Marsha Ingrao – Tips on Photographing at Car Shows

Prescott, Arizona.

A few weeks ago, I met Marsha Ingrao via her online blog and found some pretty interesting information on photography and classic cars (among other topics.) Marsha is a regular contributor to photo challenges. As a retired educator, she continues to share her expertise with bloggers on her site, Marsha Ingrao – Always Write.

I usually post my Lens-Artists Photo Challenge responses on Thursday, however since I am hosting the challenge this week, I have already posted this week’s challenge on its opening day, July 3. I thought today would be a great time to share some tips on processing car show photos for those who are into classic cars. Cropping vehicles that are surrounded by other vehicles or extraneous background objects is one of the banes of photographers who attend car shows. Marsha’s tips on cropping and eliminating unwanted backgrounds are actually worthwhile for many subjects, not just automobiles.

Without further introduction, I present Marsha Ingrao and her take on car photo techniques with an eye for posting them for photo challenges.

#BrightSquare: Four Tips to Take and Create Better Car Show Photos

#Prescott Car Show #7 Mostly Orange

Today is mishmash day in this series of car show photos. I will also address techniques I’ve learned for taking more professional looking car show photos – or sometimes in my case – what not to do.

Look don’t touch

It’s always a good idea to take CLEAR pictures of the identification cards or record shots. In this case, I was just browsing not photographing a car show professionally. They had attached the card by placing it under the windshield wiper. Since the owner was not present, I couldn’t touch the car to get a better view. If you get too close, you could scratch it with your coat zipper or an extra camera. Vince estimated that it was a late 1930s Plymouth.

continue reading her post from her site here>

When you finish, be sure to look around Marsha’s blog for tips on blogging, interviews with other bloggers, and her Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenges.

John Steiner



  1. Hi John and Marsha. Fascinating photo tips and great shots of the cars. The paint job on the lead photo brings to mind a scene from an old movie. In order to escape some bad guys, they drive a car through a paint conveyer that is like a drive- through car wash. Alan Arkin’s character exclaims ‘Flames$! My car has flames!” when the car exits. Maybe it was The Inlaws. Amazing what trivia our brains store and how little it takes to bring them forth after a couple decades. Anyway. I really enjoyed this post. Best. Babsje

    • As a “classic car nut”, I found Marsha’s post quite useful and it was a great time for me to share it with the photographers in my audience.
      Thanks again to Marsha for allowing me to share it here.

  2. Ah, a post that really speaks to me. Of the 4,000+ photos on my iPhone, at least 70% are of automobiles.

    I have always respected the space around the vehicle, but usually manage to take a picture of the “car card” primarily because I might forget the year/make/model and where/when I saw the car.

    • I find I do the same thing. At an auction like Barrett-Jackson, I often leave the vehicle window sticker that shows the docket number. I can then go to the docket list on their website and look up all the details about the vehicle including the sale price, if sold.

  3. It’s a challenge to get what I consider a good shot at a car show, at least if you want to capture the whole car. Usually they cars are parked close together you can’t totally isolate the one car. And of course there’s often a person or some unwanted object in the frame. Guess that’s how I end up with so many detail shots, they just seem that much easier to capture.

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