The right photography for the right job (or "thou shalt not steal catalog photos")


A while back, when the time came to retire my iphone 3Gs, I did what I usually do: put an ad on OLX (a portuguese version of Craigslist).

And since I was in the middle of a product photography job, why not use the studio setup to make some nice photos of the iphone (not to be confused with “make some nice photos with the iphone”) that would stand out, right?…

Wrong! My ad was not approved because it “didn’t follow the Terms of Service”!
What?! Why?!

… photos with any king of editing or from a catalog, that do not represent the article actually being sold are not allowed."

Oh, so you think I stole these images from a catalog… I’m not sure whether to consider this an insult or a compliment!

Long story short, I wrote them back explaining that I took the photos myself and that those were the exact articles that I was selling and the ad was then approved.
Oh, and the iphone was sold the very next day!

So what’s the lesson, here?

“To good a photo" can scare away potencial buyers? Should I do studio photography only for clients who are actually making catalogs?

I’m not really sure, but in my last sale (a lawn mower) I used photos made with an iphone 5 and the deal was also closed the next day...