How I shot a Mini Cooper S without a studio

I meant to write this post earlier but never found the time to do so. But better late than never. In January, I got asked by a news magazine to photograph the Mini Cooper SD edition 2015. The assignment was to shoot this new model in a garage full of classic cars. Fair enough.

Now, shooting cars is something I hadn't done before.. By curiosity and as of a personal challenge, I couldn't resist the temptation to go the extra mile and try to produce a commercial studio shot of the car. To do so, you usually need absolutely massive studios with gigantic softboxes. Something I would definitely not have at my disposition.

How can I tackle this situation? I was in a garage with all the bells and whistles you usually find in such place. Way to distracting. I had one strobe plus a 80cm softbox with me. 

First thing I did was to dial my camera exposure settings down to kill the ambiant light. Doing so would also help me avoid any unwanted reflections. Next, because I didn't have a softbox big enough, I used my strobe to "light paint" the Mini Cooper S. Basically, using a wireless shutter release, I remotely triggered the camera multiples times, lighting different parts / features of the car for each shot. 

The rest is pretty straight forward as long as you know your way in Photoshop. It was just a matter of opening all the photos as layers and composite them together to get the result you see below.