What are some photography tips for items that you are selling online?

When it comes to the online selling, one of the first things potential customers will notice is the listings photographs.  What are some tips to remember to help you with getting great pictures that could help you sell your items?

Make sure that the item is clean—there have been plenty of times I have put taking photographs on hold to either give the item a dusting or a complete cleaning.

Get close to the item you are taking photos of.  Getting close up shots of marks, tags and any potential defects go a long way to help you sell the item.

Show how small the item is.  Having a good shot of the item that fills the image can be great, but there will be a time when you need to include something like a ruler to show how small the item truly is.  Another item that I use is an apple to help show the scale—people will have a good idea how big common items like apples or even coins are.

This is a small handful of tips when it comes to taking photographs of the items that you are going to sell online.  What other tips have you run across?

How do you show an item’s size in photos when you are going to sell it online?

When you start selling items online, you quickly realize how important a good description and good photos are.  Even though there are items that have standard sizes like trading cards or DVD’s, you will run across items that can have a deceiving size when you take photos of it.

When you come to list the item for sale online, you can go ahead and take some photos of items and hopefully not confuse people on how big the item is.  When taking photos, did you know that you can use other items in the photos to help show the true size of the item you are selling?

As you can see in the photo of the clock above, you would think the clock by New Haven would be pretty big.

With the next photo of the clock, you can get a better idea of how small the clock is when you include something like an apple.  When you see an apple, you automatically have a good reference to compare the clock to because of the fact that you automatically know about how big an apple is.

Another trick that you can do is to use a tape measure to show exactly how big an item is.  All you need to do is to show the tape measure next to the item—this will show exactly how tall the item is.

This is only a few tricks that you can use when you take photos of items that you are going to sell.  What tricks do you use? 

Photography tip: How to hold an item up to help with photos

Not to long ago, I ran into an interesting problem when I was taking some photos of an old oil can spout.

I wanted to take a photo of the spout with it standing up, kind of like how it would be when it is on an oil can.  Then it hit me—prop it up on something.

I tried a few different ways to prop it up, but nothing really worked that well.  Then it hit me—what if I prop it up on something like a pencil or a dowel rod?

As you can see at the bottom of the spout, the tip end of the pencil is in a hole on the table while the end with the eraser is holding up the spout.  It worked great to help hold up the spout so I can take some photos to look like it is being used like in the photo below.

This would be easy to set up—you can hold the pencil or dowel rod up in a vise or even prop it up in the top of a bottle.

You can see the oil spout in my Etsy shop here.

This is one trick that can help with taking photos for the items that you are going to sell.  What are some of the tricks that you use?

Just how do I take the best photographs of jewelry?

When it comes to selling jewelry, it is often said that a picture is one of the best-selling tools that you have. There will be times when you produce nothing but blurred, out-of-focus pics, or photos that show the item off-center.  A simple tripod will help you eliminate these problems.  But what other tricks can you use?

I often use a mannequin arm to highlight the beauty of a bracelet or ring, and a bust or a necklace display.  Another option is to use a real-life model for the jewelry.  This could be your sister, brother, or even one of your children.  This type of display helps the buyer know what the jewelry could look like when they have it on before they purchase it.

Don’t be afraid to play with the settings on a camera.  We all know that digital cameras come with a macro setting.  But be sure to try other settings (for night shots, fireworks, or even snow pictures).  You never know which setting will show off a piece’s best attributes!

Take a ton of pictures along the way.  Play with the angles of the photograph, and even use the flash of the camera.  You can even put a table lamp near the jewelry near the jewelry to help give the stones in the piece more of a sparkle affect.  What works for me is to use natural daylight.

I even play with the background as well.  If you have something that has a silver tone to it, a dark backdrop behind or underneath it really plays up the shine.  A piece of construction paper can be all the backdrop you need.

Another way that you can make those pictures “pop” is to take a piece of glass (this can be from a picture frame that you are not using anymore) and lay it on top of a piece of colored construction paper.  The reflection of the jewelry can be picked up in the glass.  There is a product called a light box, which can produce a “halo” effect around something like a pendant.  Instead of investing tons of money on this equipment, a flashlight can come awfully close to doing the same effect.

So what kinds of tricks do you use to take photos of jewelry?

What are some tricks that produce great photographs of jewelry?

When it comes to selling jewelry, it is often said that a picture is one of the best-selling tools that you have.  What are some of the tricks that can you use to produce a fantastic photograph?

There will be times when you produce nothing but blurred, out-of-focus pics, or photos that show the item off-center.  A simple tripod will help you eliminate these problems.

I often use a mannequin arm to highlight the beauty of a bracelet or ring, and a bust or a necklace display.  Another option is to use a real-life model for the jewelry.  This could be your sister, brother, or even one of your children.  This type of display helps the buyer know what the jewelry could look like when they have it on before they purchase it.

Don’t be afraid to play with the settings on a camera.  We all know that digital cameras come with a macro setting.  Make sure to try the settings for night shots, fireworks, or even snow pictures as well.  You never know which setting will show off a piece’s best attributes!

Take a ton of pictures along the way.  Play with the angles of the photograph, and even use the flash of the camera.  You can even put a table lamp near the jewelry near the jewelry to help give the stones in the piece more of a sparkle affect.  What works for me is to use natural daylight.

I even play with the background as well.  If you have something that has a silver tone to it, a dark backdrop behind or underneath it really plays up the shine.  A piece of construction paper can be all the backdrop you need.

Another way that you can make those pictures “pop” is to take a piece of glass (this can be from a picture frame that you are not using anymore) and lay it on top of a piece of colored construction paper—the reflection of the jewelry can be picked up in the glass. There is a product called a light box, which can produce a “halo” effect around something like a pendant.  Instead of investing tons of money on this equipment, a flashlight can come very close to doing the same effect.

So what kinds of tricks do you use to take photos of jewelry?

How do you take a photograph of an item that’s round?

When you get to selling items online, you will run across a wide variety of items that are different sizes and shapes.

Round items were always a problem when I needed to take photos of them.  I was afraid that they would start rolling around (and eventually fall and break) before I could take the photo.

Because of this, I would have to hold the item and have to take terrible photos.  That is, until I came up with a simple (and very cheap) way to help take the photo.

IMG_2104.JPG

The trick is to put a rubber washer under round item.  I know it sounds silly, but it works.  The washer helps prop up the item to keep it from rolling around, and the center of the washer is open to accommodate for the round surface.

The washer that I have set aside for photographs didn’t cost me much at all—it was a couple of bucks (the good thing about it is that I have used some of the other washers around the house).

shade

The trick works on a wide variety of items, just like the lamp shade in the picture above (you can barely see the washer at the bottom of the photo).

What kinds of tricks like this do you use to help you take photos?

Hey, that’s a cool Eastman Kodak Photography Studio Scale!

Photography is an area that has a huge amount of collectible items.  It could be cameras or even the photographs themselves.  Companies even produced glass containers that held the chemicals to develop the photographs, and even these containers are sought after to decorate with.

But what about collecting and decorating with something like a studio scale?

scale

One of the companies that produced a scale like this was EASTMAN KODAK.  EASTMAN KODAK made this terrific photography studio scale from 1912 to 1948.  It was made to help you weigh exactly how much chemicals you needed when you were developing your photos.

The reason you needed to weigh the chemicals because they were stored separately from each other.  This was to help keep everything as fresh as possible (and to help you you use only what you needed).

This scale would look terrific on any desk, or even with other photographic equipment!  You can see this terrific scale in my Etsy shop here.

What other types of photographic collectibles have you run across?