5 TIPS for Car Photographers GETTING PAID work for CAR DEALERSHIPS


hey guys how's it going my name is Alex

and this is the car creative today's

gonna be maybe like a bit more of a life

a date day in the life kind of thing I'm

going to South Pointe I'm gonna pick up

a car that they need me to shoot I'm not

really sure which one it's gonna be so I

just figured I'd take you guys along

show you a bit of my process so stick

around guys I've got my gear here I'm

just gonna pack all this up into the

truck and get yellow hands down one of

my favorite features of the new Toyota

Tacoma is that you can start it from

your watch a lot of people ask me what I

did to actually start getting paid work

with dealerships I mean it's obviously a

natural progression for car

photographers to want to work with car

dealerships because they've got cars and

we like to shoot cars so it's a pretty

national partnership but why do they

want to pay you to do work for them

that's the real question so in this

video I think I'll walk you guys through

kind of four or five steps about how I

did that process and the first one is

just create a really strong portfolio

the benchmark should be people that are

already getting paid to do that work I

started by shooting my Honda Civic my

2006 wasn't a good looking car but I

bought a CPL filter and I had to learn

how to use it so I could confidently go

in and say hey I know what I'm doing and

then I moved up into you know we bought

my wife a Nissan Rogue again not a

pretty card so to speak but it helped me

learn how to use my camera and in turn

learned a lot about Lightroom learned a

lot about Photoshop so that when I came

in to get a paid job I knew exactly what

I was doing and was confident with what

I was doing so that's step one I'm gonna

head into this meeting and then we'll

get into step two

alright guys we are cleaned up we are

gassed up and we're on our way to our

first location the reality is when

you're working with any dealerships you

kind of always have to go with the flow

because sometimes they don't know what's

going on sometimes it changed their mind

sometimes they're busy as heck and

sometimes I'm gonna work with you and I

think that's just a reality of what

we're dealing with here it's not really

one of the tips so the second tip would

be once you've got your portfolio and

you've started making work that you're

proud of and feel like you can kind of

sell that's when you go and you start

telling people that you are a car

photographer and what will start to

happen is hopefully when you're at your

parties or shindigs get-togethers with

people and be like oh cool I've got a an

Audi do you want to shoot that or I've

got to be in

to shoot that and you say yep get your

portfolio built up now the cool thing

about this is this got me my first

supercar shoot essentially I was one

point of contact away from the McLaren's

they said oh hey like I could reach out

to a guy who wants a McLaren and you

could shoot that so that was my first

time shooting a supercar and it was just

because of word of mouth so you just got

to start getting that out there another

guy I knew he was like oh that's really

cool like suit like show me some of your

photos show them some of the photos

because I had a portfolio and he's like

you know what I know a GM of a

dealership I'll go talk to him I mean

this guy went out of his way of course

to make sure that I had an opportunity

but he went out of his way talk to the

general manager of a dealership which

just so happens to be self portait ona

word of mouth is so important just tell

people because you don't know who's

gonna own a cool car or who less

contacts with someone you might just be

one point of contact away from a really

cool opportunity


finally mated to our spot here I've been

eyeing this location for a little while

it's Hotel Marriott my wife and I have

been here a couple times really like it

I saw this wall and I was like oh I got

to come back here and shoot sometimes I

think the CHR is the perfect car for

this location it's like one of those

like City Runner cars you know pretty

unique has a lot of detail in this car

yeah unique is the best way to describe

this particular vehicle let me know what

you guys think of the 2020 CHR down

below is it a car that your luck into or

something you're like yeah not for me

that's alright

so the third tip guys is start calling

dealerships start phoning them do some


and you just kind of gotta get a feel

for what's going on in there but do your

research guys make sure you check their

Facebook check their Instagram check

their YouTube figure out what they're

already doing and then figure out how

you can help

not every dealership is the same they're

not all the same cookie cutter they got

different managers they've got different

people working there I've been very very

fortunate to work with South Pointe to

have everyone that works there is

incredibly kind even though it could be

hectic and hard to get a car out

sometimes still they're amazing to work

with and I know that it's not the same

case everywhere unfortunately so the

first dealership I ever walked into

believe it or not was Ferrari about

Berta but what was I thinking I mean I

checked out their Instagram checked out

their Facebook checked out their YouTube

in it like compared to like the quality

of the brand their branding was not that


I'm gonna walk in there like I was

shaking i sat in front with my Honda

Civic like just so nervous walked in

pass for the general manager and they're

like um here's his business card and I

was like okay thanks and I like zipped

out of there but what that did for me

was that the next time that I had a

meeting with any of the general managers

or any sales associates or whatever I

just had like a little bit more

confidence I kind of like broke that

barrier of like being afraid of talking

to them so you just kind of got to do it

and push through and then you'll kind of

slowly get better at it so that's step

three just kind of engage with

dealerships start making those phone

calls it's gonna be hard you're probably

gonna get a little bit embarrassed

they're definitely gonna say no but then

you just keep going until you find the

right ones and want to work with you and

like your work just go if I'm dropping

the chr back off at South Point Toyota

so guys this point I'm gonna make right

here is probably one of the most

important points that you're gonna hear

when it comes to working with car

dealerships it's not about what you can

get as a car photographer it's about

what the car dealership needs to market

their dealership so it's really

important I think a lot of us myself

included going to dealerships saying I

want content what can I which car can I

take I want to take this one this one

this one and I'll get super dope photos

for you that's it but the reality is

these guys are a business the only

reason they actually need you is to make

them money so if you're taking cool

photos sweet but you're not really

making them any money so they don't need

us guys Southpoint - and for example

Toyota Canada sends them high quality

photos all the time so what you need to

do is when you get the call you need to

have like a really really good plan be

like okay I'll come in and do this thing

that you need is a dealership and what I

did they actually called me because I

did some drone videography for them

they've got a really cool tower here at

South ports they wanted to do some drone

stuff but what I did was I went in and

I'm like hey I do drone stuff for sure

I'll do that for you here's my rates but

I can also do this and

some of the ideas I have to like help

you brandy or dealership better so

they're like okay we're listening what's

up so then I shot a rav4 for them you

gotta make sure that whatever you put

out for them is high high high quality

that then they won't be able to not ask

you back that's the goal right so make

sure that once you get in the door have

ideas diversify your skill set because

then drones photos videos whatever you

can do to actually get them to call you

back and just before we end here guys

I'm gonna give you one last bonus tip so

once you do get that job you kill it you

give them a great product whatever learn

how to take the content that you're

creating for them and teach them how to

put it on the web some of them will have

internet managers people that know how

to do this stuff but if they don't give

some suggestions on a maybe you can post

this video to Instagram and boost it for

100 bucks you get a lot more engagement

that that way instead of just giving

them the content and they're like thanks

they post it to their Instagram with 200

followers and it gets 10 likes and

they're like well that was a waste of

money so you need to make sure that you

actually have a plan for them as well I

think that will benefit you for them

moving forward so that they can actually

do something practical with that content

and see maybe lead generation or get

more people liking or following their

Instagram or Facebook pages whatever it

may be so that's the struggle I ran into

is that I was creating really good

quality content but they didn't really

have the follower base so learn how to

strategize with them and create actual

marketing campaigns and I think that'll

get you a little farther than just

creating cool car content that's it for

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but that it's useful for you so thanks

guys and we will see you in the next one