This may seem obvious but so many disregard this point and yet it's incredibly simple. Scrap any ideas you have of messy duvet covers, just plain black or plain white are your best options. Also, consider an even wood/laminate, as long as it's not distracting to the eye.
Search for a photo tent if this is something you're planning on doing quite often – ideal for taking photos of small items for which you can illuminate externally and get crisp even lighting (without any of the distractions). Image by Paweł Ludziński Give Your Items a Damn Good Clean!
Seriously, this is a biggie.
Wipe smudges off reflective items and wash clothes which might have a stain or the slightest mark – it will otherwise deter buyers from taking your listing seriously, which means a lower chance of a higher sales price (whether an auction or fixed price). Shoot Tons of Angles
Usually, you can upload around a dozen images to sell your things, so ensure you max out and take several different photos from different angles. From above, close eye-level shots, 45 degrees, zoomed in on a particular section (perhaps detailing part of the item specifically)
To add to this, crop your photos – have them cropped edge to edge – you're not trying to describe anything here or tell a story but simply show a quality item you have for sale. Your Best Photo Should be Your Search Display Photo
One of your images will
stand out more than others. The one you're most impressed with, use that one. It just means that you're going to hook in potential buyers as they notice a great picture of the exact item they're looking for. I'd also ensure your images are of a medium resolution. The reason for this is because higher res won't be accepted or will take far too long to upload (or frustratingly, both) and lower resolution, well, they'll be poorer quality – especially if viewed on a large screen. Image by dongni wang Tripod – Avoid Nasty Camera Shake if Your Hands are Wobbly
If you've got
good light available and a fast enough shutter speed, this isn't something you'll have to worry about too much – but if it looks as though your shutter speed is a little slower than you'd like, just play it safe and use a tripod. This takes away any worry of a slightly blurry image, as it won't be. This is especially important for smaller items, even if you use a Gorillapod or something similar, just to stabilize your camera. Clothing Sellers – One Word: Mannequin (consider using one)
Clothes on a hanger in front of a door or untidy room don't look great. If you can, use a mannequin (consider purchasing a cheap one if you're selling lots of items) – if you don't have access to one, ask a friend to model the item of clothing.
This really can make all the difference when selling clothes. If you're selling a particular brand, get a close-up shot of that brand's logo or at the very least, the label inside – this can also give the buyer peace of mind they're getting the size you've described. Ensure your Images Actually Represent the Item's Color and Scale
This means your
white balance should be as accurate as possible – try getting it right in camera, otherwise, you'll have to shoot RAW to correct in in post processing (which I would choose to shoot anyway). In addition to this, use representative tones, don't over saturate images, ensure highlights and shadows are kept to a minimum. You're not creating art but trying to take a quality photo of exactly what you're seeing in front of your own eyes. Your potential buyer needs to feel as though they're confidently looking at the same thing as you. Summary
Some tips to get you started with your
eBay photos at least. Some of these will seem pretty obvious but are gentle reminders, others will be practices you should definitely stick to. Some of these apply even if you're using your smartphone because let's be real, you don't always have your DSLR with you or want to get it out every time you want to list an item. Essentially, the main areas to focus on, to begin with, are the lighting and immediate background of your photo – ensure these two are spot on and other tings from there will really add some great features to your image. Further Resources Further Learning
For all areas of photography, you need a decent fundamental understanding of
Light – it's where ALL photographers should start. This New Exclusive Training Guide to Light will ensure you have all the transferable skills.