3 Easy Steps to Taking Professional Product Photos – Without the Cost!

By Kristy Bauer Carney, Head of Product Management

This blog post is part of Bravo’s 90 Days of Retail Marketing Guide. To see more content like this and to follow along on our calendar, visit our 90 Days of Retail webpage.  

You’ve heard us say it again and again – eCommerce is KING in the age of mobile phones, digital payments and the internet. If you’re not selling your inventory online, you’re missing out on a huge market and potentially losing money on your products.  

Bravo makes it easy to sell your items online and eliminates the hassle of managing two separate inventories. All you have to do is set up your auto-default to post online, which will list your item on your eCommerce website as you price it.

It’s more important to have your items listed on the internet, where it can be found, than it is to wait until you have flowery descriptions or pretty pictures ready. Just get them online. It’s easy.

But once you’re there, take some time to go the extra step and make your online shop more attractive than your competitors’. Here are 3 easy things to remember when taking professional-looking product photos – without the price tag. Just remember: Lights, camera, and action!


Having a well-lit area to take your photos is key. The ideal spot has indirect, natural lighting, like a room that has big windows. If it’s too bright, take photos in the morning or afternoon when the sun isn’t shining directly into the room.  

Don’t have windows or can’t move the item? Any general lighting is OK so long as the item shows up clearly in the photo.Try to clear as much space around the item as possible or throw a bedsheet or backdrop behind it to give it a cleaner look.

Beware the camera flash! It can wash out your item’s details and leave a painful glare in your photo. Opt for a large lamp (or two!) instead.


It doesn’t matter how beautiful your item is or how well you’ve set up the lighting and background if the photo is going to be grainy or blurry anyway. Choose the best camera you can to take your photos (and if it’s your phone, remember to clean the lens!). Ideally, you’ll want a device that can take photos at 12 megapixels or higher.  


Don’t be afraid to take photos of the item from different angles to give customers the best idea of what they’re getting. Take close ups of different details or use a short video clip to display how the item behaves in real life. The more information you can provide, the more transparent the sale will feel, and the more customers will trust you as a seller.  


That was easy, right? If you want to go a little further, or if your photos didn’t turn out quite right, here are some great mobile apps that you can use to touch up or crop your photos.  

Free apps:

Google Photos (iOS & Android)

Apple Photos (iOS)

Snapseed (iOS & Android)

Free apps with paid features:

Pixlr (iOS & Android)

Afterlight (iOS & Android)

Lightroom (iOS & Android)

VSCO (iOS & Android)


Now that you’ve taken these great photos, it’s an easy step to upload for your online listings. Happy selling and enjoy your beautiful new store listings!

About the Author

Kristy Bauer Carney | Head of Product Management

As Head of Product Management at Bravo, Kristy is responsible for leading Bravo's development roadmap. Kristy has over 15 years of experience working across all levels of pawn and FFL. Having worked as a pawnbroker and in sales and product development for multiple pawn software companies, including PawnMaster, she's a pro at understanding industry trends and market outlooks, and how that can impact Bravo customers. She is a product expert who knows what matters to pawnbrokers, and is known to go above and beyond to help develop the best solutions for their needs.

Kristy holds Masters certificates in Internet Marketing from the University of San Francisco and UX Design from the UX Design Institute in NY. She lives in Stoddard, WI with her husband, son, dog and two cats.