The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Taking Motorcycle Pictures

In our world a picture is not worth a thousands words. It’s worth a million. Seeing is believing, and in today’s skeptical society, others will not simply take your word if you tell them how amazing your motorcycle looks. They need to see some evidence. The best part is that you don’t need to go out of your way and buy a $1000 camera to get your perfect shot. We’re going to give you some tips and tricks that will help you take amazing photos, using only our smartphone and a little bit of experimentation.

Make Your Bike Look Nice

This may go without saying, but please make sure your bike is clean! If you want everyone to see just how cool your bike is, make sure they can see the paint job. It may be a little different if you’re showing off the road dust after a weekend road trip. Even then, you need to put some serious work into making sure the gritty feeling you’re going for isn’t lost in poor framing and too much dust.

A simple deep clean using the methods we cover in The Guide For Washing your Motorcycle will help make sure your bike is always ready for a photo shoot.


The worst part about most of the pictures you’re going to see is framing. There are plenty of pictures that look like they’ve been shot from half a mile away or include way too much empty space! You want the focus of the photo to be of your bike. Remember, the reason you’re taking a picture in the first place is to show off how stunning your bike is.

The first step to taking a great picture is lining up some nice angles with your bike. Notice in this picture how we’re looking at the bike’s right side and slightly turned to face past the camera? This is adding depth to the picture, giving the observer the feeling that the bike is close enough to ride!

Have a Nice Background

Have you ever been trying to take a nice picture with your friends or a significant other, and someone decides to photobomb your nice moment? Think of every person and thing in your photo as a distraction that will pull attention away from your motorcycle. Have a nice and even background, and make sure the area around you is clean. Try to avoid the trash cans and other vehicles that may be in the shot. You want people looking at your bike, not the car or tools in your garage. Treat this session like a real photo shoot where you’re in charge. If attention is drawn away from your bike by something random in the picture, you should remove the distraction and try again. These are some of the first steps to creating your photographic masterpiece.

We recommend going to your local park where there’s open and even space for your backdrop. If they have a large parking lot you can angle the picture down, like in the photo to the right. Or use a nice rolling hill to show off a sense of the outdoors.

When to Shoot

Unless you plan on bringing a bunch of lamps to your photo shoot, shooting after full dark is probably a bad idea. Make sure your light is good. Shooting around noontime is not a great idea, because the light is usually too harsh for most cameras to get a great picture. The morning time or late afternoon is best for your budget photo shoot. You get a warmer feel to your pictures, and the color is much more saturated.

Tinker With Your Camera and Try Something Different

In case you didn’t know, smartphones are pretty great. Plus, they’ll only get better! Android and Apple smartphones both take great pictures, but sometimes that’s not enough. There are so many options with the camera apps that allow you to capture something unique. Experimentation is key. Does it feel like the picture is flat? Get a few feet higher in the air, and take the picture at a slight angle. Think that the color is off? Play with the saturation options, or change your light exposure point by clicking on a different part of the screen. Every picture is unique. Keep in mind that no picture will look the exact same as the last.

If you’re using these pictures to sell your Harley®, our great guide 7 Useful Tips to Sell Your Harley-Davidson® Motorcycle to help get the most out of selling your motorcycle! Ready to put your bike on the market today? Great! Check out ChopperExchange and sell your Harley®.

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