As a frequent car buyer, you’ve astutely noticed the subpar quality of dealership photos when browsing online. It’s indeed surprising, and there are several reasons behind this phenomenon:

1. Lack of Attention to Detail:

Some dealership personnel may not prioritize photography as a crucial aspect of their online presence. They might rush through the process, resulting in poorly composed or unflattering images.

2. Resource Constraints:

Smaller dealerships, especially those without mandatory photo guidelines, might lack dedicated resources for professional photography. In such cases, they might rely on quick snapshots taken by salespeople or even use smartphone cameras.

3. Misguided Priorities:

Dealerships may focus more on other aspects of their business, such as sales, service, or customer interactions. Photography might take a back seat, leading to hasty and inadequate shots.

4. Underestimating the Impact:

Some dealerships underestimate the impact of high-quality photos on potential buyers. However, just like online dating profiles, first impressions matter. Buyers want to see clear, detailed images of the actual cars they’re considering.

5. Online vs. In-Person Experience:

Dealerships need to recognize that online car shopping is akin to online dating. Buyers form expectations based on the photos they see. If the actual vehicle doesn’t match those expectations, it can lead to disappointment.

Improving dealership photography is essential for attracting more leads and enhancing the customer experience.

Here are some tips to elevate your inventory photos:

  1. Hire a Professional:
    Consider hiring a full-time professional photographer or a part-time contractor. Someone with expertise can capture your cars in the best light, emphasizing their features.
  2. Moderate Editing:
    A touch of editing can enhance photos. Crop appropriately, adjust contrast (without altering the car color), and subtly add your dealership logo for branding.
  3. Optimal Lighting:
    Shoot in areas with good natural light. Avoid direct sunlight or dark shade. The sun should be behind you to minimize unattractive shadows.
  4. Neutral Backgrounds:
    Choose backgrounds that don’t distract from the car. Neutral settings allow the vehicle to take center stage.


Quality photos convey credibility and encourage potential buyers to explore your inventory further. Just as you wouldn’t want misleading online dating photos, your dealership photography should represent the cars accurately and attractively.

Gray truck in a 360Booth with Al Hendrickson branding