There’s a reason they say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” While an accurate product description is important when reselling online, a quality photo can say that much more. Offering potential customers a clear and honest visual representation of what you are (re)selling only helps your business reputation and boosts repeat buyers. With a steady stream of inventory coming and going, professional photography isn’t a likely option for most, so learning some basic tricks of the trade will help your DIY product photography.

Let’s take a look at some basic photography tips that can help your online business and inventory stand out from the rest.

DIY Product Photography Tips

Product Prep

This is the first and albeit an important step. Take the extra time to get the item ready for its closeup. If it requires a wipe down, polish, iron, or minor repair…do it! This will showcase the item in its best light and help you maximize profits and sell it quicker.

Use a Tripod

Whether it’s a small flexible stand for your smartphone or a traditional tripod for your camera, use a tripod for photo consistency across all of your products. Creating a similar standard for all of your images will make your business look that much more professional and reputable. But do make sure to capture a variety of different images!

White Background

For closeup product shots, a white background is best. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy equipment. There are tons of cheap hacks to get you the perfect photo-ready white background. For example, popular options include a paper sweep, white fabric, or even a white poster board!  

Natural or Artificial Light: Choose One

Natural light means sunlight, while artificial light refers to light bulbs. And some products show better in one or the other. For example, products that are meant to be used outside should be shot in natural light. If the item is meant to be used by or worn on a person’s body, natural light is usually better because people photograph better in natural light. Artificial light is ideal for showcasing the finer features of a product. Because artificial light can be smaller and more focused, it’s great for highlighting details.

Let’s talk lighting for a minute…

Whether you use natural or artificial light there are steps you will need to take to reduce shadows. There are two common ways to accomplish this:

  • Fill light: An additional, less-intense light source you include to supplement your main light.
  • Bounce Card: A a small card that “reflects” or “bounces” the main light back onto the surface beneath your product to reduce shadows.

Capture the Details

Show the same things in the photo as if you were inspecting the item in person. If there are scratches, scrapes, tears or dents- make sure you capture that in the images. If you’re validating a product’s authenticity, take a closeup picture of the tag or label. It’s important to give a clear visual representation of the actual condition of the item. This will set and manage expectations in addition to saving you potential hassle and headaches later on in the sale.

Looking to capture more online sales? We invite you to read our article 4 Tips to Becoming an Online ‘Power Seller’ to learn more!

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Editorial Team


B-Stock Editorial Team

Amberly Bliss, Owner

Retail Deals

"I feel so confident shopping and bidding on items knowing that I am going to get what I paid for. And if not, there’s a killer customer service team that’s going to make sure everything’s alright in the end. That’s huge. It’s hard to take that risk when you’re first starting out."

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