Drivin’ L.A. with Andrew Chen: Car Photography is all About the Angles

If you take a step back and think about it, cars are actually pretty boring subjects when it comes to photography.

Sure, your exotics always look good in photos because they have cool details and plenty of vents and sharp angles, but a metal body with four wheels really isn’t that interesting.

Enter the photographer (that’s you!). One of the best techniques to make a car look better in photos is using exaggerated angles — shoot from really high or really low.

You’d never use this perspective for shooting people, but for cars, the extreme angle adds drama to what is normally a rather mundane subject.

Here are some examples of shooting from a high angle:

You can play with framing the entire car or just a portion of it, but the high angle adds flavor since you typically don’t get to see a car from up above. The one thing to be careful of is reflections — make sure your own reflection isn’t seen in the glossy paint when you’re up close and high.

Here are some shots from a low angle:

In these shots, the camera is almost set on the floor, and it gives the subject a larger-than-life feeling, which can be enhanced with varying degrees of zoom or depth of field.

And if you’ve got the means, go really high with a drone! This was filmed with a DJI Mavic Pro and edited with the DJI app on a mobile phone.

A post shared by Andrew Chen (@lagraffiti) on

Thanks to digital photography, there’s no longer a concern of being wasteful, so keep practicing and experimenting with different angles, and you’ll start to notice a difference in the final results.

Share your photos with me on Twitter: @lagraffiti.