Motorcycles are what got me interested in photography. And, as a result, most of my photo library is pictures of bikes, both mine and those of other people. If you’re a petrolhead or interested in bikes, then you’ve probably had a picture of a really nice bike on your desktop wallpaper at some point, and having a quality snap of your pride and joy is even better. But taking good pictures isn’t easy, and for myself it took a lot of trial and error to get it right.
It is, however, every bit worth the effort.
I’ve already mentioned the personal joys of immortalising your prized possession. There are, of course, more sensible reasons to take really, really nice pictures of your two-wheeled transportation, and they all come down to money. If some idiot in a car fails to look before pulling out and your bike becomes so much scrap metal, insurers are going to be looking to pay out as little as possible. If you can demonstrate, with photographic evidence, that your bike was in much better condition than the average example, then you will be in a stronger bargaining position when it comes to your eventual payout. Believe me – it works.
It also works when it comes time to wave goodbye to your faithful steed, when you need to ensure that the sale thereof is capable of financing its replacement. Nothing puts a potential buyer in a skeptical state of mind before the’ve even come to look at your bike than some dingy cellphone photos of a damp, dirty bike on a grey day with your messy garage as the backdrop. And when they do arrive, they’ll worry about maintenance – about just how well it’s been looked after – because you clearly didn’t care about the bike.
On the other hand, if your well-written and spell-checked ad comes fully equipped with magazine-worthy prints of a gleaming, polished and fastidiously detailed motorcycle, they’ll most likely talk themselves into buying your bike over the competition before they’ve even thrown a leg over it. People’s minds are funny that way, but the confidence in the purchase that comes with knowing that the owner clearly cherished and looked after the bike will diminish the potential knock it might take for high mileage or the odd scratch and wear. More interested parties, all of whom would prefer to buy your bike than not mean you’ll get a better price, and probably won’t have to haggle so much to get it. Well-used and well-looked-after always wins over something that was left forgotten in the garage for months on end.
And when the happy new owner rides away on the bike, you’ll be left with some fantastic prints to immortalise the time you and your bike spent together.