Yard sales may be the old standby for unloading unwanted furniture, but when it comes to speedily shedding your stuff, the Internet is king. The only drawback: It’s hard to convince browsers to click “BUY” when they can’t see the piece in person.
Here, Jenny Morrill, cofounder of the online used-furniture retailer Move Loot, shares her tips for photographing your pieces to help them look their best:
1. Clean it up.
It’s obvious, but giving the piece a quick wipe-down to remove dust and fingerprints should be the first thing you do, Morrill says. Remember to clean around the piece, too—clutter or garbage within the shot will only distract from what you’re trying to sell.
2. Use natural light.
Sunlight will help bring out the piece’s natural tones better than overhead lighting. Try to photograph in the morning or early evening; harsh midday light can cause sharp shadows that make it difficult to see details.
3. Give it context.
Photographing a couch or a table in a natural setting helps buyers get a sense of scale and, Morrill says, “helps them visualize it in their home.” Always keep the camera level with the subject to avoid distorting the look of the piece.
4. Show it all.
Shoot the front, back, and sides, and any details, such as fabric prints, joints, knobs, and surfaces. Move Loot aims to show five photos per piece.
5. Be upfront about damage.
Being honest early on is the best policy, Morrill says. “We find that photographs can do the best job of showing the true story in a way that won’t discourage a potential buyer. Seeing the damage can put it into good context for what is required—or not required—to fix it.”