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How to 'shoot' your bike: A photo guide

Photos highlight quality of your bike – and so make you the $$$ profit. Be sure to have yours done well!

This is the output you want:


Actually, this is the output you probably want:

But you won’t get it like this:


So let's go through few easy steps which will make your photo stand out and do justice to the awesome bike you are trying to sell:

Clean the bike

Get the right lighting

Choose the background well

Focus on the important parts

Pay attention to the perspective

Keep the photos sharp

Highlight the details


Let's have a look at them one by one.


Give your bike some care

5 minutes with a rug can make tens of Euros difference on photos.

TIP: Lot of dirt? Brush it off first, then do at least a quick clean-up of the whole bike. Bucket of warm water with dish soap, bucket of cold water and a rug. Easy 20 bucks in 10 minutes. Here’s a vid on how to do a 5 minute cleaning:


Sunlight beats flash

If you can wait for a nice day with the pic, awesome. If not, at least wait till the morning. Daylight pictures look (and sell) MUCH better.


#BAAW

Use a contrasting, neutral background without any “pollution”. #BAAW (“bike against a wall”) shots even trend on Insta. And you’re actually selling, not just posting. So pick the right wall 😉

Cool open space is fine, too. Be careful about the background neutrality, though.


Show everything important

Do not cut part of your bike off. Also, make more photos from different angles. Both sides, angled photo from the front and back are a must. Especially the drivetrain (right) side is crucial. Add chain and tyres details and you have a great head start.


Take a step back, squat down and level the camera

Perspective is king. And short-distance top-down photos distort the perspective. Your bike then looks weirdly shaped.


Stay sharp

Blurry photos give inaccurate information and are untrustworthy – like if you were hiding something.


People love beautiful details.

Just bought a new bell? Have sharp gears/brakes/...? Add some detailed shots, too, and give your bike a personality. Remove all unnecessary stuff though, like saddle bags and other rubbish. Ugly!


This one’s probably not a very nice nor modern bike, but pretty details sell!

This one’s probably not a very nice nor modern bike, but pretty details sell!

Note: The details are only complimentary, and should always be attached to a set of photos of the whole bike.


Tips for pros

Keep the bike standing straight. Angled bikes create weird photo geometry.

Also, keep the handlebars straight (riding to the front).

Also, keep (or set) the saddle straight. You’ll need to do it for the new owner anyway.

If your bike has gears, have chain on the outer chainring in the front, and on some of the mid gears in the back.

Watch the pedals position. Ideally have the front crankarm somewhere between 1 and 2 o’clock.



READ MORE:

Anti-theft 1.0: The basics of bike locking

The Science of Bike Locking: Outsmart the Thieves!

Bike locks: How do I choose the right one?! The ultimate guide.

Help! My bike got stolen! What do I do?

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