Take Good Pictures. That's An Order.


   When you sell online, good pictures aren’t an option, they’re a must. Your photography can be the difference between making a sale, and someone clicking off the page. I’ve seen some bad ones. I’ll include one here to show you what not to do. 

    You want your photography to bring people in! Not scare them away. To do this, you need the right tools. This starts with a good camera. You don’t have to have the biggest and best, just a camera that has good resolution. Ultra HD 4K isn’t necessary, but if that kind of camera is in your budget, you go for it!

    The camera I use currently is a Canon 5D Mark 4. Do you need that exact camera? No. The camera I started with was a Sony RX100 Mark 4. I will also suggest you get a tripod capable of holding your camera up. The tripod I own was overkill for the Sony, but the Canon is too heavy and I can’t use it with the Canon because it falls over. So, learn from my mistakes here. Get the right tools, because right now I have to hand hold about a 4 lb camera. 

    The cover image is the most important. It’s the one that everyone sees first, and it will set the tone for the entire listing. You want it to be clear and sharp, that is where the right tools come in. Camera shake, while being an isolated event, can be very frustrating. When using the Sony, I would place the camera where I wanted it using the tripod. I used a 5 second timer, press the button, and that would give the camera enough time to go still before the shutter clicked. Using the Canon, I use burst mode, which does create a lot of extra pictures, but in 3 pictures one of them will be in good sharp focus. Have the right tools.


    Note this photo. We’ll call this Example A. What do you notice? The cover image looks like a foot long hot dog rectangle. I don’t know why the person chose to crop this photograph in such a way, but it really doesn’t work. You can tell it’s a ruler, so it is successful in that way. But it isn’t so good in execution, it definitely stands out, but in all the wrong ways. 


    Here’s a picture from another shop that we’ll call Example B, that’s not cropped. It’s a big square. It’s clear, you can tell what the item is, and it stands out, for the right reasons. A crisp white background, with the item standing out like we want it to. 

    The secondary images are the ones that show all the good parts. The close ups, the highlights, the scene pictures, whatever you want to put there to showcase each item at its best. I like to do close ups of the most important things. Engravings, hallmarks, those little things that people will want to see. Lets look at another picture from the example A listing. 


    What am I even looking at? I’m not joking, this was the photo in the actual listing. You can’t tell anything from this. It’s just a pixelated nondescript brown thing. I don’t even know if I’m looking at the same item, because I can’t tell anything about it. 

    These pictures, are arguably, the most important. You have to be able to showcase each item in it’s best light. Making your pictures look amazing, like I stated at the very beginning, it is NOT an option. You can have the most pristine example of something really amazing, but if the photography is bad, the amazingness of your item won’t be able to shine through a terrible photograph. 


    Now here’s a secondary picture from example B. You can see the stamp, you can read the words, you can see the wood grain. 

    To summarize: Photography is important. Make sure you have the right tools for the job. A camera with the capability of producing good quality pictures. A tripod capable of holding up your camera. Just so I can prove a point, the picture of the ruler in example B came from my shop. That picture was taken not with the Canon 5D, but with the Sony RX 100D. You don’t have to have the biggest, most expensive. You just need something good and capable.

Brooke Gilbert