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Tips & Tricks for Taking Listing Photos that Sell

A picture’s worth a thousand words…and dollars!

Why do your listings need great photos?

When you’re selling products and services online, having high quality, clear photos is one of the best ways to attract potential buyers. If your listing photos are dark, blurry, or don’t give your subject enough visibility, buyers are more likely to skip right over your listing and look at options with more attractive photos. Use this article to help you capture listing photos that sell.

The good news: you don’t need a high-dollar camera to take great photos!

Our phones can do some amazing things, and taking high quality photos is at the top of that list. As long as your cellphone is less than 10 years old, with these tips and tricks you’ll be photographing like a pro in no time. And if you don’t have access to a newer phone, find a friend or neighbor who does and ask them to snap some photos for you!

Quick Links:
  1. Find the right light
  2. Clean your lens
  3. Rotate your phone horizontally
  4. Capture one subject fully in the frame
  5. Don’t zoom
  6. Try a new angle
  7. Capture more than you need
  8. Don’t over edit
  9. Try your hand at videography

Tip #1: Find the right light

Outdoor photos have an advantage over indoor photos thanks to the sun, which (most of the time) provides an excellent natural light source for your photos. Prime times for outdoor photography include early mornings, sunsets, and anytime there is cloud cover. High noon isn’t ideal for photos, since the sun is generally too harsh and can create hard shadows, but bright daylight is better than photos taken at night, in dark shade, or using a flash. If you are shooting in daylight (at any time of day) be sure to stand with the primary light source at your back so it shines on the subject in front of you.

If you do have to shoot your photos inside, try to find an area with as much natural light as possible. Because there is less light indoors, you’ll have to hold your subject and phone very still to ensure nothing in the photo is blurry.

The overcast sky creates a perfect layer of natural light that doesn’t create harsh shadows on the subject.

Tip #2: Clean your lens

It’s a simple thing, but having a clean camera lens is a necessity for clear, crisp photos. To clean your phone’s camera lens, you can use a dry microfiber cloth or even a Q-Tip to gently wipe away dust and debris that collect over time.

Tip #3: Rotate your phone horizontally

We’re all very used to holding our phones in our hands vertically, but taking photos horizontally instead is a better practice. Most photos on HitchPin are cropped either horizontally or square, so if you take vertical photos, there is a good chance some of the important parts of your photo may be cropped out.

Tip #4: Capture one subject fully in the frame

Having one subject be the focus of your photo is a good way to grab attention. Even if there are multiple cattle in the same photo or several hay bales scattered throughout the field, try to make one subject the focal point and let the rest fade into the background. Once you’ve chosen your subject, make sure the entire subject is the photo frame with plenty of extra space around it for cropping. Since your listing photos are shown as different sizes and ratios throughout the HitchPin platform, it’s important that the most critical parts of your images aren’t getting cropped out by accident.

There are two main hay bales that are the main focus of this shot, and several more scattered in the background.
Although there are additional cattle in the photo, the main subject is fully in the frame and staring directly at the camera.

Tip #5: Don’t zoom

Using the zoom function on your phone’s camera makes it much more difficult to capture a clear photo. The slightest movement in a zoomed in photograph can cause blurriness, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid. Instead, get as close to your subject as you need to in order to take a photo of the whole subject with extra space around it (see tip #4). Then, after the photo is taken, you can use your phone’s built in editing tools to crop out any unnecessary background space.

Tip #6: Try a new angle

Have you ever seen a photographer contorted in strange positions in order to get the perfect shot? Okay, so we aren’t saying you need to lay in the mud to capture those piglets perfectly, but there is a reason professional photographers explore various angles and perspectives! The best way to capture livestock photos is to get on their level. Rather than standing up and taking a photo angled down at the subject, hold your phone down low right below the animal’s head. For non-moving, smaller subjects, try an aerial view or a view from the side.

The camera is positioned at the same level as the pigs, more easily capturing their expressions.
Try capturing smaller products from the side, or even from directly overhead.

Tip #7: Capture more than you need

Another fantastic thing about phones is the ability to take as many photos as you need to in order to nail it. Rather than snapping a couple of different angles and calling it a day, we recommend taking 2-3 photos of each angle/subject you photograph just in case. That way, if your subject moves in one photo or if the lighting looks off in another, you have extras that you can use, saving you the hassle of re-photographing your subject.

And on that same trail of thought, take multiple photos from as many angles as you can of each subject. It may seem like overkill, but listings with extensive photos that show all aspects of the subject have a higher chance of selling on the platform.

When you’ve chosen and uploaded your best photos, simply delete any unused photos to save storage space on your phone.

Tip #8: Don’t over edit

Cropping unnecessary items out of your photos can be helpful, but try to keep extensive editing to a minimum. Natural photos that haven’t been color corrected or altered with text and graphics are ideal for showing your subjects in the best possible light (pun intended). Any additional details you’d like to share about your listing can be added in the description field.

The natural colors and lack of additional graphics make this photo a prime candidate for a primary listing photo.

Tip #9: Try your hand at videography

You can use these same tips when taking videos with your phone. Videos are another great way to show off your product or service on HitchPin. Just switch your phone to video mode, set your angle, frame and light, and start filming your subject in motion!

We hope that these tips will help you take some great listing photos for your products and services on HitchPin!