Take it further Sell it with a pack shot
Getting a great shot of something you are trying to sell on eBay is never as easy you first think. Chris George shows you how to use a light tent to make your wares look irresistible
Not every picture you take has to be beautiful or artistic. Many of the images that we take are just record shots. A great example of this is the pictures that we take of the things we want to sell online, on eBay, Etsy or on our own website.
Such product shots make seem simple to take, but this technical type of photography is much harder to do well than you might think, and that’s why there are professional photographers making good money shooting top-quality pack shots. After all, good pictures will help sell your homemade products or unwanted possessions that more easily.
The key thing with these pictures is to show as much detail as possible, and this means minimising the amount of bright highlights or distracting shadows in the frame. For this you want soft, even lighting.
There are lots of ways of achieving this, but one of the easiest is to use a light tent. These are made of translucent white material, which surrounds the subject, diffusing the light sources which are placed outside the tent. The even lighting effectively
The great thing about this setup is that once you are set up, you can shoot a whole range of subjects in quick succession, with only minimum changes between shots
recreates the sort of light you get outdoors on a cloudy day – the sort of day where it is difficult to pinpoint the position of the sun.
Light tents can be bought (see opposite for buying tips), but if you look online you’ll see that it is possible to make your own. Most ready-made tents are collapsible affairs that pop into the right shape, but then take some fiddling to make sure everything is straight and creases are eliminated. The most convenient form of lighting is to use a couple of desk lamps and light your set from both sides.
The great thing about this setup is that once you are set up, you can shoot a whole range of subjects in quick succession, with only minimum changes between shots.