Shoot to Sell: Taking Better Photos for eBay, Etsy & Instructables


eBay: Last bastion of the truly awful product shot.

The fuzzy focus, the baleful tinge of the fluorescent lights, the blinding glare of the flash. It’s almost depressing.

(Except for that one listing where you could see the naked photographer in the reflection of the mirror he was trying to sell. That was hilarious.)

If you sell stuff online, you know that you need attractive pictures to sell your wares. If you’ve ever done a tutorial for sites like Instructables, you’ve run into the same issues.

Don’t sweat it. It’s not really too difficult, you just have to put a little thought into it.

Remember, if you can make somebody want to buy Aunt Tilly’s ceramic owl collection, you can conquer the world.

How to Take Better Photos for eBay, Etsy & Instructables

p.s. On Twitter? Follow photojojo for more cool photo stuff. Including members-only Photojojo store discounts.

p.p.s. We’ve got new episodes of “You Suck at Photoshop” and they’re gooood. But don’t forget some folks might be offended. We’re just saying is all.


How to Choose a Camera Bag

bad camera bag

Photojojo owns one of the worst camera bags in the world.

Weird, right? You’d think we’d have something really cool, but no.

This thing is ugly. It has next to no padding. It’s too small. And even though it’s tiny, the strap is so uncomfortable that 30 minutes carrying it around feels like a week. Plus it has this big logo on the front that says “Thank You For Shopping With Us.”

So we need a new camera bag. But there are so many options out there, where do we even start? What should we look for? What should we avoid? Will our trusty camera ever find a new home?

We had a look around and here’s what we found:

What to Look For in a Camera Bag

Stealth Bags — For undercover urbanites.
The Electric Pocket — For leetle cameras.

Congratulations to Jennifer Konig for winning the Squarespace Portfolio Makeover Contest!

Resurrect Your Vintage Camera, Digital Style


Stop us if this sounds familiar:

You’re wandering around your favorite thrift store/ flea market/ crazy cat-lady neighbor’s attic and you find a great vintage camera.

You get all excited until you open the back and discover it only takes some bizarre outdated film that hasn’t been around since President Taft was voted People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” So you put it back, sigh, and daydream about that naughty naughty Taft.

But hark, dear reader: you can take digital pictures using that incredibly cool old camera. Combine your digital camera with your kitschy cam, and you’ll end up with some serious vintage-style awesome.

Come on along and we’ll let you in on the secret.

Digitize Your Old Camera


It’s Photoshop. On the Web. From Adobe. (p.s. It’s pretty great.)


We all knew this day would come sooner or later, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting, does it?

Today, Adobe releases Photoshop Express for the web.

Now before you go berserk, let us exercise some journalistic caution — it’s not everything you can do in Photoshop fit into a web browser. Not nearly.

No layers here, no fancy pants masking. But for 95% of your photos, it offers pretty much all you need to fix ’em up, and it does it with style.

Whether adjusting exposure, white balance, or hue, touching up blemishes, or distorting your image, Photoshop Express provides an easy slider and thumbnails to give you an instant preview of your image at various settings. Even undo is better than you’d expect.

Being on the web, this Photoshop’s made for sharing. Everyone gets their own URL at, and the slideshows are top-notch — big, beautiful images with classy transitions. Want to load in and edit photos from Picasa, Photobucket, or Facebook? No problemo.

No, it’s not a Photoshop replacement, but it is a remarkably slick and well-designed basic photo-editing and sharing application. Arguably the best so far.

So what does it cost? It’s free, amigo.

Adobe Photoshop Express for the Web

The Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips


Food has an agenda. It wants you to eat it, and it wants you to eat it now.

If you dilly-dally around Food, trying to photograph it instead of eating it, its defense mechanism kicks in. It immediately looks terrible in pictures, forcing you to give up, put down the camera, and eat the Food. Natural selection at work.

The time has come to subvert Food’s Evil Agenda. Read our tips, take up your cameras, and join the glorious food photography revolution!

