The Art of Taking Pictures of Items for Resale


Taking Pictures of an item that you wish to resell online is just as easy as “Point and Click,” right?


There is an Art to taking GOOD Photographs whether for your memory albums or for posting a picture of that Beautiful Vase of Aunt Edna’s that you no longer have room for and really, really think you can sell for 100 buckaroos!

Photographs are like books.  They tell a story: The who, what, when, where, why and how of an item.  And, if you are going to resell an item, it better have a pretty good story!

How to Take a Picture for Online Resale

First, you want the item to look real: no funny colorations or shadows.

Then, you want the photograph to give the prospective buyer the image of what the item will look like in THEIR home!

Next, showing the size of the item along with any detail work or possible flaws helps with Honest Advertising.

magnifying glass: the truth

Some Basic DON’TS in the picture taking world (hate to be negative, but someone has to do it! I have seen these mistakes to many times!)

  • Don’t take pictures in poor lighting.taking-pictures-resale-online
  • Don’t take pictures so far away from the item that you can’t make out what it is!
  • Don’t use “stock” photos.  Use your own pictures!
  • Don’t use dark backgrounds when an item is dark and vice versa.
  • Don’t put things in the photo that are NOT for sale.
  • Don’t photograph the item in a dirty condition.taking-pictures-resale
  • Don’t shoot an item on a surface that has too many details, folds or patterns.
  • Don’t take a picture of just one angle of the item.
  • Don’t put humans, dogs, cats, turtles or horses in the photo. Unless you are reselling a human, dog, cat, turtle or horse!!

OK Enough with the negative!!!!

  • DO take photos in good natural light.  The picture doesn’t have to be taken in high noon sunlight, but bright enough light that details and colors of the item can be easily viewed. Rarely do I use a flash.  A flash can simply drown out the details of the item and cause discoloration and graininess of the photo.

  • DO take pictures of light items against dark backgrounds and dark items against light backgrounds.  These don’t have to be Black or White. Backgrounds can be all different colors!  I like to use the Color Wheel and use the opposite color of the Main color of the item I am selling.  An example:  If my item is bright red, I will display it on a light green cloth.  A dark or bright green cloth may be just a bit too much and over shadow (color) my item.



  • DO take pictures of your item all cleaned up and washed and shiny and in its Sunday Best!!! Wipe away dust and grime in corners and make sure there are NO Spider webs!!! Books should be as neat as possible with NO Bent Pages.  Clothing should be washed and pressed and hung on a hanger or mannequin. When someone buys your item, they expect it to be as clean and pleasing as if it were brand new!  It IS new to them!!

  • DO put the item on a clean, plain surface with a clean, plain background. Messy rooms, background clutter and several items in the shot only confuse the buyer.

  • DO Take pictures of only ONE item at a time!  And…Take pictures of the item from the front, back, bottom, top, left side, right side and inside!!!! Your Buyer is SHOPPING!!!! If they walked into a store from the street and went over to your item (think about it!!), what would they look at???

  • DO take a picture close enough to your item that it fills the frame of the picture.  A little speck in the middle of a huge white sheet is NOT going to be sold!!! Again…Your Buyer is Shopping!!! Get them as Close as possible to your item!

  • taking-pictures-resale-online

  • DO take pictures with the best camera you can afford.  I must admit, I have a drawer full of cameras!!! I was so excited when I bought my first digital camera for $35 at Walmart!  I was officially a Technoweenie!!! But, I soon discovered that my pictures were not very detailed and while selling things online, I would get lots of questions about the details of my item.  So I upgraded to a better pixel and then I upgraded 2 more times. I currently use a Nikon with 12 Megapixels and I feel my pictures are Fantastic!!!

  • Ebay recommends:  Set your camera to a resolution of 1024 x 768 (1 megapixel) or higher. By using a resolution at least this high, you'll ensure the best possible appearance

  • DO use a Photo Editor Program to “fix” your pictures.  I personally use Paint, Picasa Photo Viewer, Picture Viewer, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Photo Gallery.  I have never learned to use Photoshop and these programs are ones I have learned on my own.  Since I am NOT a computer genius, I have been pretty proud of the pictures I have edited!!

  • DO Use a Logo in the corner of your picture.  This not only tells your buyer who they are buying from, but it also keeps other sellers from stealing YOUR pictures!

Here are a few more example pictures of things I have crafted, refurbished, and then resold online! You can also view more here.

taking-pictures-online-resale Green Cat Pillow

taking-pictures-online-resale Refurbished Table

taking-pictures-resale Upcycled Chair

taking-pictures-online-resale Face Pillow

Taking Pictures of your Items for Resale is not that difficult!

Taken in Great Light, with a Good Camera, implementing Good Quality, in a Plain Setting, showing off Pride of Product, well, there is no question about it!!!! You should have GREAT SALES!!!

Until Next Time

Keep on Junkin”



Back to Blog
Leave a reply