Wednesday

11 Tips for Photographing Items for Online Stores or eBay

The idea behind using images in your web store or eBay listings is to attract the eyes of potential buyers. With that goal in mind, you should try to create the best-looking images possible, no matter what kind of technology you’re using to capture them.

Point-and-shoot may be okay for a group shot at a historical monument, but illustrating your item for sale is a whole different idea. Whether you’re using a smartphone or a digital camera to capture your the images of your item, there are some basic photographic guidelines can give you better results:

Do take the picture of your item in filtered daylight, whenever possible. That way, the camera can catch all possible details and color. If you can’t take your images during the day, use a set of true-color lights.
  • Do avoid getting yourself in the photo by shooting your pictures from an angle (see photo). If you see your reflection in the item, move and try again.
  • Do forget about fancy backgrounds; they distract viewers from your item. Put small items on a neutral-colored, nonreflective towel or cloth; put larger items in front of a neutral-colored wall or curtain. You’ll crop out almost all the background when you prepare the picture before uploading the image to eBay.
  • Do avoid getting yourself in the photo by shooting your pictures from an angle. If you see your reflection in the item, move and try again .For an embarassing see below.
  • Do use extra lighting. You can do this with your camera’s flash mode or (even better) with extra photo lighting. Use extra lighting, even when you’re taking the picture outside. The extra lighting acts as fill light — it adds more light to the item, filling in some of the shadowed spots.
  • Do us a photo tent or a Cloud Dome (or their new Nimbus Dome for use with smartphones) when shooting pictures of jewelery or collectible merchandise. These devices diffuse the light and allow the details and proper colors to shine.
  • Do remember that eBay requires the images must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side. Adjust your camera so you get the largest representaion of your item.
  • Do take several acceptable versions of your image. You can choose the best ones later for your listing.
  • Do take a close-up or two of detailed areas in macro mode that you want buyers to see (in addition to wide shots of the entire item) if your item relies on detail.
  • Do make sure that the items are clean. Cellophane on boxes can get nasty-looking, clothing can get linty, and all merchandise can get dirt smudges. Not only will your items photograph better if they’re clean, they’ll sell better, too.
  • Do make sure that you focus the camera; nothing is worse than a blurry picture. If your camera is a fixed-focus model (it can’t be adjusted), get only as close as the manufacturer recommends. Automatic-focus cameras measure the distance and change the lens setting as needed. But just because a camera has an autofocus feature doesn’t mean that pictures automatically come out crisp and clear.