Shooting to sell? Get closer!

eBay product photography tip

The three biggest mistakes sellers make when photographing eBay products are using the on-camera flash, having a cluttered background, and not getting close enough the product.

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Yesterday we talked about simplifying the background by using a seamless, white backdrop. Today, we’ll talk about getting closer.


Fill the frame: No unnecessary space here—even though it’s a vertical subject in a horizontal frame, I filled the vertical space completely.

When taking an overview of your product, fill the frame with it. The bottom should almost touch the bottom border of the image, the top should almost touch the top border. If you see a lot of space surrounding your product, move in closer. If your camera won’t focus close enough, you need to invest in a closer-focusing camera. Many compact digital cameras focus close enough to capture even small subjects in macro mode. Some even focus to an inch or two from the front of the lens—so if you’re selling rings, for instance, you need a camera that focuses that close.

Show details: They may reveal important information about the product’s condition that will affect price—for better or worse.

You aren’t limited to one shot, so make sure to get in close and photograph relevant details. You can use this to show controls and smaller features of interest, or even to record the condition (wear and tear) of the item you’re selling. Again, use macro mode. Make sure there’s plenty of diffused light (shoot outside, as suggested yesterday). Use a tripod so your pictures are sharp.

Happy sales!


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