If you’re anything like me, you’re in your car every day.
With school runs and trips to Target it’s very rare that I spend a whole day without driving somewhere. This alone makes my car a perfect photo location.
However, there are many other great reasons to take your camera along the next time you go for a drive.
Framing is a powerful compositional tool that helps draw the viewers’ attention to the subject of your photo.
Cars are jam-packed with framing opportunities. Open doors, windows or the space between the headrest and the seat all make perfect frames for your subject.
I love including textures in my images. Texture has the ability to make a two-dimensional image seem three-dimensional and allows the viewer to access their sense of touch when viewing your image.
Car windows are great for incorporating texture. My very favorite technique is shooting through the car window, from inside or outside, when it is covered in dew or raindrops.
Including reflections in your photography is a simple and effective tool to make your images stand out. The surface of a car, both the paint and glass, are reflective and provide countless opportunities to capture reflections.
Adjust your position when you are taking photos until you are able to see the reflection clearly. When editing I increase contrast and clarity on the reflection to make it stand out even more.
4. Leading lines
Leading lines are a key element of design. Lines help draw the eye to an important location or subject in an image.
You can use your car as one long leading line. I like to sit my subjects down next to one wheel and shoot at an angle allowing the car to lead straight to them.
Interesting light can really make or break an image. One of my favorite ways to play with light is to incorporate lens flare. This is accomplished when shooting into the sun and backlighting.
Flare, however, can often be too overpowering and make an image look too hazy for my taste. Fabulous results can be achieved by using parts of the car to block some of the light entering the camera.
Try changing your position as you shoot and see how the amount and type of flare changes as you do. Having a subject that is entertained really helps here as it gives you time to experiment with the light.
Related: 5 Easy backlighting tips
6. Contained subjects
I have two young children and they like to move! Sometimes this makes it difficult to take their photo, especially a portrait with eye contact.
My favorite perk about the car is that my subjects are contained, literally strapped down in car seats, which gives me lots of time to take multiple shots without having to worry about them moving. I frequently place my kids, and sometimes the dog, in the back of our SUV to take their photo.
The car acts as a frame while also keeping the subjects in one position with their attention on me. This would be much more difficult if they were just standing out in the open.
I also like to sit my girls on the hood of our car, especially at golden hour when the hood reflects the beautiful sunset colors and clouds in the sky.
My vehicle has definitely become more than just a means of transportation! Some of my very favorite photos of my girls were taken in and around my car.
Now it’s your turn to go out and make the most of the photographic opportunities in your car and your daily lives!