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How To Get Your Car In Car Craft

By , Photography by Car Craft Readers

How To Never Be In Car Craft
• "My graphics have 20 colors, and I saw you shoot that car with stock paint." Craft your car any way you want to, but far-out cosmetics or dated mods are risky. The most common violations: stink-bug stance, tires hanging out too far, tasteless graphics, gold plating, gauges all over the cowl, and the wrong wheels.

• "I owe it to my sponsors." But we don't. Use our name in vain when scoring graft (as many do) and you virtually guarantee your exclusion from our pages.

• "You need to expand your boundaries" This usually means you want us to put your front-wheel-drive car in the magazine. Forget it. We don't do imports or street rods, either.

• "You have to put me on the cover." No, we don't.

• "The car is dedicated to the memory of my (fill in the blank)." Many readers try to pity us into a photo shoot with tales of ill or deceased relatives that the car was built for. We feel awful about it, but personal tragedy doesn't guarantee you a spot in Car Craft.

• "But I spent $250,000 on the restoration!" That's good enough reason for us not to shoot it.

• "My car is much better than that piece of dog doo you showed last month." Arrogant criticism rarely induces favorable response from CC staffers.

• "I drove three days to get here expecting a photo shoot, so you better do it." Don't threaten us or you'll have a disappointing three-day drive home.

• "I have to trailer it to the photo shoot." If you can't or won't even drive the car, no thanks.

• Shoot with any camera except digital or Polaroid. Even throw-away cameras will usually work fine.

• Clueless as to what film to use? You can't go wrong with ASA 200 or 400 for color prints.

• Take photos of your car with the sun to your back so the car is fully lit, but don't get your own shadow in the photo.

• Cars usually look best shot from low angles, so kneel down.

• Avoid ugly junk in the background, like other cars, trees, and phone polls.

• Make sure the entire car is in the photo, but don't stand so far away that it looks like a speck in the distance.

• We really don't need to see your girlfriend in a bikini-or your boyfriend (not that we have any phobias or anything).

• We're not too interested in seeing family pets with sunglasses, stuffed animals, "crybabies," placards, or lots of trophies in the photos.

• Shoot the engine and a few other details while you're there-Car Craft is the only mag we know of that will use them. Engines are best photographed in open shade (no harsh sun or shadows) with a bit of flash.

• We don't usually use shots of more than one car.

• Turn off the camera's date-imprint thingy.

• Shoot the car with the doors and hood closed.

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