calibre photos at cost-effective pricing
Tim Salix is an Auckland based commercial photographer with 12 years of experience. He has taken up vehicle photography after seeing a gap in the market for quality images at economical prices. As an expert in product photography, he understands why photos on Trademe and websites are a cacophony. With curved and straight highly reflective painted surfaces vehicles are difficult to photograph – especially darker colours and metallic paint finishes. Thrown into the mix are chrome, glass, leather and different textured plastics. All interacting with light in different ways. Being a product photographer who has clients desiring that even their $50 items look perfect online, Tim has the same mission for the horseless carriage.
RESEARCH ONLINE – BUY OFFLINE. Selling second-hand vehicles is competitive, a search on Trademe reveals a plethora of options. What ensures that your vehicles get noticed and short-listed onto peoples’ watch-lists? Who are then motivated to visit your showroom to get placed in front of your sales team? Calibre photography will definitely get your vehicles distinguished and are an inference to professionalism about your operation. As a business owner you know what your capital cost tied up in stock is and the monthly cost of carrying vehicles that are sitting in the yard. The trade-off for you is getting staff or unskilled photographers to take photos versus engaging the services of a dedicated specialist who has the studio lighting equipment and techniques to photograph the higher value assets in your portfolio.
EXECUTIVE PACKAGE includes up to 20 photos of the following –
IMAGES EXTERNAL (7 photos): (1) 3/4 view (LHS/Front), (2) 3/4 view (RHS/Back) <or vice-a-versa> (3) Front, (4) Back, (5) Side, (6) Wheel (close-up), (7) Engine. IMAGES INTERNAL (9 photos): (8) side of front seats/dashboard (drivers side – angle view), (9a) side of front seats/dashboard (passenger side – angle view) OR (9b) just front seats passenger/driver (passenger side – angle view), (10) back seats (angle view), (11) dashboard (straight on view), (12a) boot/cargo-hold OR (12b) cargo-hold with seats down – as an optional extra (only applicable for station-wagon, SUV and people-mover/minivan) and close-up of the following: (13) instrument dials, (14) steering wheel/controls, (15) driver’s inside door (showing window controls etc), (16) central consul/gear-selector + 4 other close-up photos (internal or external): applicable if vehicle has sort-after extra features/accessories and the specific detail needs highlighting as it is not obvious in the above-listed photos. (TOTAL 20) A video presentation of the still images is an optional extra. All photos © Tim Salix.
EXECUTIVE+PACKAGE is all of above, plus options to group together related items into a single photo (i.e all airbags, stereo + speakers, the different display screen functions etc) enabling the showing of more features and with an optional extra of graphics/text, but staying within Trademe’s 20 photo limit. The packages listed above are suitable for (or can be modified to) any type of car, people-mover, SUV or 4×4 dual-cab. Different photos will be tailored for a pick-up truck, Ute, van, commercial truck, trailer, bus, camper-van, motor-home, machinery, motorbike or boat etc.
RESEARCH ONLINE – BOOK ONLINE. If you hire out vehicles such as people-movers or camper-vans/motor-homes the best practice is to have images of your own stock, as opposed to the generic manufacturer supplied photos commonly showing vehicles as left-hand drive and interior views that are simply drawn up floor-plans. Essentially the majority of your prospective clients reside overseas and there is often a desire to make a booking straight after finishing comparisons between different providers. And as they inhabit a different time zone some people are not willing to wait for a delayed email response to their specific questions about your particular vehicles. Having a standardised set of photos for each different class of vehicle/fit-out makes their decision-making process seamless.
super-size product photography
As Tim specialises in product photography all his skills in this area are directly applicable to vehicles. If a photographer is doing a photo shoot indoors they will be having to utilise the existing lighting that is present, which will be an irregular mix of different types of on-site electrical lighting and natural light. They will get variable results in the photos, in particular, colour variations can show up on paintwork. However, bringing in their own studio gear the problems of photographing large reflective objects have several issues too. Generally, the majority of photographers do not have enough power, even 1200 watt studio lights can be too weak. So in order to get the coverage, the equipment needs to be moved closer to the vehicle where it reflects onto the bodywork, which of course shows up in the images. Conventional softboxes leave ugly white hotspots on a vehicle’s paintwork and glass. With outdoor photography (putting aside the inconvenience of rain and in Auckland the frequency of) public enemy number one is sunlight. Closely followed by the surroundings and clouds reflecting back onto vehicles and appearing in the photos.
The difference Tim Salix makes is to have specialist studio equipment capable of photographing sizeable surface areas in large open spaces. Depending on specific client requirements and the location he may deploy up to 6 studio lights. Every photo shoot will have the side of each vehicle set-up with two 3000watt Swiss-made Elinchrom studio lights ideally positioned well away, firing back into silver-lined 2-metre wide reflectors. Facilitating an enormous and uniform wall of light to cover even the largest of vehicles. Three of the aforementioned reflectors can be installed to photograph buses or truck/trailers. And the front and rear of each vehicle will have another 2-metre wide reflector set-up to further assist in achieving consistent lighting. In addition, as an option and where space permits, there is enough power to bounce the above studio lights/reflectors off a 6×3-metre and several 3×3-metre white screens to make the lighting even softer to fully emphasise the paint. These screens can also be engaged to mitigate in blocking other sources of light and locational factors that are causing reflections.
Given the right environment you can have complete confidence that with all of his studio lighting equipment, set-up techniques and experience Tim Salix will successfully photograph any vehicle type and any size. He can supply imagery as high-end photos with the bodywork looking desirable and with the option to have uncluttered backgrounds. Vehicle interior photos are provided that are correctly exposed (not gloomy or blown-out) and the view looking out through windows can also have the option to have no distractions.