5 Vehicle Pictures Every VDP Should Have

Whether you’re new to vehicle photography or shoot different makes and models daily, one thing is certain — imagery can make or break a sale. 

Luckily there are a few proven strategies that get viewers to spend more time looking at your vehicles. Read on to find the best shots for car photography and more tips on how to generate interest for your next online listing. 

Turning a Profit With Vehicle Photography

Your vehicle images set the first impression of your vehicle and you when online shoppers land on your VDP. They’re also the difference between breaking even and making hundreds more than you paid in profit. You can either make prospects click the contact button or close the tab. It all comes down to how good your vehicle photography is. 

Top 5 Vehicle Images for VDPs

You don’t need 35+ photos on your vehicle detail pages to influence a buyer. Our research shows that 10-20 photos of a vehicle will satisfy 52% of car shoppers before they make a decision. That goes for new and used vehicles, too.

Here are the top vehicle images buyers indicated as being most important to their decision-making:

Hero Image

The hero image features an exterior view of the entire vehicle shot from the passenger’s side. It showcases the vehicle as if the buyer was looking at it on the lot. Be sure not to cut off the front, back, top, or bottom of the car when framing the image. 


Cockpit Image

The cockpit image features the interior view of the dashboard and center console shot from the middle seat or behind the driver's seat. It helps to position the camera as if you are shooting over an imaginary driver's shoulder.


Rear Exterior Image

The rear exterior image features the view of the entire vehicle from the back and driver’s side. It helps to shoot from the back left corner of the vehicle on the driver's side. 


Front Passenger Image

The front passenger image features the interior and exterior view of a vehicle’s passenger seat with the driver’s seat and console in the background. It is typically an open-door shot from outside the passenger’s side looking in. Think of it as a side-view shot of the entire cockpit from the passenger’s side. 


Rear Interior Image

The rear interior image features a vehicle's back seat and trunk area. It is typically an open-door shot from outside the passenger's side looking in.


Using Photos of High-Value Features

Keeping the best photos can gauge interest. Following suit with other high-value features drives engagement. Close-up shots of critical components, such as the dashboard, upholstery, tires, and truck or bed space, can also be impactful. If you want to go the extra mile and offer a virtual test drive, 360-degree views or interactive video tours can provide potential buyers with a comprehensive and interactive experience.

Post Pictures Everywhere People Shop Online


After you’ve taken a solid but not overwhelming amount of high-quality vehicle photos, the next step is to post them in as many places as possible. Add them to your VDPs and third-party listing sites like Facebook, Craigslist, AutoTrader, Cars.com, CarGurus, Edmunds, TrueCar, and more.

Of course, doing that manually can be a burden. But that’s where car dealership photo software options like SmartListing™ and Inventory Feeds come in handy. These tools automatically push your listings and ads to hundreds of third-party sites and auctions. The more places you showcase your vehicle imagery, the more views you get. The more views you get, the higher the likelihood of landing a sale. 

On-Demand Vehicle Photography Services


If you’re looking to make your vehicle photos work like digital sales reps, outsourcing your photography offers high-quality, branded images for less time and money than in-house or freelance photographers. 

Our dealership photography services feature unlimited vehicle photo shoots and take care of everything from staging to shooting to editing. On average, it only takes around three minutes flat per vehicle, and images are available immediately after a shoot. We can shoot your vehicles whenever you need, including tomorrow.

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