How to take great photos

You don’t need a professional photographer or top-of-the-line kit to take great photos for your listings. Anyone can do it with a regular digital camera or smartphone, and a few simple things to bear in mind.

Adding pictures to your listings

Photo uploader

You can upload up to 12 photos to any listing for free. The easiest way to add photos is to list using the eBay app - you can snap some pictures with your phone and add them to your listing there and then.

If you’re listing on desktop while also logged into the eBay app, select Add from mobile device to add the photos from your phone or tablet. You’ll receive a notification on your device to take some photos or select them from your image library - just make sure you have notifications enabled on your device. Once you’re done, you’ll see the photos right there on your desktop listing.

You can also use our app to rotate, crop and adjust the brightness of your photos.

If you’re using a digital camera, just save them down to your computer and select Add from computer when listing on desktop. They can be any of these file types: JPEG, PNG, BMP or GIF.

Set the scene

Fill the frame

You don’t need a photography studio to take a great photo of your item, but a little bit of thought into your backdrop can make a big difference. 

Generally, a plain white background works best, unless the item you’re selling is white, in which case go for a more neutral-coloured background to give some contrast. If you don’t have a suitable background around the house, a piece of white cardboard and some clear desk space can be just the ticket. Failing that, you can’t go too far wrong with a natural backdrop, such as a wooden kitchen table or polished floorboards.

Patterned backgrounds can be a little noisy, visually speaking, so think twice before snapping your item on the floral sofa or your treasured Persian rug.

Lighting

Shoot in high resolution

The golden rule for lighting is to keep it natural. Take your photos in the day and somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight.

Don’t use the flash on your camera, especially if your item has reflective surfaces such as glass.

Also keep an eye out for pesky shadows.

Composition

Saving for a big purchase

The thing that you’re selling should fill the frame of the photo from the most sensible viewpoint, usually front-on.

Bear in mind that you can add up to 12 photos for free to any listing, so take lots of photos from all different angles - including any packaging, accessories or labels you’re including in the sale. If your item has any scratches, stains or other defects, include clear photos of them so that buyers know what they’re getting.

Ready to shoot

Fill the frame

Shoot your items as close up as possible, but avoid using zoom as it can reduce the image quality. If your camera has an optical zoom (the kind that you twist) then zoom it in all the way to remove some of the distortion you get from a wide-angle lens.

Take your pictures and review the results. If you’re happy, add them to your listings and put the kettle on.