Tips For Faster Photography

Any time I start a blog post after a longer-than-planned absence, I want to start it with “Hey… I’m just super busy, not dead.” And then I automatically think of this scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

“I’m not dead yet! I feel… happyyyy!” Ha! It gets me every time.

Anyway the thing that has been keeping me very busy (but not dead!) is that I’ve been photographing clothing for a local consignment shop’s eBay store, like I mentioned in a previous post. I’ve photographed close to an extra 300 items in the last month, in addition to the ones I’ve taken for my own eBay store. It’s been a really great side gig, but it has taken up a good bit of free time. I’ve got about a month and a half more work to do for them, so once that’s over, I should be posting more regularly again.

That being said, having to photograph so many items each week has forced me to become a more efficient photographer. Below are a few tips I have for anyone trying to shorten the amount of time it takes to photograph clothing for eBay.

photo set up edited

  1. Prep all of your items before you start taking pictures.

    When I only had a few items to list, my flow would usually go something like this: steam item A, photograph item A, steam item B, photograph item B, etc. That just doesn’t work well when you’ve got a pile of 80 garments glaring at you from the corner of your room. Even though it’s kind of tedious to steam all of my items at one time, it really makes the whole process go faster.

  2. Sort clothing into like piles before you start.

    I’m not sure why, but photographing all the tops, then all the skirts, then all the dresses, then all the coats, then all the pants, is faster than photographing a jumbled stack of clothes. (Really, the order in which you photograph each category isn’t important, just that you’re doing all of one category before moving on to all of another category.)

  3. Set up in a way that minimizes walking around.

    When I’m photographing, I keep the clothing that’s waiting to be done within arm’s reach, so that the process of grabbing a garment, dressing my mannequin, and taking pictures doesn’t require me to move much. Prior to starting this side gig, I kept my stack of clothing across the room (next to my steamer) but the simple act of moving the pile has really cut down on the time it takes to get the job done.


What are your tips for photographing more efficiently? I’d love to hear them!

 

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5 thoughts on “Tips For Faster Photography

    • I do! I like it because it’s a bit quicker and works on some fabrics (like silk) that I would be weary of ironing. That being said, it doesn’t work very well on denim or very thick materials. If you get one, Id recommend and upright model instead of a handheld. I bought a used Roweta for $20 and I’ve been happy with it.

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  1. The minimizing walking around is a huge one! I’m able to do almost all my photographing just by standing up. I keep measurements on my tablet, and I have all my clothing on a bookshelf ready to be listed. I also do bulk prep too. Remove tags, loose strings, and double check for stains/condition issues and note this in a spreadsheet. Then, when I take pictures, I can do measurements and pics and not have to type anything besides numbers in. I also like the feeling of getting a huge pile ready. Even though it’s not listed yet, it still feels like progress! Sorry for the rambling here.

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  2. Great tips, Erica! Taking pictures and the listing process in general is probably my least favorite eBay activity so anything that can speed up the process is a plus in my books. Having things within arms reach is a must and taking pics one category at a time (shirts then jackets then jeans…) has definitely streamlined the process.

    Honestly though, I’ve never ironed or steamed any of the items that I sell on eBay. I just mention in the description that there’s some wrinkling because they’re in used condition and I have yet to receive one complaint about wrinkled clothes. One less task to accomplish and it definitely saved me some extra time 🙂

    Meinard

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    • Thanks so much for the comment! I’m glad you’ve found a flow that works well for you, too! And hey, if you can get away without ironing or steaming, but all means, do so! 🙂

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