You could have the most amazing motorbike in the world that is being offered at an incredibly low price, but unless your pictures stand out, it won’t get noticed as much as it should.
How you photograph it matters. Here are our top tips to getting the best out of your bike.
1. Prepare your bike as thoroughly as possible. That means cleaning it, returning it to standard (where possible) and ensuring everything works properly.
2. Photo location is important. Remember that the first photo any potential buyer sees is likely to be a small thumbnail, so you need as clear an image as possible.
3. Good, natural light is important, so wheel your bike out the garage on a dry, sunny day (if you can find one in the UK). You also need a plain and uncluttered background, perhaps a plain wall, so that the bike stands out and the viewer is not distracted by the location.
4. Remember to show the whole machine in your photos. That means ‘framing’ the image so the entire bike is included. Normally, that means a conventional landscape image of the bike’s profile, or front three-quarters of the bike.
5. Position the bike at its best. If it has a centre stand, use it to get the bike as upright as possible. If not, take a picture of the right side of the machine (not the same side as the side-stand). Shooting the other side leaves much of the bike in shadow.
6. Don’t be tempted to be arty. People are interested in the bike, not your photographic style. Take pictures from a normal height, don’t crouch down, or do anything to make it look more dramatic.
7. Take your time and shoot lots of different photos from many different angles and positions. Move the bike around, and don’t forget to take close-ups of your machine’s details as well, including the engine, headlamp, rear, clocks (showing recorded mileage), accessories etc. Ensure you photograph faults or damage too, as potential buyers will only be annoyed or disappointed if they view a bike and find damage they were unaware of.
Professional magazine photographers spend hours taking their photos, and your advertisement will certainly benefit from you taking some time to get yours the best you can. That way, you can ensure your pictures are not only bright and in focus, but that they show the bike and all its aspects in the best light as well.