6 minute read - May 15, 2022

Selling Luxury - The importance of professional photography for car auctions

Made you look! Presentation is everything, capture the attention of sophisticated luxury car buyers -- and get more sales -- with stunning car photography.
Darren Blench
Enterprise Partnerships

Why do we stop and look when we see a gorgeous high-end luxury car or a mint-condition classic car?

Photo by Kayle Kaupanger

Of course, we admire the automobile's beauty and lines. But it's more than that. Most of us also do a bit of daydreaming. We picture ourselves behind the wheel of that beautiful car on a spontaneous road trip. We imagine it parked in front of our home. We fantasize about what kind of awesome life would have such a fantastic car.

However, if you're in the market for a used luxury car, you do more than just daydream. You actively search what cars are on the market. And there are more options for online car auctioneers than ever.

Smartphone photos may work for the average used car listed on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, but not for luxury or classic cars. Luxury car buyers are looking for cars that stand out - intricate hood ornaments, wood-paneled dashboards, and smooth leather seats, so you need to show your inventory at its best.

Here are four reasons why professional photographs will boost your car sales.

1. There’s more competitors arriving each month

Photo by Adrian Dorobantu

COVID has pushed the automotive space online, and companies mimicking Carvana and Bring A Trailer business models are springing up everywhere. Customers now have more options to shop and are coming to your site already armed with facts, figures, and a price already in mind. When they’re looking at a car, they don't want to read a lot of written information.

And showing uniform professional photos will keep users interested and engaged on the site.

The customers for luxury car auctioneers have sophisticated tastes and are used to seeing quality photos on the sites that feature high-end luxury brands like Jaguar, Porsche, and Cadillac.

Sure, your cellphone camera is right there in your pocket, but it cannot produce the quality that will make your business stand out.

Only high-quality professional photography will truly wow high-end customers. The images used on your website reflect your reputation as an auctioneer, don’t settle for less than perfection.

2. Professional photos boost your bottom line

Photography is a critical marketing and merchandising strategy, and it is one that can give you a significant return on your investment.

Here's a great example. Bring a Trailer, a company that focuses on auctions for vintage cars, recently sold a 20-year-old Honda Civic for $50,000. And everything happened online.

How? Professional photos of the Electron Blue 2000 Honda Civic Si (EM1) told knowledgeable Honda Civic buyers everything they needed to know. Multiple clear images showed the 5,600 miles on the car's odometer; its clean, powerful VTEC engine; and its near mint condition.

Professional photography is a smart investment when you’re selling luxury cars online. Your buyers already know quality and value, so why not give them the tools in the form of detailed images that they need to make an informed and desirable purchase? A professional photographer uses lighting, location, and technical expertise to create images that reflect each vehicle's quality and condition.

3. Attention to details sells

Just because a photo looks great on your phone screen does not mean you can zoom in to show the intricate details on a cool hubcap, a vintage car vintage dashboard clock, or an immaculate engine compartment.

Camera images are composed of tiny pixels (picture elements), which are small squares of color. You usually don't notice individual pixels in a photo, but you can see them when you zoom in closely or enlarge some images. That's why some enlarged photos look blurry or choppy.

Low pixel photos will make a potential buyer think of early video games like Donkey Kong or  Sonic the Hedgehog. Those games may be considered “classic,” but you need to step up your game when you are selling classic cars emblazoned with names like Porsche, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz.

A high-resolution photo retains its sharpness and clarity. That’s why a professional photographer’s work is best for showcasing every detail on that classic car to its greatest advantage. So, you can zoom in without the worry that you will turn off your knowledgeable buyer.

4. High-end cars need matching high-end photography

Why do you think most car advertisements show people driving the vehicle on gorgeous open roads? Those images stir up the feelings of freedom and independence we get when we drive a great automobile.

A car is designed for movement and your photos need to reflect that. A professional photographer will know how to frame shots to best capture the feeling of freedom and mobility drivers want.

Your customers are thinking about high-end brands like Porsche and Maserati. Professional photography will help you compete on the same level with these mega brands.

Are you convinced about the value of high-quality photos but don't know where to start to find a professional photographer in your area? Let Snappr help.

Snappr has the world's largest network of trusted photographers providing professional work on-demand. Photoshoots can be done anywhere and anytime - often with as little as two hours advance notice.

And with the best-in-category tools and API, Snappr is the most effective way to manage car shoots at scale. Best of all, every Snappr shoot is professionally edited by a single in-house team, resulting in high-quality images that are always consistent with the quality of the cars you sell and your brand as an auctioneer.

Ready to take your online car auctions to the next level? Contact Snappr's Enterprise Team today!

About the author

Darren Blench
Enterprise Partnerships

Darren Blench leads partnerships for enterprise Automotive clients at Snappr. He has helped dozens of major players in the industry with their content strategy. He is available for a no-obligation consultation about your Automotive photography needs.

Email me

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