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How to Take Quality Firearm Photographs?

 

Quality photography is generally the difference between Privately Unsold Firearms and Dealer Sold Firearms. Most Firearms Dealers have put in the effort to learn how to take good quality firearm photographs. Learn these simple rules and you will -

 

1) Give Buyers the confidence that you know what you are doing.

 

2) Show the Firearm in it's best light, without hiding any blemish, scratch, mark or dent.

 

3) Don't leave the customer wanting a better view of the gun. Give the customer what they want - "A VERY GOOD IDEA OF WHAT THE GUN LOOKS LIKE - DEFECTS AND ALL"

 

What are the Biggest Mistake that Sellers make when Photographing a Firearm?

 

1) Not enough photographs - 1 x Photo is just not enough to make any kind of decision about a purchase. Yes, but people can ask for more photos, I hear you say. Yes, but will they a customer bother to chase you up, or just move on to the next gun up for sale? This is a race to provide customer service. If you think 1 x photo is good enough, then you just not doing it right!

 

2) No Close-up Photos - It's very difficult to get a rifle into a frame because it is naturally long and slender. It is most important to show the detail of a firearm. In the set of photos below, you will see a number of perfectly framed closeups of which show the perfect condition of this shotgun.

 

3) Poorly framed photos or Out of Focus Photos - If you didn't frame the photo properly, then take the photo again or use a photo editing software program to crop and edit the photo before uploading. It is important not to upload photos that are the wrong way around, or on their side. Again this makes customers think that you don't know what you are doing and again, confidence in the buyer goes down a few points.

 

4) The BIG ONE is the BACKGROUND - I can't stress enough the importance of a clean, uncluttered background. You can see from the examples on this page that clutter is a killer for a good advertisement..

THE GOLDEN RULE - DON'T TAKE PHOTOS WITH CRAP IN THE BACKGROUND!!! 

If you don't have a white sheet or nice carpet to use as a background, then use natural backgrounds like a mowed grass lawn. Just a plain sand ground can make an excellent backdrop for a gun photo.

 

5) DON'T USE A FLASH! - Flash photos unless they are done by a professional will look terrible. Just take your gun out into natural light and place the gun on the ground with the sun at your back. This will minimise shadows and give a generally well lit photograph. You will not find many dealers taking flash photographs of firearms unless they have special equipment. Don't attempt flash photographs of your firearms. The results are generally very poor with mobile phones and single flash cameras.

 

Examples of Excellent Photographs

 

 How to take a good photo of a firearm

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Great Close Ups! = Easy Sale

This is a great close-up photo, but the choice of background has let down this magnificient shotgun photograph. The background that was chosen is far too busy and distracting for a great firearm display photo. Close-up photos of this exact shot placement are mandatory for a great display photo set.

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Avoid Long Rifle Photos

The long aspect ratio that results when photographing rifles is very difficult to display. Rifle photos are usually too small to show any detail. That is why it is important to break the rifle up into smaller chungs to display is close-up view. 

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Size Your Photos to 1500 Wide for Upload

Photos taken with a digital camera or mobile phone can be in 10's of Megabites. This is way too large to display in a web page. You can reduce the image size to a maximum of 2000 pix wide. A minimum width would be 1200pix for a detailed photo. There are free software packages that you can download, or do the re-sizing online for free.

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Rotate Your Images Before Uploading

It is better if you upload photos that are the right way around. Although you can rotate photos in UGM's Classified Advertisements, it is good practice to upload correctly sized and cropped photos

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Focus & Crop Your Images

Remove any extraneous background by cropping your photos before uploading. You can use Photoshop, Paint or any free online cropping tools to assist you with this task. Only upload photos that are in focus. If your image is out of focus, toss it out and start again. Your selling points are in good detail. Not in obscuring detail!

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Closeups & Videos

Sometimes it is very difficult to capture all the special areas of a firearm. If you have good lighting, you can make a close-up video of your rifle. Detail and finish sell a firearm. Try going the extra mile and upload a video to Youtube or Vimeo and link back to your advertisement.

 

Examples of Very Poor Photographs

You are kidding right

 

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How NOT to Display a Rifle

No Closeups - Not Cropped - Reasonsable background but you aren't selling the weights, you're selling the rifle! Get rid of the junk and clutter and try again. Use the sofa, but get some closeups and crop the image to show just the rifle. If you want to instill confidence in a buyer. Make GREAT PHOTOS AND INCLUDE GREAT INFORMATION.

 

How NOT to Photograph a Firearm 1

 

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Avoid Cluttered Backgounds

It is also important not to have objects in the background. Now that is a very distracting and busy background. It is so distracting that the rifle is almost lost. This is a good example of how NOT to photograph a rifle. Place the rifle on the grass and take the photo from a slightly high angle. Or even on the ground with little background to distract the viewer. Try placing a white sheet on the carpet and lay the rifle on the the white sheet. Try using different lighting sources rather that a flash. Flash photographs should be avoided unless you have suitable light filtering to lessen that shadows and blown-out contrast.

   

How to Include a Description in your Firearm Advertisement

The most important item in your firearms advertisement after photos is the advertisement content. This can include the history of the firearm, specification, age of the weapon, how many rounds has the gun since new, history of this type or model if firearm and any special information.

 

EXAMPLE 1

Description - "1911 Colt comes with case. No tyre kickers. No SMS. Phone Only"

Assessment:

Here is an example of "Go home and doin it again!"

Well, no surprise that you have left your audience with little doubt that you are going to be difficult person to deal with and that you don't care enough to give proper information. Which in term leaves people wondering if you ever care enough about your firearm to keep it in good condition. Would you buy a firearm from someone who places an advert like this? Certainly I would have second thoughts.

 

EXAMPLE 2 - 

TISAS 9MM 1911 PISTOL

Beautiful 1911 style pistol in 9x19 Luger. Brand New pistol at the price of a used one!

Precision stainless steel barrel. Hammer forged stainless barrel with nice sharp rifling. Ramped barrel ensures reliable feeding of 9mm rounds.
Quality G10 grip gives you a very secure hold. Slide and frame fit is excellent.
Series 80 style trigger. White Chrome is very hard wearing finish that doesn't scratch easily.

Comes with an Italian LPA Luminova adjustable sight set installed giving great sight visibily even in low light. The parts are interchangeable with most Colt and other 1911's.

Includes 2 x 9 shot magazines.  Please see youtube review of the TISAS 1911
Made in Turkey. Free Australia wide shipping except no shipping to West Australia.

 

DETAILS:

 nnnn
  • Make Tisas
  • Model ZIG M1 1911
  • Year of Manufacture 2001
  • Handgun Calibres 9mm Luger
  • Condition Excellent
  • Barrel Length 120mm
  • Sights Iron
  • Accessories Included Magazine/s
  • Serial Number 000000
  • Transfer & Shipping Seller Pays Shipping Cost (WA Extra), Free Local Pickup
  • Rounds Count - Less than 1000 rounds since new


Assessment:

Now here is an example of reasonably good Advertisement. Now immediately a reader has confidence that this guy knows what he is doing and is competent. It's true that you can profile a person by the what they conduct themselves. This is an excellent example.