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Picture perfect: take great photos of your online listings

Good product photos are essential to help your online shop stand out from the crowd. A high-quality image gives your potential customers the confidence to purchase your products – it’s an opportunity to make a professional first impression and can secure a click to your listing (instead of to your competitors’). 

Enhance your shots with these five easy steps, put together by our partners at WebInterpret, and give your products the edge. You don’t need to employ a professional photographer to produce a professional looking image!

1. Avoid distractions

Your product is the star of the show. A cluttered background will distract from your listings and could make your business look unprofessional. Use a solid, neutral background to get the best results, and think about item itself when choosing a background – if you’re selling a white T-shirt, a white background may not be the wisest choice. 

2. Leave flash photography to the paparazzi

Light is fundamental to good photography. Without good lighting your images will lack the vibrancy and detail needed to entice a buyer. However, it’s also possible to over-light your products with harsh flash lighting. This is a common mistake. It can create unwanted reflections, white spots and compromise colour integrity – the kind of results that turn customers away.

The best source of lighting is often natural outdoor lighting; it will show the true intensity of bright colours and will help you avoid losing details in shadows. Whatever light source you use, one additional tip is to make sure that your camera has the correct white balance setting. 

3. Keep it steady

Even the steadiest hands can create a blurry image. Avoid holding your camera and put it on a flat surface instead. Although a table will do, if you’re doing a lot of your own photography a tripod stand will give you more flexibility when choosing a shoot location. 

4. Higher resolution = higher sales

Customers will assume that the photo represents not only the quality of the item they’ll receive but also the quality of your service. Maximise the potential of your stock by using the right resolution for your images. A low-res photo will not enlarge well on marketplace websites like Amazon and eBay, and can also lose definition and detail.

Bear in mind that eBay has a maximum size image of 7MB, so too high a resolution can also cause problems. Using a photo around 1024 x 768 pixels is recommended – this should give you the optimum detail and size, safely within eBay’s limits.

5. Don’t dress it up

Many online sellers end up over-complicating their photographs with well-intentioned attempts at suggesting a product use or combination. Posting a picture of the dress you’re selling matched with a jacket that you think looks great with it could put customers off, rather than entice them. You may end up hiding the product you’re actually trying to sell. Keep the focus clear.  

Some free extra pointers…
  • Fill the frame with your item
  • Take pictures of the same listing from several different angles. Make sure the buyer can see any details that might be of particular interest, or put them off. If an otherwise plain shirt has a detail at the back, for example, take a photo that clearly shows it. This will minimise the number of returns you get from buyers who wind up with something they weren't expecting
  • To avoid buyer confusion or disappointment -- and to avoid poor reviews -- show the scale of products like jewellery or cosmetics
What next?

Now you’ve mastered the art of the perfect product picture for your listings why not take a look at the product description manual, also provided by our partners at WebInterpret, who help online sellers using eBay and Amazon expand their stores internationally by providing the localised listings essential to securing overseas customers.

Currencies Direct work with online retailers, selling worldwide on international marketplaces, and help them with their international transfers. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for you to manage your sales proceeds from multiple online marketplaces, so that you can grow your business faster and receive different currencies without being held back by unnecessary barriers.

To find out more about e-tailer Collection Accounts in the UK, the EU and the US, contact the dedicated online retailer team on +44 (0) 20 7847 9269, email [email protected] or visit


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