Ten Tasty Tips for Photographing Your Food


The Ones We Love: A Portrait Project

Morgan Jones' daughter

What do you do with the person you love most in the whole world?

Take ’em out and shoot ’em.

No, seriously. Take them outdoors and take photos until you have a portrait that expresses how much they mean to you.

That’s the premise behind The Ones We Love, a collection of work by 100 young photographers from around the world. The portraits range from dark to sweet to funny, but they’re all amazing images.

If you love somebody, shoot them.

The Ones We Love
Three of our favorites: Tania Leshkina, Morgan Jones, and Liz Shuman.

p.s. Thanks to Jittery Joe’s Coffee for sponsoring our “Monday Stinks!” contest!

Photography and The Law: Know Your Rights

handcuffed photographer

Say you’re out for a photographic stroll, taking pictures of that cool old power plant on the edge of town. Suddenly seventy security guards swarm you and demand you hand over your camera.

“What is this,” you ask yourself, “a Michael Moore movie?”

You’re sure you haven’t done anything wrong, but you don’t know whose side the law is on. Fret no more. We’ve got a list of things you can and can’t do, and it’s a lot more permissive than you might think.

Now grab your camera back from that Rent-A-Cop, and let’s hit the books.

The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography*

*Charlton Heston not included

p.s. Thanks to everybody who entered our “Monday Stinks!” contest! Congratulations to Notorious D.A.V., Warren Photography, evaded, mommaozzy 84, biancaprime, berdandy, spade, AnasBananas, trenity00, andreskrey, determinedforce01, ladibug, killbyte, Nellofcourse and Mia!


Polaroid-a-palooza: Ten Ways to Love Polaroid Before The Film Runs Out

Polaroid rules

They say no news is good news.

Unfortunately, Polaroid has news: after next year, there won’t be any more Polaroid film.

Since our beloved Polaroid camera only has a year to live, we’ve decided to make it the Best Year Ever.

Let’s shake it!

10+ Ways to Love Polaroid Before It’s Too Late!

p.s. Our “Monday Stinks!” contest runs until tomorrow: three winners a day will get tasty coffee! Enter here.
p.p.s. Congratulations to Betsy, Lisa and “Maui Pikake” for winning the Thrillist Stupid Photo Contest!


How to Fake Cross-Processing in Photoshop (And Why You’d Want To)

Milk Farm sign

Oh cross-processed film, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways…

    The super-saturated colors
    The ultra-high contrast
    The retro, artsy style
    The way everybody asks, “How did you DO that?”

But alas! Alack! Our digital camera gives us no film to cross-process! How shall we reclaim our Paradise Lost?

With Photoshop, gentle reader: glorious Photoshop. With a curves layer and a “hey nonny nonny”, we are reunited with our favorite old dark-room technique.


Photoshop Cross-Processing Tutorial

p.s. Today is Chuck Norris’ birthday, which means it’s also the International Day of Awesomeness! Get out there and be the best awesome you can be!

Monster Face Contest Winners!
Monster Face Contest Winners
Congratulations to Nix, Kristal, naxwell, tc and Ginny!
New Contest:
“Monday Stinks!”

Monday Stinks
Show us how you feel about Monday.
How do YOU deal with it?
3 winners every day!
Enter here.

Photo Credits: Jo Durber and Lou Hamilton.

Reduce, Reuse, Diffuse: Make Your Own Flash Diffuser from an Old Film Container

film canister flash diffuser
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Harsh, unflattering flash got you down? Grab an old roll of film and make it all better.

Follow Flickr user natuurplaat’s lead, and turn an old film canister into a flash diffuser! A few strategic cuts make it easy to slip the canister onto your pop-up flash, and voila! Soft, beautiful lighting.

Keep reading and we’ll show you how to make your very own little piece of genius.

Film Canister Flash Diffuser
Thanks to reader Jeff Gamble for the tip!

p.s. Thanks to everybody who sent in book ideas! You rule.