Tips from Zimriders: Picture Perfect

Everyone loves to Zimride in style, which is why it’s important to show off your car on your profile.  We asked an amazingly talented Zimride driver, Matt L, to share his pro advice so you can get that perfect shot.

Matt L Photo Tips

Matt L offers up his photo tips for showcasing your car on Zimride.

I Zimride in a 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback that I’ve customized heavily, so I like to show off my hard work when I get a chance. Here are some tips on how to take fantastic photos of your car with minimal gear.

Tools of the Trade

  • Any camera (one that can do manual settings is best)
  • A tripod or something like a bag of rice to keep a camera steady
  • A nice, interesting background
  • Good light

Location, Location, Location

First park your car in a nice location and make sure the environment fits the car. For example, park an outdoorsy car in the wilderness or a sports car in a city environment.

The Golden Hour

The “Golden Hour” is the hour right after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. Try to take your photos at this time—it makes everything look magical.

Photo Tip: Subaru at night

Get Down Low

You can emphasize the awesomeness of your car by eliminating any distractions in the background. The easiest way to accomplish this is dropping down on a knee or lying on the ground.

Position yourself and your camera at about a 45 degree angle to the car or 90 degrees depending on the look that you want to achieve.

Manual Mode

Check if your camera has a manual mode “M”. When your camera is on manual mode, set the aperture (f/”something”) to around f/8. This will give you an in focus image from foreground to background. If you’re using a DSLR, then you’ll want to switch to f/11.

Adjust the shutter speed so that the part of the car facing you is properly exposed. You’ll also want to keep your ISO as low as possible to get the best image quality.

If you are using a simpler camera without manual features such as a phone, put the box (or tap the screen) on the part of the car closest to you until it is the proper brightness. You may want to use exposure compensation (+2 to -2) to adjust this if your camera offers this feature.

After you have your settings dialed in, hold steady and blast away!

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

Try different angles and position the car differently in the light. I like to place the car diagonal with the wheels pointing out towards the camera to make the car more engaging.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to experiment with some different techniques, take your car somewhere totally dark, leave your camera on a tripod, set your aperture to f/8 and your shutter speed to 30 seconds or as long as it will allow. After you snap your photo, but before the shutter closes, take a flashlight and “paint with light” on the car and around it. You’ll be surprised at the results.

Ask for Feedback

Share your awesome car photos with your friends and family and get their feedback. It’s important to practice!

Thanks for all the fantastic tips Matt! If you’re interested in checking out more of his work, please visit his Web site.

Got any shots of your car?  You can share them with us by emailing or Share with us on our Facebook page!

Happy Travels!

The Zimride Crew

Zimride driver tips – the $4,800 question

Zimride is all about helping drivers sell their empty seats to passengers who are heading the same way. The most popular question we receive is “How much do Zimride drivers make?” We thought the best person to ask would be a driver straight from the Zimride community. Meet Lauren V, a Zimride driver from UC Santa Cruz, who has made $4,800 since she first started sharing her rides!

So, how can you make nearly five-thousand dollars on Zimride in a year? To be honest, I just figured out the Zim-ropes as I went along! Follow the lessons that I’ve learned and hopefully you’ll come up with tips ten times better than these that can make you even more gas cash than I made.

Timing is Everything
Post your ride offers really early. Try to post two weeks in advance of your trip – this will give you plenty of time to get passenger requests. If you take frequent trips Zimride now lets you add multiple dates for the same trip!

Communicate Efficiently
Stay in constant contact with your riders. Let them know exactly what they’ll need to know – your car’s make and model, the number of seats available, the price of the ride, round-trip or one-way, and pick-up and drop-off locations.

Discuss Every Tidbit
Can you fit extra luggage? Do you have a pet squirrel? Make sure to go over other requirements like luggage, pets, smoking, music preferences, and other things that are important to you and your riders.

Keep Your Passengers in the Loop
Definitely keep them updated if the departure time or anything else changes. Your passengers will feel secure and will be much more likely to stick with your ride. If they feel uncomfortable or do not hear from you before the trip they might question whether you’re a reliable driver and cancel their trip – it’s hard to make gas money with empty seats!

Accommodate Your Passengers
Your riders’ comfort equals gas money. Keep the atmosphere in the car easy-going and pleasant. You’ll get good reviews on your profile and these same riders may even want more rides from you in the future. A good driver also knows to adapt (sometimes, not always) to their passengers’ schedules.

Be Flexible
Be open to making changes to your rides. Learn as you go along! Try to be as safe, flexible, and kind as possible before and during the trip.

Enjoy the Compensation
Most of the $4,800 went to gas money, but every trip I save a little to get my oil changes and other car maintenance. Some of that four-geez even went to road snacks. I haven’t paid for my own gas on a round-trip ride to SoCal in fifteen months. And let’s not forget – I’ve helped students and Santa Cruzan’s easily get where they need to go at super low prices, especially compared to plane expenses and train travel times.

A big thanks to Lauren for sharing her tips. Do you have any Zimride tips? Share them with us at!

Happy Travels,
Your Zimride Crew

Zimride Tip #2: Show Off Your Ride!

Zimride is a marketplace for open seats, so it’s important to stand out to attract passengers. Today’s tip is how to add style into your ride post.  Like Zimride Tip #1, it’s important to put your best face forward by showing off your personal flare to the Zimride Community.


1. Share Where You’re Going: Google maps does a great job showing routes, but it doesn’t showcase your road trip itinerary. Mention if you plan to stop by an In & Out (to attract newbies to cheeseburger deliciousness) or have a favorite place you always visit for a caffeine break.

2. Explain How Much Space You Have In Your Car: Tell your potential passengers if you have enough space for luggage as some Zimriders like to carry a suitcase or two when they go on a road trip. For Zimriders heading to Tahoe, be sure to say if you have space for gear like skis and snowboards.

3. Let Zimriders Know If You’re Animal Friendly: Some Zimriders like to travel with their furry friends. Definitely share on your ride post if you’re willing to be a trendsetter and allow passengers to bring a cat or dog along for the ride.

4. Show Off Your Ride!: You don’t need to be on Pimp My Ride to show off your car. Check out how Zimrider Rideshare Mark shows off his ride to his potential Zimriders:

Stay tuned for more useful tips from Zimride on this blog or ask us for help directly at

Happy Travels,
Your Zimride Crew

Zimride Tip #1: Attract More Matches

Sharing a ride through Zimride can be like online dating. It’s important to find the best match for you, but that can be tough when you’re dealing with so many fish in the sea. Luckily, Zimride has created a ridesharing system that takes the awkward out of booking a ride with a stranger. But it’s up to you to put your best face forward and that means personalizing your profile so you can catch more ridesharers. The following are a few tips to improve your profile to get the most out of the Zimride network:

1. Upload a profile photo:
Come on, show us your pretty mug. A smile goes a long way to let people know you’re real and friendly. And users are more likely to book a ride with someone they can see than with a mystery person.

2. Personalize Your Page:
If you share your pic, your interests, and other personal info, other users will be more likely to share with you. Share your story to share more rides.

3. Connect via Facebook:
This is the quickest way to fill out your profile with all the juicy details that will make your page more appealing to other users. Zimriders can also see that you are part of a verified network and display your mutual friends.

Stay tuned for more useful tips from Zimride on this blog or ask us for help directly at

Happy Travels,
Your Zimride Crew