Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Photo Tips from Amy'sOldSchool

Bowling Pins for Sale! 

The first thing I think of when I see this photo is "bowling pins". I imagine all these wonderful vases crashing to the ground and breaking! This isn't a good impression to give to a customer! With a few simple steps this vase collection can go from bowling to beautiful! 

If you don't have a Photoshop type program where you can crop your photo and edit the background it is especially important that you take a moment while you look through your camera viewfinder to notice what is going on in the background of your image. 

Have your shot ready and then look to the corners of your frame, are there any odd items sneaking into the image? Look under your item and see if the surface it is resting on dirty or dusty?
If you are using a digital camera turn off your date feature. Leaving the date on the image makes this feel dated- literally, as the image was apparently taken in 2009!
And what a missed opportunity to show a wonderful vase collection!
It is hard to tell a real from a fake flower in small online photos. With a small investment in fake flowers this seller could have put a flower in one vase, or a bunch throughout to show off their beauty and functionality!
And finally, notice the background of the vase image. There is some stuff to the top of the frame that is distracting.
As EnnaDoolf mentioned in her comments on last weeks' Lighting post, "Using carpet for your background can be a challenge as every piece of dust and dirt shows up.". 

When photographing smaller items, take an extra few minutes to set up your shoot. An easy and inexpensive way to improve your background is to get a roll of wrapping paper; brown mailing paper would create a nice rustic feel while a white paper would create a crisp feel.
Get a folding table or hard surface and unroll the paper and pin it to a wall at least a few feet above your item. Then let the paper roll over a hard, raised surface. This will create a smooth transition from your wall to your surface. Set your item on the paper and then position your lighting, as discussed last week.
Now you have a clean, uncluttered background that isn't the dirty carpet! Experiment with different colored paper or even try a pattern for a funky look! 

Here are some great examples from VMTEAM sellers who pay attention to their backgrounds! 

Vintage 60S Reel to Reel with Canisters Bright Colors by:
Chic Vintage Wear

Great use of lighting and shadow to show the fabulous colors of the reels! 

Etsy Printers Blocks by: Jill Ruth

I love the rustic feel with the rusty metal in the background! 

Vintage Diamond Cut Pour spout Jar by:

This That Other Things

Crisp and crystal clear! A good example of a white paper background! 

Another awesome post from Amy'sOldSchool! You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Don't forget to check out her blog.


  1. I read every word. Thanks for more helpful information I can use and Thanks for the feature. I'll be sure to spread the word by bloging, FB and Tweeting.

  2. Great advice. It's fun to see my photo here.

  3. I'm always torn between "ouch" and soaking up every photo tip I can [easily] use ... if I wait to achieve perfection in my photos I'll never list another thing ... sigh ... so i just plug away, hopefully getting a little better at it.

    thanks amy!!

  4. Judy and Jill glad you enjoyed! ThreeOldKeys- LOL tips towards improvement not perfection!



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