How to Photograph Cars and Build Your Own Ceiling Rig

Professional Car Photography using studio lighting rig: In the past, I rented larger spaces and hacked together large modifiers to successfully capture car photographs.

Now I’m operating from a larger studio, fitting a proper floating panel for car photography (and other shoots) has been on my wishlist for a few years.

Should we go with a purpose-made system (such as Bacht) or could the team and I build our own lighting rig?

We opted for the latter… and with some expert local help, we set to work on designing and building our own car photography lighting rig.

Rather than using a large scrim with lighting from above, I opted for a white reflective panel. It’s easier to control lots of light from ground level for large car photography projects like this.

PLUS… Find out if the investment was worthwhile when tested on a recent commercial car shoot!


  1. Karl, I have been enjoying your classes immensely as they have given me precious tools I can work with all the time.

    On this particular subject of ceiling rig, you mentioned the use of a white reflective panel. Would you mind sharing the actual material you chose for this?

    Many thanks!


    1. Hi Patrice, thank you for your comments. Yes of course it is called Forex it is relatively lightweight plastic sheet but it was slightly too shiny so we had to sand it with electric sanders and then paint it white with Matt Emulsion. It seems similar to another product called Foamex which I’m sure if sanded and painted would be the same.

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