Elements of a great listing photo: Do your photos pass this checklist?
In order to draw attention to your item—and not your item's surroundings—set up your item against a plain white or neutral backdrop. White poster board clipped to a stand and bent to form a backdrop works well.
Do use neutral backdrops to keep the focus on the item.
Don't use busy backdrops that draw attention away from your item.
However, for reflective, shiny items—like bright jewelry—a black backdrop may be better.
Shadows, reflections, hot spots, and greyness will make your pictures less attractive. Whenever possible, avoid using a flash. Additionally, diffused lighting will give your item a more pleasing look and eliminate shadows and reflections.
There are several ways to create diffused lighting:
Do light your item evenly so buyers can see it clearly.
Don't use lighting that creates shadows, reflections or hot spots.
Unsteady hands can lead to fuzzy pictures. A tripod helps keep the camera steady to get clear, sharp photos. If you don't have a tripod, set the camera on a flat surface and use the shutter timer to eliminate "camera shake" and the resulting motion blur when you take the picture.
Do use a tripod to keep your camera steady.
Don't hold your camera in your hands and end up with fuzzy photos.
Make sure buyers can use eBay's zoom and enlarge capabilities on your pictures. The Medium or High file size setting on your camera should give you a large enough image to take advantage of these capabilities. eBay picture hosting services can handle images up to 7 MB.
Do choose either the High or Medium file size setting on your camera to get the sharpest detail and avoid jagged edges.
Don't choose the Small file size setting or your photos may look blurry and/or pixelated.
Make it easy for buyers to see every detail by filling the frame with the item. Center the item so that the entire item is in the photo and it takes up 80% – 90% of the frame.
If you are selling a new item, make sure you don't break any seals or remove any tags from the item. Original packaging helps assure buyers that your item is new.
Do take as close a photo of the item as possible to reveal the detail.
Don't leave lots of open space around the item in the photo.
Take lots of detailed, close-up pictures from different angles: capture images of the top, bottom, and sides of your item. If your item has flaws, include photos that show them clearly. You can always include important details about your item in the Item Description area of your listing.
If needed, clean your item.
If the size of your item isn't clear, place a coin or ruler next to the item to indicate its size. Many items are returned to sellers because the buyer did not understand the actual size of the item being purchased.
Do show the scale of the item by including a familiar-sized object next to it for comparison.
Don't use photos that don't allow buyers to gauge the true size of the item.
Different kinds of light give photos different colors. Incandescent bulbs give photos a yellow tint; fluorescent bulbs make them appear blue. Typically, digital cameras have a setting called Auto White Balance (AWB) that compensates for these differences, creating a neutral or "daylight" photo.
If your photos consistently turn out blue or yellow, try adjusting the white balance setting to remove the unwanted color cast.
Do set your camera's AWB setting to "auto" to get the most realistic color in your photos.
Don't upload pictures with odd color tints. Make sure your camera's AWB setting is on "auto."
Use the "macro" mode or setting on your camera for close-ups. A tripod and shutter release come in handy here because the slightest motion during the exposure will cause motion blur.
Also, be aware that at this close-up distance, the camera's depth of field—that portion of the scene that is in focus—will be quite small. If you're too close or too far away, the camera's auto focus may not work properly. Take extra care in focusing and be sure to check the resulting shots on your computer or printer.
Do use close-up shots that show lots of detail.
Don't just post full-item photos that don't show important details.
While clothing and accessories are more attractive when modeled on a body, props should never be used if they obscure the product or prevent the item from filling the majority of the frame. Props may confuse buyers about exactly what's included in your listing.
Do show the item as-is, without props, in your photos.
Don't obscure the item with props that might confuse the buyer as to what's being sold.
Most of the same rules that apply to digital single-lens reflex (SLR) and point-and-shoot cameras apply to cell phone cameras. File size and resolution aren't an issue with most cameras and cell phone cameras made after 2002, but you should still adjust your camera settings to capture the largest file size possible.
Follow these guidelines to get the best photos out of your mobile phone and avoid blurry or fuzzy images:
You may also want to consider third party camera apps; some allow you to capture more detailed photos and edit them easily.
Do set your camera to capture images at the highest resolution possible
Don't use low resolution settings on your smartphone.
Name your files such that they reflect the subject matter and other important details. This will also help ensure you upload pictures in the order you want them to appear in the listing.
Once you're confident you've captured the right shots (but before you put away your camera and item) review the photos on your computer or printer to check for sharpness, color, contrast, brightness, etc.
Retake the photos if they don't seem to capture the right characteristics of your item.
Different kinds of light give photos different colors. Incandescent bulbs give photos a yellow tint; florescent bulbs make them appear blue. Typically, digital cameras have a setting called Auto White Balance (AWB) that compensates for these differences, creating a neutral or "daylight" photo.
Use the macro mode for close-ups. (a tripod and shutter release come in handy here because the slightest motion during the exposure will cause motion blur). Also, be aware that at this close-up distance, the camera's depth of field—that portion of the scene that is in focus—will be quite small. Take extra care in focusing and be sure to check the resulting shots on a computer or printer.
Take advantage of the photo editing capabilities of your camera's software to make corrections to your photos—cropping, color correction, boosting contrast, or increasing a sharpness—to improve your photos and show your items in the best light.
Don't add borders, text or artwork to your photos. Text such as "Free shipping" or artwork such as seller logos distract from the item you’re trying to sell. In addition, do not falsify details of your listing by adding any additional elements that are not part of your product to the image.
While clothing and accessories are more attractive when modeled on-body, props should never be used if they obscure the product or prevent the item from filling the majority of the frame.
Whenever possible, use a model, dress form, or mannequin when photographing clothing. It's a better way to show fit than clothing on hangers or laying on a flat surface.
Show the front, back, and sides. Include close-ups of details such as patterns, trims, hardware, or textured materials.
Show any wear, tear, or blemishes to set buyer expectations about the item's condition.
Buyers want to see the front, top, sides, and bottom of the shoes.
For items such as handbags, photograph the interior and exterior, the front and bottom of the bag, inside lining, and tags.
Use the new Handbag Measurement Guide and provide the size in your item description.
Photograph labels and tags on clothing. If the item is still in the box, take shots of that as well.