Hello Swap Peeps,
It’s Amy, your resident Swap Snob, here to give you a quick lesson in photography and to help you make the most of your swap items. Let’s face it: we live in a visual world. Your product photos are what attracts people to your items and profile. The better they look, the more successful at swapping you will become. (Better photos will also help your Haves and Wants get shared to Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook by other swappers!)
1. Buy a camera.
This might seem like an obvious statement, but we’ve all seen the dreaded webcam product shots up on the Market. Low on funds? Consider swapping your way to a better camera or even an iPhone (with which you can use our killer Swap market app to photograph and add your items seamlessly!) If you were out window shopping, you would pass right by that poorly lit, dingy store front, and the same thing will happen to your swap items and profile if your photos are less than attractive. The stuff that looks the most attractive will get swapped the fastest, plain and simple.
2. Use the right camera setting.
The majority of items on the Swap Market should be shot with the ‘macro’ setting (the flower or tulip icon on most cameras and smartphones). This is the best setting for taking close-up shots. If you are shooting larger items (cars, larger clothing items like long dresses, or furniture) from farther away, use a flash and an auto setting.
3. Use natural light.
Shut off that flash and head to a window or maybe go outside. A flash will blow out your object, obscuring all the items details and fine features, and create shadows. Your products will always look their best in natural light.
4. Choose your background carefully.
Photographing your items on a background that highlights your products is important because you don’t want to distract other swappers from what’s most important: your items themselves! You can never go wrong using a solid white background. Some other background ideas that work well are poster board, card stock, ironed solid-color fabric, clean white sheets, solid wood, grass, concrete, scrapbooking paper with a neutral pattern, or a blank art canvas.
5. Take a variety of shots.
Giving a few different shots of your items will help your swapper get a feel for the product and its actual condition. Try taking some shots close up and others far away. Always try to include at least one photo showing the entire item. If you’re using an iPhone, make sure to tap the screen once to focus before taking the shot to prevent blurriness. No one will be able to tell if the dress your swapping will look good on them with only three close up shots, or blurry photos that obscure the texture of the fabric, for instance.
OK, I officially crown you all professional photographers! Now go show off your new skills by updating items that might need a little love on the Swap Market!