10 Basic Tips for Photographing Vintage Guitars

Do you have vintage guitars that you want to sell or get appraised? We’ve put together some photography tips to help you capture the rare guitar's true value. If these seem a little basic, you may also want to check out our Vintage Guitars: Advanced photography tips.

1. Find a well-lit room or use the flash on your camera to get the proper exposure of the vintage guitar.
2. Place the rare guitar on a plain background like a white or black sheet.
3. Use a chair or ladder to stand up over the guitar at an angle where the flash won’t cause a glare or reflection. Try moving around the room until you find the best light.
4. Showcase your vintage guitars completely by taking a lot of shots from different angles (remember to watch for glare). I require that sellers email me 8 photographs: body (front & back), neck (front & back), headstock (front & back), guitar in open case, closed case, and a close-up of bridge and saddle.
5. Include additional photos of damaged or repaired areas. Don’t doctor or alter the photos in any way because buyers can tell and it could cost you the sale.
6. Make sure that your pictures are tack sharp. Using a tripod is recommended if you have one. If you can’t use a tripod you can rest your elbows on a table and hold the camera with two hands to avoid blur.
7. It’s a good idea to include a side photo for all guitars, but for wider body guitars like Martin or Gibson flattops, it’s mandatory.
8. For electric guitars with an input jack on the side, take a good photo of the input jack area showing several inches above and below.
9. Don’t fill up the buyer’s inbox with a 100 pictures; select only your best photographs to email to them.
10. Use a quality digital camera instead of a cell phone. Great photos are worth the effort involved because they can help you to get top dollar for your vintage guitars.

Hope you found these ten basic tips for photographing vintage guitars helpful and that you were able to get some amazing and enticing shots of your rare guitar. If your guitar is available for sale, please give us a call or email. Here are my most wanted vintage guitars.