They say that movie quality is 90 percent sound. Pictures are the same way when it comes to selling guns online — the image is 90 percent of the description. Fortunately, it’s not nearly as hard or expensive as you might think to take decent pictures. Here are a few tips.
Outdoor light is the best light. If you can take pictures in a shaded area outside, do it. Natural daylight shows great detail and provides a level of warmth to your pictures. Avoid direct sunlight, as you’ll get glare off of blued metal and wood stocks. If you have to photograph indoors, try indirect lighting or covering lamps with wax paper to diffuse the direct light.
Use a proper backdrop. Fortunately, this is cheap and easy. For pistols, you can use a piece of flat white poster board. Put a table up against a wall and tape the top of the board to the wall and the bottom to the table so that the board curves. The curved, not creased, white paper backdrop looks surprisingly professional with natural outdoor light. Crop your photo so all you see is the item and the white backdrop. For rifles, get a roll of white paper that’s wide enough to accomplish a similar effect. I’ve found smooth white paper looks much better than white sheets, which tend to look like exactly that — white sheets — when photographed.
Get some erasers. Hand-held erasers make great stands to prop up guns on an angle. They’re just sticky enough to hold a gun in place. Use white ones to avoid colored shadows from red erasers.
On a related topic, always try to at least partially raise all or most of the gun off of the backdrop surface. This allows some light to reflect from the white backdrop upwards toward the gun.
Use a tripod, especially when shooting photos indoors. You’ll get better focus and a sharper image.
When you want to get fancy, invest in a photo shooting diffusing tent. This is a fancy word for a sheer fabric box that gives you great lighting for products. You can find a complete kit that includes proper photography lamps and the photo tent on Amazon for far less than $100. It’s money well spent.