The right photo can make all the difference.
Photos are probably the most important part of your listing as it allows potential Renters to see the item's exact condition. The quality of your image can even indicate whether you are a legitimate person as most potential Renters prefer to work with individuals, so you have to produce well-taken photos to gain their attention.
Answer this, would you rather rent an incredibly made product that has been photographed poorly, or a poorly made product that has been well photographed? A good image can be the difference for Renters when deciding whether to rent or not.
Every Item deserves a good photo, but you don’t actually need them to be professionally taken. Here are 18 tips just about anybody can follow to take a clean, clear, and crisp photograph for your next listing.
1. Keep your Item clean and pristine
First and foremost, give your Item a good, clean wipe. Any dust may give some personality, but you don’t want too much personality! Renters will notice this as good photos tend to enhance any dirt or stains found on your Item. A beautifully shot snapshot of a dirty item is still just a photo of a dirty item. So wipe those stains, polish that surface, iron those creases, and make your items presentable. By putting in the effort, your photos will look better, and you and your audience will appreciate it.
2. Use your best camera
To take the best shots possible, you should use your best available camera. Unless you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera that you can use, just using your smartphone is perfectly suitable as smartphone cameras are so reliable, easy to use and conveniently available. Using a smartphone that has a telephoto lens is an added benefit as it's the perfect lens for photographing small objects.
3. Using flash might not be a good idea
More often than not, glares and uneven shadows caused by camera flashes on your photograph is going to result in a lacklustre image and may lower Renters’ confidence in the item as a whole, so it might be a good idea to turn off your flash to avoid uneven light.
4. Lighting makes all the difference
You want your image to stand and pop out so making use of even lighting options is essential. Take photos during the day as you want as much light as possible. Outdoor lighting is great as it looks more natural but if you prefer to stay indoors, use a strong, even source of light such as an LED lamp and point it at an angle. Alternatively, put a table up close to a window or doorway and photograph your item in the soft diffused light as it’s flattering and results in softer shadows.
5. Setting up your "studio"
For smaller items, place a table near a window as windows are an even source of natural light which looks great in photos. Make sure you clear and clean the table. Photograph larger items like a couch or TV as they are as it will be more difficult to move them. Clear the surrounding area and open any blinds, curtains, and doors to let as much natural light in as possible.
6. Keep the background plain and simple
You want the object to stand out in the photo. Avoid using a patterned or distracting background and opt to use a solid, light-colored background like white or light grey. A piece of A4 paper can prove to be more than sufficient. If it blends with the background, use a table cloth or piece of colored card to focus the image. Having a model wear the product (if applicable) rather than just photographing itself can give the image an added dimension.
7. Clear any mess up
With a messy background, you’re sure to turn off potential buyers by ruining your well-crafted picture quicker than you can post it. If you can’t take the photo on a plain background such as a table or the floor, try to remove any other clutter from the photo that doesn’t add anything to the image. Of course, this includes any kind of add-ons that is in no way related to the product. You can however include other accessories that are included in the listing, but never include items that are not included in the listing.
8. Take the whole frame of your Item
You can even edit this by cropping the image afterwards, but you’ll want the item to fill the whole frame of the picture. Whatever you're shooting should take up as much space in the photograph as possible.
9. Shoot the image at a slight angle
For your main photo, you should photograph the item at a slight angle. This will give depth to your item, giving a dynamic feel to it. Don’t shoot it at confusing angles like making it upside down. You want people to look at the photo and instantly know what they're seeing. For the additional photos, you should take shots showing the front, back, sides, top and/or bottom of the image.
10. Take shots of all your items
When photographing multiple items in a single photo, spread it out naturally and keep the main item in the front and center of your photo. You’ll also want to take at least one picture of each item individually to show in the description.
11. The finer details
Include close up shots of relevant details, such as model numbers, tags, labels, special features, and any other detail any potential Renter would want to know. A smartphone with a built-in macro lens would come in handy here.
12. Don’t forget the ugly bits
Make sure to take pictures of any notable defects or wear and tear found on your item. This should all be explained in your description as well. It may sound counter-intuitive, but when you’re doing business in a rental marketplace, this is to be expected. Your potential Renters would actually appreciate this, as they don’t want to expect any unwanted ‘surprises’ when receiving the item for their rental.
13. Show the scale of your item
Especially for smaller items, the description might not be enough so you might want to place a ruler in the photo. You can even add a grid line when you edit the photo later on. This will help show the relative size of your item. You can even place a small coin or any other common object to help show scale to your item, but make sure it fits naturally into your picture.
14. Steady the camera
Use a flat surface, clothespins, a chair, a tripod, or any other means to steady your hand or camera while taking the photo. This will help ensure the photo is clean and in focus. Don’t be surprised if you start taking photos in weird poses to get that perfect shot!
15. Use the default setting on your camera
If your camera has multiple settings, take the photo in medium resolution and don't use portrait or HDR mode on your smartphone either. High resolution will increase the image file size which may take longer to load on your listing page. Too low of a resolution will just make your photo look like a mosaic work of art! Smartphone cameras can apply a lot of photography effects but are unlikely to give good results and may take away from what you’re trying to take a photo of in the first place.
16. Take extra shots
Sometimes your first shot may not be the best shot for your primary photo, so try and take shots of multiple different angles and positions. Get shots of the sides and back, and any important details. Once you can see them all on your computer device, it’ll be easier to pick the best one and delete the unworthy ones! Although the ones that didn’t make the cut, may get to be included as additional images in your Listing, so no loss there.
17. Editing and Post Processing
It’s noted that you may want to edit and adjust the color balance, cropping, brightness, and contrast of your image to really make it pop out. Although, be sure to not over-edit your image and don’t make your item into something that it isn’t, like photoshopping undesired defects from your item. Renters will want to see the actual item in all its glory, not one with fake features, covered-up scratches, or enhanced color. A good, natural photo is infinitely better than something that comes out as ingenuine.
18. Upload, Post, Confirm
You got your money-making shots, now it’s time to get posting. If you haven’t registered yet, become an Owner now by clicking here to start adding your items. Sift through the photos you took and take out the best few. You’ll want to upload enough images to fully show off the item, including all those fancy angles, finer details and all the dirty parts. Make sure to not post too much as to not overwhelm your audience. Make sure the main image shows the item off properly, followed by any other images that potential Renters would like to see.
Renters wish to see exactly what an item looks like before renting it so it is in their best interest and yours that listings look great and well-taken.
Taking pictures and experimenting with photography can be a fun activity on its own. So, let’s enjoy this experience. Happy Shooting!
Alternatively, check out How it Works to rent out as an Owner by clicking here.
What kind of camera do you use? How have photographs helped your listings? Do you have other tips you wish to share? Share your tips and experience with us!
Select the floating chat button at the bottom right-hand corner of this page to start chatting with us. We're available on live chat from 9AM–6PM on weekdays.
Was this article helpful? Have more questions? Want us to write about another topic? We invite you to send us an email at [email protected][dot]com