Monday , 20 November 2017
In January of this year, when I decided to actually put work into my Etsy shop, I knew the first thing I needed to do is take better pictures.

Get to Work on Your Product Photography

One of your Handmadeology Etsy Team members posted this article about how she improved her product photography.

In January of this year, when I decided to actually put work into my Etsy shop, I knew the first thing I needed to do is take better pictures. I began to research and coincidentally I found that there were hundreds maybe thousands of Etsy sellers needing the same help. When I first listed an item on Etsy in 2008, this is what my pictures looked like.

Eek! The background is too busy and there is not enough of the spoon in the photo. I managed to have two sales with these shots…in three years. Sad, I know why did I wait so long to upload more? I didn’t have a clue what to do and how to do it, I didn’t know about teams or the Etsy Blog. Before reading and putting anything into practice I tried doing some more shots on my own. What can I say, I thought I can do this.

So when SC had a once in a lifetime snow storm, I took advantage of the plain white background, and took my spoons outside and shot away, still not having a clue. AGHHH, the flash is overpowering! I began to read about lighting and how natural light is SO MUCH better. I came up with this.
Now I would have thought these shots would have boosted sales like crazy. The lighting is good, the product is clear, and the background isn’t distracting. I have sold four with these shots. But then I started reading about using a macro lens and filling the shot with your product. So yesterday I borrowed my photographer friends lens and came up with this.

I really like these, so we will see if all the Etsy buyers out there do too.

Resources I used:

Photo Taking Tips for a Cohesive Style by Danielle from Merriweather Council
Etsy’s Guide to Photography
Huge List of Photography Tip Articles on Handmadeology

What have you found to be your biggest helper in sales in the area of photography? A certain prop or a lovely background? I would love to hear in the comments below!

Article by : Erin from Elegant Girl 

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18 comments

  1. It is a learning journey to create stunning photos….I’m still tweaking my photos each time I photograph a group….and learning from others.

  2. Every photograph I take is a new adventure – whether be using different “props” as my background, or no props at all! My best pics seem to come from a container filled with sand, and either driftwood, a starfish or a heart shaped stone as my background. It does help when I have natural sunlight!

  3. The macro and super-macro settings are great options. I used them all the time with my Fuji FinePix point-and-shoot camera.

    A few weeks ago I splurged and bought a DSLR camera. OMG! What a difference! I love the manual aperture setting. I’m still learning how to use it…but, wow…I love it. Now I need to re-take photos of my Etsy items and upload them. Work? Yes. But worth it? I think so.

    Bottom line: learn how to use what you have. I’ve learned that lighting and a simple background (white posterboard is my favorite) is a HUGE factor in good photos.

  4. ClayLC- I am always tweeking too…I think that will be neverending:)

    Beth- Natural sunlight is sooo much better, as I have found out:) Drift wood!! Sounds cool:)

    Mike- Yep, the last two shots are with our DSLR, it sure makes a huge difference! But I have seen amazing shots without one, your right…use what you have:)

  5. I opened my shop 5 months ago & I cringe at the quality (or lack thereof) of my pics. I am ashamed to say that I’ve let my shop slide this year & that I am now getting serious about it. Taking good photos is my biggest priority. Thanks for the tips & links!

  6. Great article, Erin! I was excited to see your spoons on my facebook feed! :)

  7. Thank you I’m always looking to improve on photos.

  8. Jumping into my Etsy shop, I was only thinking about my knitting and sewing! Who knew what I was really going to be doing was ‘selling’ photographs?

    I’m still cringing at my first pics, and trying to update the really nasty ones as time permits. Some, I’m liking better……but I can tell this is going to be an area I will need to keep working on!

  9. Thank you for all the resources! I’ll be visiting some of these and studying.
    ~Annie

  10. Your welcome everyone!! And thank you Lindsey, your too sweet:)
    It is a neverending process of tweaking:)

    Have fun with it!

  11. It’s interesting to see that so many people are encountering the same problem. I see some photos on Etsy that are just terrible, some that are great, and a lot that are just “there”…I can’t quite figure out what it is that is the One Trick that works for everything and everyone. Probably because there isn’t one.

    Interestingly, I have several types of photos in my shop, some with a black background and some with a neutral or white one. I had a few people say they didn’t like the black, that the jewelry got “lost” in it, and some say that it made the jewelry “pop”. So is it a case of not being able to please all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time, or…? I think a lot of it is subjective–something is going to appeal to one person that doesn’t to another. Just like the products we are selling, one style doesn’t do it for everyone.

    I guess the bottom line is stick with what works for you, and don’t be afraid to try something new. My husband and I just took some outdoor shots in daylight in some natural backgrounds (stones and the like), and they came out great. (Daylight is definitely the key one way or the other, the backgrounds are up for grabs, I guess.)

  12. Thank you for the article on photography. I have been wanting to look into macro lens and how to use my camera correctly. I have to admit trying to put all the info together is somewhat difficult. BUT will check the links you gave and along with other articles I have read here just maybe it will come together. By the way using the spoons is what I call Upcycled at its best!

  13. after several years on Etsy, I still struggle all the time with photos. Some I am really happy with, some just plain suck, some are washed out and some look blue…arggghhh Although they are much improved since I started, I have a long way to go.
    I have a basic Nikon Coolpix L18 but it does have some options like setting white balance, etc…so I should be able to get it right.
    I am always looking for great tips…thanks for sharing!

  14. Any update on the result of filling the shot with your product? I have been trying to update my photography to something more professional looking such as these shops:

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/delialangan

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/GypsyLane

    …but I’m not sure I’m “there” yet. They have similar color tones in all photos, and I just started updating some of my pics to have the teal background. Should I switch to all teal backgrounds? Leave them as the light brown? Below is the link of my shop for comparison. Any constructive tips appreciated!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/SugarPopBoutique

    • I really like the teal! The greyish white does wash out and lessen the “sparkle”. (beautiful jewelry, btw!)
      Some of your items look very far away and some are perfect! I have the opposite problem- mine are too close up :-( Still working on that! http://www.denimndaisydesigns.etsy.com

      I have my denim and daisy background, which I think is great brand recognition, and it’s a unified background. I’m going to make a background that’s all light blue denim, so my darker stuff doesn’t get lost!

      I just use my 3 year old $100 Kodak. I think originally my photos are good, but I crop too much off to show properly in Etsy thumbnails. What I’m doing is I turn it on, use portrait setting without toggling, get as close as I can without distortion and then toggle in. And I take a billion photos lol.
      I’m not sure that would help any if you have a really good camera…that stuff is pure science!

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