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  • Writer's pictureJP EMERSON


Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Generally speaking, car shows are a difficult place to shoot cars. Foot traffic, harsh lighting, close quarters etc make most anything other than general shots a realistic expectation. That doesn’t mean however that taking a little time to prepare prior to the event (and even when you're there) won’t increase your chances of finding your ride in print, and quite possibly the opportunity for a closer look!

Here are a few tips (and tricks) to help your car stand out.

DO: Clean and detail your car. This should be a given but you’d be surprised how many really great cars get passed by because someone didn’t invest a little elbow grease into cleaning it.

Don’t: Forget the inside of the car. Look, we get it, most cars are driven to the event. Debris, grass, gravel, dust etc are to be expected. Know this and prepare for it. It only takes a few minutes once you’ve arrived.

DO: Speaking of interiors, open your windows! Anyone who is interested in your car will make the interior their second stop when checking it out. Let them see what’s inside!

Don’t: Ignore people who take a closer look.

DO: Raise the hood. This is the eye candy. A clean, well maintained engine compartment is a must. Unless the event is closed hood only, lift’em up!

This is the number one stop when checking out cars on the show field. The chances of someone proceeding to any other part of your ride decrease nearly 70% if your hood is closed.

Don’t: Confront people who may have a different opinion about your car. Bite your tongue if you need to and let them be on their way. Trust me.

Do: Bring documentation. This is a tricky one. If your claiming a special edition, low mileage or anything “above the norm” be able to back it up.

Don’t: Giant binders of photos documenting the restoration are great, just not sitting inside the engine compartment.

Do: Signs. A small professional sign is a great way to capture a passerby’s attention. 55% of people will read only the “headline” or top “fact”. This is prime real estate so make it count!

Don’t: Giant poster board or obnoxious signs leaning on your car.

Bonus Don’t: Banners, flags, stuffed animals etc: Don’t! Save that stuff for your garage.

Do: Consider first impressions: Not every car is a trailer queen, but every car can make a great first impression. What is your car saying?

Don’t: forget to periodically dust off your car during the show. Remember, not everyone was able to see it an hour ago.

DO: Be available. Look, we’re not saying sit by your car all day, but your cars chances of a possible feature improve greatly if we have the opportunity to speak with you.

Don’t: Spend all day sitting behind your car or under a tent with a large group of club members. Get up, mingle and talk with those who care enough to take a longer look at your ride.

DO: Check out your surroundings. Is there trash, leaves, debris on the ground around your car? Pick it up.

Bonus Do: If at all possible, park your car on the end of a row.

Secret Do: Discretely pull your car up a foot after other cars around you have parked. Subtle, but effective.

Do: drop the top if you can.

Don’t: Forget to straighten you steering wheel.

Do: Remember that shows are supposed to be fun.

Copyright © 2020 JP Emerson All Rights Reserved.


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