Shooting guide

How to get the best shots

  1. Firstly, we are not professional photographers so we do not profess in any way that the following is the only way that you should try to shoot your bimmer.
  2. However, after preparing hundreds of feature articles and other short stories during the magazine’s life, we have come across many different styles of photography – all of which are great but some of which lend themselves, better than others, to the format of story we like to put together.
  3. With that being said, we would be chuffed if when shooting your bimmer for submission to the magazine, you (or your photographer) could be mindful of the following:
    • Quantity: we can’t emphasise this enough: the more the merrier! We use dropbox and have plenty of storage space, so please do not hesitate to take many photos!
    • Largest resolution photos: our feature stories normally take a 10-page format, with 5 double-page spreads. What this means is:
      • we need at least 5 images (but note above – preferably many more) which are capable of being used as background shots which occupy the entirety of the double-page, with smaller overlay pics on top.
      • at a minimum, the resolution must be 3000 x 3000 pix @300dpi (generally speaking these settings produce file sizes of 10MB and upwards);
      • raw files are preferred however you can supply JPEG, PNG or similar formats to us;
      • no editing of the files is required as we have our own graphic artists who will do that job for you;
      • you will need a good DSLR for the shoot, at least for the large size photos (subject to what we say below about overlay);
      • orientation of subject: some of the larger photos are used for both the ‘poster shot’ at the end of the feature as well as the opening pages of the story – whilst the normal desire will be to have the subject centred, for the purposes of our layout it is generally preferable for the subject not to be centred and to be towards one of the corners of the frame : this allows us to play with the formatting and particularly where overlay shots are concerned, allows the concentration on the page to still remain with the main background shot, whilst we can place other smaller, interest photos into the rest of the double-page spread and make the presentation more visually appealing;
      • make sure that either the car is moved, or the photographer moves around the car, to ensure there are a good number of pictures from multiple angles – we have found that a lot of the time we get a heap of awesome photos, but all taken from the front 3/4 or similar which means that each photo looks the same: use all 4 corners of the car;
      • please provide a good mix of both large-sized centred, and non-centred, photographs!
    • Inset and overlay photos: for the smaller, interest photos please take note of the following:
      • given their smaller size on the page, these photos can be taken with iPhone, Android cameras provided the resolution is set to maximum and/or HDR photos are supplied;
      • again, the more the merrier in terms of numbers of photos to supply;
      • these smaller photos should concentrate on details – badges, instruments, gauges, seats/interior, steering wheel, wheels/calipers, unique/different features of the car: provide as many different shots of as many different features of the car as you wish – and again, from as many different angles as possible;
      • again, use the 4-corner theory but on a smaller scale – different angles of the interior, engine bay, wheels, instruments, ICE etc are all highly desirable;
      • feel free to zoom and/or block the smaller photographs so that they don’t necessarily show the entirety of the subject (for example, only part of the spokes of a wheel and the centre cap) – this adds interest and curiosity
    • Background to shoots: we are often asked what makes the best backdrop for shoots – this is entirely a subjective matter and we won’t begin to attempt to provide an exhaustive list of the perfect location for a shoot. However, based on our experience we can suggest the following:
      • previous stories have had backdrops ranging from airport hangars/aeroplanes to train yards and the Nurburgring;
      • what was common to most of our feature stories is that the background complemented, but did not detract from, the subject matter (ie. your bimmer!) – so try to find a location which provides some interest but which will not overpower the car;
      • the focus (literally and figuratively) should still be on the bimmer so perhaps avoid well-known or historic landmarks which may have more interest for the reader than your ride!
    • Time of day: as you may have already seen, we have featured stories from dawn, daytime, dusk to the middle of the night – obviously each brings with it different considerations but your photographer should be able to maximise the light/lighting available for any time of the day you wish to shoot:
      • Needless to say, daylight brings with it maximum clarity, but dawn/dusk or other earlier or later times of the day bring with them different lighting and, almost instantly, a different mood to the shoot. Think about the kind of expression you would like to give your bimmer by combining a good background with a particular time of day;
      • the color of your vehicle can also dictate the best time of day for a shoot – a black car, for example, might look better in twilight or even nighttime to convey a menacing, evil tone for the shoot;
      • try not to mix daylight and nighttime shoots – this can sometimes lead to a confusing journey for a reader and it certainly makes our job of stitching the various shots together into a story which is consistent and flows and reads well.

Hopefully those thoughts should give you plenty of information to stage your shoot – again, we want to emphasise the intention is not at all to limit artistic creativity. We want you and your photographer to go crazy in terms of the shoot you want to make – but please try to bear in mind the specific suggestions we make above so that we can make the most out of your bimmer’s story!

~ The editing team