Here is an article I published on my website about taking photos of products for online auctions. I hope it'll be useful to some of you in this forum.
How to Shoot Products for Online Auctions
by Gary Hendricks
Have you ever tried selling your old stuff on online auction sites like eBay? Itís a really good way to get rid of junk or things you donít need. Iíve been selling things on eBay for a couple of years now, and one of the biggest challenges is to get people to bid on your item.
A photo of some old Star Wars toys I've sold on eBay
Iíve found that taking a good product photo will greatly increase the chances of people bidding on your product. How do you go about taking a good product photo? Well, read on, this article will teach you how.
Set Up Your Little Studio
The first thing you need to start taking product photos is to set up your own little studio for that purpose. You donít need to invest thousands of dollars to set up a professional studio. All you need is some cheap materials to get started.
Youíll want to look for a white background to place your product and take photos. What I recommend is to get a sturdy piece of white foam or poster board, which can be had for a couple of bucks.
Next, position the product on the board. Iíve found that the best lighting to use is indirect sunlight. Turn on the flash on your camera and take the product from an angle to avoid any reflection.
Edit the Photo
Once youíve taken the product photo, you need to put the photo through an image editor to fine tune it. A good image editor, if youíre looking for one, is Ulead PhotoImpact. Iíve used PhotoImpact for years and it has done an excellent job.
Hereís what you do with your image. Correct the color balance, remove any harsh light and sharpen the photo if necessary. If you want, you can also want to apply perspective correction to make it look like we took the product from the top (instead of from the side like we mentioned above).
If you intend to take a lot of product photos for online auctions, a good product to get is Internet Photo Studio.
Internet Photo Studio
This is essentially a little stand alone studio that has 2 lights which sweep any subject you place on it. The results are terrific and look really professional. Itís best used with small items like jewelry and or electronic components.
Taking a good product photo is an essential skill to learn if you want to sell items on online auction sites. Apply the above tricks the next time youíre trying to take a product photo and youíll be amazed at the results. For those interested in finding out more, you can read the book by Dan Gookin and Robert Birnbach. Itís an amazing book which covers every aspect of the topic you want to know.