The Covershot: Photography Essentials

A covershot introduces your item to all the ladies on Poshmark and you only get one chance to make a good first impression so make it count! When it comes to taking pictures, practice (really) makes perfect. If you start taking pictures regularly, you will develop your own unique style of photography. To write this guide, I did a little experimenting on Poshmark. I put up two listings of the same item using different covershots and shared both of them in equal amounts. I then checked out the “likes” on these two listings a day later. If you’d like to know what I found, then…

It’s all about the impact!

Saturation and Contrast

In my previous covershot post, I mentioned how important it is to have bright, clean photos. We will cover lighting 101 later on so I’m going to skip this for now and move on to saturation and contrast. People prefer saturated and high contrast images because they tell your eyes where to look.

On the left: The white tee blends in with the background and this makes the picture boring. It’s a little harder to notice the product because there is no real “focus” in this picture

On the right: The contrast between the white tee and the background helps you focus your attention on the product. And somehow the white seems “whiter” in contrast to the brown background. When contrast is obvious, it captures the attention of your buyer.

 

The same thing applies to studio shots. The photo to the left appears a little more washed out than the photo on the right. Just a small background color change makes all the difference!

 

These are a couple of photos I took two weeks back. The white version of this top did not pop out as much as the burgundy or mustard against a white background.

No more clutter!

Having a background that contrasts well with the product you are selling is very important but so is having minimal clutter. Your main objective is to get people to notice what you are selling and having extra noise distracts from this. It is nice to accessorize your flat lay covershots so people have an idea of how to pair the piece with something else but do not overdo it. Simplicity is majesty.

On the left: It’s a great picture.. But really, what are you selling? The sweater? The hat? The pants? The bag? The basic rule is: if your customers have to read the title to get an idea of what you are actually selling, it’s not a good covershot.

On the right: Photo cred @bellefleur – Striped Leather Slip Ons. It’s very obvious what is for sale in this photo. The pair of flats are clearly photographed and not cut off like the bag. We are also immediately drawn to how they contrast with the background. (Side note: if you were selling the bag, this would not have been a good covershot)

Background or No Background?

I cannot even count the number of times people have asked me how would they go about removing the background in their pictures. Guess what? Clean background does not mean no background. Pictures that have a clean but visible background are liked more than pictures with no background! No need to go through all the trouble of background removal.

Covershot on the right got over 20 more likes than the covershot on the left.

 

If your background is cluttered, always use selective focus so the background is blurred and your subject is in focus. This separates the foreground from the background creating depth and contrast. The picture on the right got more likes than the picture on the left even though the off-white background on the left had a cleaner feel to it.

If you cannot create selective focus, then opt for minimal background. Picture on the left is a beautiful shot but there is too much clutter in the picture and it makes it hard to focus on the poncho. Colors in the background also blend with the colors of the poncho so there is very little contrast between foreground and background. In these situations, opt for a clean background. When I posted these two covershots up, I got 5 new likes on the right covershot within the hour; 0 new likes on the left covershot.

The Rule of Thirds

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Imagine a 3×3 grid on top of your photo. Placing an item off-center along the left or right grid line can enhance a photo significantly. However, there wasn’t really a significant impact when I tested it out on Poshmark covershots. I personally like the item to be centralized in the middle but that is just my preference. Play around a little to see what other people like because I did not see much of a difference in the listings I created.

Show the product being used!

Whether or not you are using a model or a dress form, it is better to show your product being used (well, minus make up). You can always do flat lays but be prepared to get bombarded by 1,000 “model???” requests. People like to see the clothing on others because it gives them a better idea about how it will look like on their own bodies.

Go closer, don’t be shy!

Size and resolution is everything when it comes to product photography. Since Posh photos are so small, it is important to put a close up of the fabric/material somewhere in the listing. If an item has a very unique design or texture, you might want to even show it in your covershot.

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This is a covershot of one of my sequin leggings. This covershot got significantly more likes than another covershot of the leggings alone (left side pic). Unique details catch your buyers’ attention and they would be less likely to miss your covershot.

Be Consistent.

Make sure there is uniformity in your closet. If you are using a model for clothing, make sure all the covershots you have of clothing are being modeled. Don’t have a closet with models, flat lays and a dress form. You need to really ask yourself what kind of image you want for your closet… and stick with it! Consistency of images help you develop a closet that is recognizable and memorable.

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Three guesses whose logo this is?

6 thoughts on “The Covershot: Photography Essentials

  1. Love these tips! Very inspiring.

    Do you have any suggestions on which camera model or brand is the best for taking close-up cover photos?

    Like

    • I use the Nikon d810 but if you’re only using a camera for covershots, you should definitely get a cheaper DSLR. I personally prefer Nikon to Canon but everyone has different preferences. Try to rent a couple of cameras to try them out before you decide to put some serious cash down on one.

      Like

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