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Show Them What You’ve Got: 12 Photo Tips for Online Sellers

Whether you’re selling on eBay, etsy or your own e-commerce site, good photos are critical to successful online selling. If your photos are sub-par, you’re neglecting one of the most important aspects of your online shop.

Online shopping removes the tangible experience of touching and feeling products for the customer, so your job is to convey as much information as you can about what you’re selling. You need strong, eye-catching, high-quality images that show potential buyers exactly what they can expect. The better your photos, the better understanding a shopper has of your product; that should lead to better conversion rates for you. A good rule-of-thumb is you want as many high quality images with good lighting, from as many angles, with as much detail and context as you can possibly muster.

We’re sharing twelve tips to help you improve your online images. Take a look, start snapping, and start selling more.

  1. Use a clean, neutral backdrop.

    Busy backgrounds can be distracting and cause shoppers’ eyes to wander. Don’t give them the opportunity. Focus on the product and they will too.

    Use a clean, neutral backdrop
  2. Use a tripod or some kind of steady surface.

    Don’t make your shoppers’ think they suddenly need glasses. Instead, eliminate any chance of camera shake, whether that means using a tripod or even just a book, box or other steady surface. Your products will look sharp and crisp, just how you want them to be.

    Use a tripod or some kind of steady surface
  3. Use a medium or high file size on your camera to capture maximum detail.

    A small image file will only look worse as customers zoom in and enlarge your product. Instead, capture a high level of detail so they can see every aspect of the product.

    Use a medium or high file size on your camera to capture maximum detail
  4. Ditch your flash and use diffused lighting whenever possible.

    Bright, harsh lights can create bad glares or shadows and make items look very unappealing. Instead, soften it up using diffused lighting from a variety of angles to minimize shadows.

    Ditch your flash and use diffused lighting whenever possible
  5. Fill the frame with your product.

    Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. Use only as much background as you need and make sure the item takes up the majority of the photo. Don’t be shy with your products; show them what you want to sell.

    Fill the frame with your product
  6. Capture all the details -- every angle, every blemish.

    Just think - if you’re in a store, would you take a full 360 degree view of an item, or just stare at the front? Show them the whole product - front, back, side, underneath. The more images the better.

    Capture all the details -- every angle, every blemish
  7. Show the scale.

    Determining the true size of an item can be tough. If needed, show the scale by putting it next to an item everyone can understand: a quarter, a ruler, whatever's clever.

    Show the scale
  8. Take note of color tinting.

    Don’t let a strangely tinted photo turn your buyers off. Your camera's White Balance setting will help provide neutral coloring, and manually adjust if needed.

    Take note of color tinting
  9. Show detailed close-ups.

    Using your camera's macro mode can really make your products pop. Meant for close-up shots, macro mode helps convey tiny details like texture or size. Tripods are great here too, by the way.

    Show detailed close-ups
  10. Avoid using props that will obscure the product.

    What’s for sale - the dress, the bag, or both? Don't confuse the buyer; show them only what you want to sell them.

    Avoid using props that will obscure the product
  11. Create a sensible file naming system.

    Use something that reflects the details of each image. You'll thank yourself as your product listings grow, and you’ll improve your search engine optimization too.

    Create a sensible file naming system
  12. Check your results BEFORE putting your camera away.

    Pay attention for sharpness, color, brightness, etc. and reshoot if necessary. If it doesn't look right on the camera, it won't look right in your listing.

    Check your results BEFORE putting your camera away