How do I photograph my bike for sale?

Excellent photos of your bike are the most important thing. Photos have the greatest significance and most of the time should be invested in taking photos. Almost everyone has a cell phone and snapping a few pictures of a bike sounds so easy. Most cameras on a cell phone these days are good enough to take decent bike pictures for private sale. But the vast majority of pictures from private sellers are not good and thus reduce the selling price. Without becoming a photo expert and putting too much effort into it, the pictures of your bike should meet the following criteria:

1) Cleanliness and shine

EIt sounds so banal, but this point is too important not to mention. The best way to clean the frame, fork, rims and spokes is with a damp cloth or cleaning cloths (from drugstores). In particular, a shiny chain and a washed bike jacket make your bike appear much more valuable. The chain can be cleaned well with some WD40 from the hardware store. If the handlebar tape no longer looks good, then it should be replaced instead of cleaned. Wrapping handlebar tape is complicated and takes a lot of practice. However, you can have this done inexpensively in any bike shop. It's worth it, because the effect of a new handlebar tape is great.

 

 

2) Correct light spectrum


The light should not distort the color of the bike! This works best with natural light. You can also take good photos with artificial light, but the right lighting is necessary to get the right light spectrum.

Artificial light may cause the bike's color to be ambiguous

Artificial light may cause the bike's color to be ambiguous

Natural light realistically reproduces the colors of a bicycle

Natural light realistically reproduces the colors of a bicycle


3) Sufficient light


There must be sufficient light! With simple cameras, if there is insufficient light, either the image will be too dark or the resolution will be too low. Details would then no longer be recognizable in the photo.

 

Zu wenig Licht, schlechte Auflösung

Too little light, bad resolution

Ausreichend Licht, sehr gute Auflösung für jedes Detail am Fahrrad

Sufficient light, very good resolution for every detail on the bike

4) Appropriate background

It can be a wall or outside in nature, if the lighting conditions from points 2 and 3 are right, then you actually have a free choice of background. It is only important that the background lives up to its name: the focus should remain on the bicycle! Technically, this can easily be achieved by just keeping the bike optically in focus, but also by having the background textually or chromatically distractingly low. Any conspicuous objects therefore have no place in the background.

Fahrrad fotografiert vor einer Wand

Bicycle photographed in front of a wall

Auch in der Natur können schöne Fahrrad-Fotos entstehen

Beautiful bicycle photos can also be taken in nature

5) Image selection

Photograph your bike from all sides: front, back, right (rear derailleur side), left, back-left, back-right. You should also take photos of the crank and rear derailleur. In addition, you can photograph all the parts that you think are particularly important on your bike, such as the gear lever, brakes or handlebars. Altogether that's more than 8 pictures for one bike and that's how it should be at least. It is very important that you also take pictures of areas that are not so good, such as scratches, rust or dents. There are 2 reasons for this: It saves you a lot of trouble from the buyer afterwards and it can increase the selling price. Because a potential buyer gets the feeling that all the information about the bike is really available and that nothing is being kept secret. It increases credibility!

Photo of the bicycle crank

Photo of the bicycle crank

Photo of a bicycle derailleur

Photo of a bicycle derailleur

Photo of a scratch. Defects should also be photographed.

Photo of a scratch. Defects should also be photographed..