There are no items in your cart


graphic of person taking photo of shoes

How to Take Photos that will Help your Gear Sell Fast

You don’t need an expensive camera—just keep a few common-sense tips in mind.

graphic of phone taking a photo


Your marvelous used gear may be ready for its next home … but if you don’t take good photos of it for the GearTrade listing, people just won’t realize how great it is. We’ve found that the better the photos, the faster your gear will sell. So let’s walk through the steps to make sure your old ski jacket, backpack, or ice axe finds its new home quick.

Since most people take their gear pics on their phones, we’ll cater these tips for phone photography:



Set up the shot. 

  • Clean your gear up nicely.
    This goes without saying, but definitely give your item a nice wash or wipe-down. People are understandably less enthused about something that looks too scruffy. This might be a nice chance to repair any little dings or tears that you can, and maybe even redo the waterproofing on outerwear.

  • Set up a good backdrop in front of natural light.
    You’ll want to set or hang your gear in front of a background that isn’t distracting. A nice clean table or floor can do in a pinch, although if you have a good solid-colored curtain or sheet you can use as a backdrop, all the better. White or light-colored backgrounds work best.

Know how to get the most out of your camera. 

  • Clean your lens.
    If you’re anything like us, your phone has been in some gnarly places—bar counters, ski pant pockets, and climbing packs, to name a few—and you probably haven’t given your lens a proper wipe-down in a while. Now’s the time.

  • Play with your settings.

Did you know you can set up a Grid option in your phone’s photo settings so you can set up your shot more thoughtfully? Check it out. You should also select the HDR (High Dynamic Range) option if you have an iPhone; it automatically overlays multiple exposures of your photo to get both shadows and highlights in there.

  • Use your volume buttons as the shutter button. 

If you hold your phone with one hand and tap the on-screen shutter button with the other hand, your grip on the camera is a bit unsteady (resulting in more blurry pics). Instead, hold your phone like you’d hold a point-and-shoot camera, using the volume button as the shutter. That way, you have way more stability and clarity.

  • Turn off your flash.
    Phone camera flashes really aren’t that great. They make things look weirdly blown out, reflective, and glare-y. You won’t need a flash if you’re in good natural daytime light, so just set up next to a big window.

  • Help your camera focus on the right spot.
    Tap on-screen to get the right area of focus in a yellow box. You can then adjust the yellow brightness slider alongside it to get exposure just right.

  • Learn the perils of digital zoom.
    As you photograph, don’t zoom in. That only results in icky blur. Instead, step closer to your item

Do it right.

  • Take lots of photos.
    You want to capture every angle of your item. And be sure to document any little wear-and-tear blemishes on it. You want to be forthright about those. You can also get good close-up photos of any of your gear’s super-cool features a buyer would be excited to know about.

  • Fill the whole image frame with your item.
    There’s no need for empty space! Let people have a good look at your gear, not your kitchen table.

  • Make the scale clear.
    Sometimes, it can help to set a common household item or measuring tape next to your gear to help the buyer envision its size and scale. This is true especially if your item is small—you can set a coin, pencil, or sheet of paper next to it to make it easy to understand its size.

Now that you’re hip to all the basics, you’re ready to start selling! Create an account if you haven’t already, add a listing or two, and drop in your glorious photos—and wait for the cash money to start flowing in.

For more info on How to Sell click here
Beth Lopez

Beth Lopez is a seasoned writer and creative director who loves to tell tales of adventure and discovery—and finds writing a powerful way to give a voice to people, causes, and places. Beth runs amok in the Wasatch mountains when untethered from her computer. She believes there's no such thing as a bad ski day and considers animals her favorite people. Don't tell her mother about her Instagram mountaineering photos.