When you are selling on your website, eBay or any other auction site, the picture of your product is one of the most critical elements involved in the sale. The picture is your buyer's only way to understand the product you are selling, to evaluate condition, and determine appropriateness and so on. As a result, your auction photography needs to be the best that it can be to be able to sell as successfully as possible.

In this article we outline some of the key elements you should consider when creating photographs of your products.

Brand your photos

Your photos should convey an image of professionalism and consistent approach, essentially 'branding' your presence as an auctioneer or seller. You can build this image by creating a consistent approach to your product photography. For auction sites, you probably want this approach to be very straightforward such as using a solid-colored background and foreground that harmonizes with the rest of the listing.

If your products are all basically the same size (e.g., smaller than a breadbox), you can build and paint a 'set' (box with three sides and base, sides angle outward). Or, you can use a simple hanging bed sheet. Just be sure that if you are using material as your background that the material is wrinkle free and does not detract from the product visual by introducing shadows or patterns.

You can use a small sign in each of your photos that states the name of your company as well, or overlay your company name digitally using an image editor software like Photoshop (this will also ensure your images cannot be copied and reused by other sellers).

Another common strategy on eBay is to add your country's flag (eg the UK flag) to emphasize the item is located in the UK. Many buyers prefer to purchase from sellers located in the UK, because they don't want to bear the risks and delays associated with ordering from another country.


The standard formula for lighting a product is called three point lighting and includes a key light, fill light and a back light.

  • The key light is aimed at the product.

  • The fill light illuminates backgrounds and counteracts shadows cast by the key light. It is often placed at the side and angled in at the product.

  • The back light is directed at the back of the product and provides definition and contrast.

Fill lights and back lights are often made more diffuse by covering the source with fabric or paper.


Move in close to your product so that it fills most of the camera's frame. Avoid leaving too much blank space around the product or it will appear smaller than it s actual size. Take images of different angles and views of your object, and take several shots from each angle so you'll have a variety of pictures from which to choose. It's much easier to delete extra image files than to have to go back and photograph again. * Use the macro lens on your camera to capture small details and use a tripod or a very steady hand to keep a tight focus.


Once you have a variety of shots to choose from, use image-editing software to crop, rotate, and resize the images to meet your needs. Remember, your goal is to give the buyer an excellent visual understanding of your product.

Your final image width should be no more than 500 pixels; 72 dpi is optimum resolution for Web viewing. Higher resolutions do not yield better images on screen, and lower resolutions become too pixilated. If this information confuses you, don't worry. Most digital cameras shoot at 72dpi so you're probably safe using the image dimensions provided by default.