – From dusk ‘till dawn

The best time to take a picture of your car is in the early morning or late evening. During dusk and dawn, the sun is low and hence provides a warm glow, free from contrasting shadows and bright glare from the sun. Photos taken on a cloudy day also tend to work well, as there is less glare.
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