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Parked Photography

What is Parked Photography?

Parked Photography is a car photography genre that captures the soul of a car in its natural habitat: parked, waiting, stored, forgotten, honored, remembered, or abandoned.

Parked Photography is a genre in the same way that street photography is a genre.

Genre Name History

Parked Photography is a very specific approach to car photography. Many people have practiced this style for decades, yet it never had a name to reference it.

The specific idea to use the phrase "Parked Photography" as a genre for car photography began in December 16, 2020, by James Wilder.

Parked Photography Examples

As stated in the Parked Photography definition, the only rule is the car is parked. Of course we can easily break the rule if needed.

Below are a few examples from James Wilder (this website).

Parked Photography Today

Parked Photography has several examples mainly on Instagram. These examples are usually tied to a geographic location, such as San Francisco.

Parked in San Francisco

Parked in San Francisco (IG: parkedinsf) appears to be one of the first social media accounts to focus almost exclusively on parked cars.

The first post is dated February, 25, 2013.

Parked in San Francisco

Here are a few IG accounts that focus on parked photography.

Origins of Style

Photographing parked cars is nothing new. However, if a parked car is the primary subject of the photograph, and the composition is approached as art, then it becomes a style.

The history of Parked Photography is just now being researched, but here is one example that serves as a starting point.

Ray K Metzker


Ray K. Metzker (September 10, 1931 – October 9, 2014) was an American photographer known chiefly for his bold, experimental B&W cityscapes.

He clearly had an affinity for parked photography as you see on these photos taken between 1958 and 1965: Metzker-1

A book of his automobile photography titled "Automagic" was published in 2009. Only 50 copies were printed.

Metzker was born in Milwaukee and lived in Philadelphia from the 1960s until his death. He was married to the photographer Ruth Thorne-Thomsen.

After graduate studies at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Metzker travelled extensively throughout Europe in 1960-61, where he had two epiphanies: that "light" would be his primary subject, and that he would seek synthesis and complexity over simplicity. Metzker often said the artist begins his explorations by embracing what he doesn't know.


Check out the latest blog posts on Parked Photography.

If you are interested in learning the basics of car photography you can check out this car photography ebook for a quick start.