￼Here is a vase you want to sell. Most people don’t think about the background, and that distracts from the object for sale.
To make this plain dark background, we found a trash container behind the grocery store. Madeleine happened to have with her a simple stool to set the vase on.
Take numerous shots in the afternoon sunlight to get full detail, making sure your phone camera is on maximum resolution.
In the ‘after picture’, the raw image was cropped so that the vase almost fills the frame, so that you can see more detail. You can do this in your phone’s Photoshop or Snapseed app. Usually, these apps will also let you enhance the contrast, so the object really pops against the plain dark background.
Here’s another example, again with before and after photographs.
Madeleine says, “This is a pair of rough-looking men’s boots. To accentuate that roughness, I took them on location behind my local grocery store. Keep in mind, you want a solid backdrop so as not to distract from the item you are selling. I then photographed them in open shade to get all the details with minimal shadows.
Here’s one of the raw images, before cropping or post-production tinkering:
I always take a lot of shots from different angles, because it’s hard to know in advance which will look best in close-up. I chose the one below because I liked the look with the zipper. I then cropped it using the Photoshop app in my phone; the tighter cropping brings out the details. I saved this version, uploaded it to my computer, and from there I posted it for sale on eBay.
It was that easy! And the boots sold in three days!
If what you want to sell is flat artwork, then it’s a good idea to photograph it flat on the ground, standing above the piece (but making sure that your shadow doesn’t cover any of what you want to shoot).
Get a roll of grey medium-weight paper, which can be bought by the roll at most camera stores. Lay it out and carefully place your artwork so that there are no wrinkles or shadows. It’s best to take your pictures at high noon, with the sunlight shining straight down on the art piece; this way there will be no shadows to get in your way.
Stand on a step stool in front of and above the artwork. Make sure you get the whole image in your viewfinder. As much as possible, shoot from directly over the piece, so it doesn’t get distorted. I shot this one in my driveway, on a very slight slope.
If you’re shooting in full sun, your phone camera will probably set itself for the fastest shutter speed, and you’ll get the best details.