When you’re selling items online great pictures can be the difference between an item selling or not.
If you sell anything online, you know that you need attractive pictures to sell your wares just as if you buy online then you know that a terrible photo can be an instant turn off.
Here are a few top tips to help make sure that you show your items in the best light and make sure buyers have fewer questions and more importantly fewer reasons not to buy.
Lighting can be a complex element of constructing a photograph but there are many cheap and effective ways to make sure that your item looks as good as it can.
If you’re selling a large item like a sofa or a desk then you can create effective lighting by using simple clamp fixtures or compact fluorescent bulbs.
If you’re not actively selling items and can’t justify investing in a great set of lights then make use of flexible floor lamps instead, which when not in use these can be return to being used as part of your regular room decor.
The slight inconvenience of moving a lamp around to make sure that your item looks great can be the difference between your item selling or not, so it’s a small price to pay.
Alternatively, If you can find a way to use natural light, do it. If you can avoid the Great British summer’s rain for long enough then get outside and take advantage of nice, soft, diffuse light.
Overcast days are perfect and the time of day can also help you get great lighting and early morning/ late afternoon light can give you better results than harsh, midday sun.
If the weather isn’t on your side then set up your shot near a window or near a bright white wall which reflects enough window light.
White light is a fantastic way to show the true colours of your item and avoids the dim yellow hue which can make your photos look dingy and dated.
However, be wary of using blinding camera flash especially with smaller items such as jewellery or reflective items like mirrors and glasswares.
If you want to get a little more technical or if natural light is an issue then try using the white balance function on your camera or alternatively using photo editing software to clean up your photos.
Photoshop is fantastic for this but free alternatives like GIMP can give you much of the same functionality and there are a wealth of guides online to help you.
For smaller items, lightboxes are incredibly simple to make and can easily create professional looking photos which can give your items the edge over similar items.
Take advantage of household items like paper, card and cardboard to create a simple surrounding box that's easy to light up and will really bring your product to life.
Creating a lightbox will really make your items stand out from crowded online marketplaces and already put you ahead of the competition.
For small items, get in as close as you can. Make the viewer feel like they could reach out and touch it. Use the macro setting on your camera.
Check out his great guide from wikihow on how to create an inexpensive lightbox: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inexpensive-Photography-Lightbox
No matter how much time you spend on getting the lighting perfect, the background of your image can be just as important and just as damaging if you get it wrong.
Be sure to clean up the surrounding area and make sure that everything captured within the frame is what you want the buyer to see.
That means no messy backgrounds and always check for reflections, I’m sure you’ve seen countless images online where people been caught out by an unwanted reflection so unless you want to become the next internet phenomenon it’s worth checking!
The Item Itself and What to Shoot
Improving the look of the item itself also helps greatly and can be done quickly. We’ve all seen so many things being sold online, mostly electronics, where they're dusty or have dirt marks on them.
Clean the product meticulously. Grease shines and dust can sparkle and if you’re lucky enough to have a very high definition camera then, unfortunately, it can show every last speck and fingerprint.
Use a paper towel or a damp cloth to make sure that it’s gleaming and shows off just how good it can look. Making an item look like it hasn't been stashed under your bed for the past year and a half goes a long way and shows that the item has been well looked after.
Even if you clean it up before you actually sell it, people will be viewing the photos and basing a decision on those.
Take pictures from every angle you can think of, and shoot way more than you think you need to.
If you’re trying to sell something, include a variety of pictures. A close-up detail, a shot of the whole thing, and a couple of different angles will help people see what they’re getting.
There are no limits to a number of photos you can upload for a lot in a William George & Co auction so take advantage!