You've got your first press car. Next you need to organise some fancy photos to go with your carefully crafted words. But where should you go?
I've been inundated with literally no requests for help. Not that this has stopped me from creating a ‘cut-out-and-keep’ guide to the best photo opportunities for your press car.
It's ten years since I started pretending I knew what I was doing. During this time, I've developed a knowledge of the ins and outs of amateur car photography. The best advice would be to leave it to the professionals. But when you're on your hols or up against a tight deadline, some DIY photography might be required.
Which is where this latest 10 of the best guide comes in. If you're short of inspiration or lacking creativity, these are the best (read: clichéd) photo opportunities for your press car.
Every summer, the automotive press offices of Britain are inundated with requests from motoring journalists looking for a car to take to Cornwall. Roof rack for the surfboards, please. A tow bar for the bike rack would be nice, ta. Something with a premium badge to impress the posh set in Rock. Got to to write 300 words for the local lifestyle glossy, you see.
In August, the car parks of Cornwall are dominated by three vehicles: Volkswagen vans, new Land Rovers on PCP, and press cars. Other locations which don't involve a torturous and tormenting drive along the A30 and A303 are available.
Sweden invented Ikea for motoring writers. It's where you go to demonstrate the luggage capacity of an estate car or crossover. It's the point of reference when you reach the ‘practicality’ section of a new car review. Honestly, have you even tested the spaciousness of an SUV if you haven't been to a ‘well-known Swedish furniture store’. A reference to meatballs would be a bonus.
On a ferry
It doesn't matter where you're travelling to or for what purpose, the ferry photo is an essential part of crossing any stretch of water. Whether it's Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome, the car on the ferry is a beautiful photo. A shot of the car parked in the queue also works, but make sure the ferry is in view, otherwise it could be a photo of a tip, where everyone is dumping their roof boxes and caravans.
At the tip
Speaking of the tip, the car at the recycling centre is another photo loved by motoring writers. All you need is a couple of sacks of garden rubbish or the old kitchen you've been meaning to rip out. Practicality photo sorted. It also shows that you do more at weekends than scrolling through the pages of eBay looking for new cars.
With bikes on the roof
Nothing says you're a motoring writer with an active lifestyle quite like sticking a pair of bikes on the roof. They'd probably go in the boot, but the roof shot looks more lifestyle-y. This one's not recommended if you're photographing a Renault Wind.
At the car wash
You could clean it yourself, but watching somebody else do it is an opportunity to grab a photo. Don't forget to tag the press office when you post the photo.
Have you even been to France if you haven't taken a photo of your car at the old Reims circuit? Best suited to cars with some degree of motorsport heritage, so the nearest Carrefour might be a more suitable location for the Hyundai i20 you happen to be testing.
Ah yes, the old ‘just picked up the Christmas tree’ photo. Not sure this one says much about the car, other than highlighting the length of the roof. Quite a seasonal opportunity, but you could probably take the dead tree to the recycling centre in January. The tree is the gift that keeps on giving.
It's obligatory. As soon as you've boarded the train, you need to take a photo of your car, uploading it to Instagram before you reach France. This photo is ideal if you're driving to the continent. If not, it's a needlessly expensive image.
At a charging point
This one is likely to become the new ‘at the petrol station’ shot. All too frequently, the charging point photo is accompanied by a grumpy message on social media. Maybe the charging point isn't working. Or perhaps it's operator error. Whatever, this photo isn't recommended if you're driving a diesel.
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- David Bellamy's number is up: PetrolBlog salutes a legend
- The perils of being an amateur car photographer
All images © iStock, except Reims © Jaguar