Indulging my creative side
Being that I'm a photog-wannabe, one of my favorite parts about selling on eBay is that I get to take lots of pictures of the stuff I sell. Sometimes I'll use my fancy SLR camera to do this, but most of the time I use my smartphone and the results are not only decent, they're downright great!
Morning shoots without flash
I always photograph in the morning because my living room, where I stage my pictures, has a northeast orientation, so the natural light that streams in through the windows is ideal: bright yet diffused, so that it doesn't create harsh shadows or glare. Sometimes a little shade and glare are hard to avoid, so in those cases I crouch a little lower to get the right angle. Overall, though, morning shoots are best. And notice, I use no flash whatsoever as this can create really washed-out, unnatural colors and contrasts.
Staging on a long, flat, neutral colored surface and background
I have a bench in my living room that I use as the surface for staging my pictures. It’s perfect because it’s long from side to side and it’s pushed up against a cream colored wall. I place a cream colored sheet on the bench, make sure it's nice and smooth and flat, and voila! My staging area is created without any clutter or mess that might take away from the details of my item.
A variety of angles
I lay the item on the surface of the sheet-covered bench and then I start taking my pictures. I like to capture as many different angles as I can: top, left side, right side, bottom (by tipping the item over, if that works). I also try to take close-ups of any defects or flaws, so that buyers don't get any surprises.
The whole frame
As much as possible, I try to get in close to the item so that it fits into most of the frame (
preferably, I try to fill up 80% – 90% of the frame)
. If that's not possible, I can always crop the picture later after I upload it, but I really prefer not to do that because it compromises the resolution of the final photo. eBay has guidelines and quality requirements about photo resolution and pixel size (
500 pixels on the longest side of the photo)
that we all have to adhere to, so as to create the best possible shopping experience for our buyers!
No props, if possible
I rarely use props when I take photos, unless I'm photographing an item of clothing such as a dress, a shirt, or a hat. In those cases, I place the dress or shirt on a hanger and hang it from a hook on a white closet door. I also place it on a mannequin that I have access to, so as to show how the clothing looks on the body. I personally don't like to use live models because I think they can be distracting. If I'm photographing a hat, I use a desk lamp with a very simple, basic stand. I remove the shade, and place the hat with a little stuffing in it over the bulb and start shooting different angles (top, side, and so on).
Want some more great tips about how to take the best possible pictures? Check out the following resources on eBay!