Photographing your items, what you need to know.

I know, I know, you have heard it a thousand times. Quality pictures are a must…blah, blah, blah…. Let me share with you WHY this is TRUE and why you should really put in that extra effort when photographing your shop items.

You started your Etsy shop to either make extra money, generate enough sales to quit your day job, pursue your dream, become semi-famous or just because you love what you do.  In any case, your photographs of your items speaks VOLUMES of your craft, your shop items, your brand and YOU.  So why wouldn’t you want your photographs to shine? Am I making sense now?  I hope I am, because your shop is an extension of you and it portrays to your customers that you care about what you are doing and what you believe in.

I realize there are many of you who may not have a SLR or Digital Camera, and you know what, that is OKAY! You really don’t need one due that today’s cell phones like the iPhone and Samsung phone cameras take just as good photos as any SLR… its true.  I myself own a very expensive SLR camera that I purchased for my photography business.  Yes, I love my camera but honestly my Samsung Edge cell phone takes EQUALLY great photos as my expensive Pentak SLR.  And no, I am not kidding either.  You do have o take into consideration lighting, editing and of course trial and error.  This means that you will have to play around with backdrops, lighting and getting a good photo editor to crop and adjust your photos.  I use FOTOR for android, I LOVE this App from the Google Play Store.  The ads get a bit annoying but the application itself far surpasses even photoshop for android, no joke!  So let me share with you some of my before photos taken with my Samsung phone and an after photo using Fotor:

Before: Displaying 6166.jpeg


Notice it’s not all that bad, it needs some editing and keep in mind I took this on my desk without overhead lighting.

Now, the same photo edited with FOTOR:


Which photo do you think looks better, the before or after? Which one would you most likely buy if you had to base your purchase off of either photo?  Now, let me throw something else: Multiple Views…. Why? Because you need to show your prospective customer what your item looks like since they cant physically touch and examine it.

You need to provide your potential customers with a type of virtual reality shopping experience per say. Now, take a look at the multiple angles I have here:

Lets talk about using different angles!  You can see the item from different views which shows you details, size and colors.  This is why adding multiple photographs of your item is important.  Yes, it takes a little extra time but your customers will appreciate that extra effort and will come back to shop with you.  My clientele is 75% returning clients, I can honestly tell you that offering multiple photographs is why. It is the ease of shopping online, my clients always comment that they are glad I give side angle views because it helps them better determine what the piece will actually look like, it lets them determine the dimension since they cant physically touch the item itself.

TREASURIES….. why aren’t my shop items getting featured in treasuries?  This answer is going to sting…. it’s not a pretty answer, either.  Through my years on Etsy I have spoke to COUNTLESS shop owners about what they are looking for when picking items to feature in their treasuries…. and as every Etsian knows getting your Treasury to the Etsy Hot List and Front Page is what its all about…. the truth is that 90% of the shop owners I interviewed stated that if pictures are not clear, crisp or the background or prop diminishes the featured item they wont choose them.

Here is a good example of a beautiful necklace on a background that blends in with the prop so the necklace is not well seen.


Do you see how the necklace blends into the background? You want your item to POP, to scream LOOK AT ME! Now lets take a look at another piece on a plain white background:


WOW!!!! Would you look at that!!! Do you see the difference? Am I making sense on how you should really showcase your item and not your background or prop? If you choose to use a patterned or colored background make sure it accents your item, that is makes it stand out and not blend in.  Your item should shine and display to the potential buyer that you are PROUD of your shop, your art, your designs, your items and Etsy.

Lets go over a few HUGE no-no’s:

Mistake number one: taking a photo of your item on your work surface area is a huge no… don’t do it… no one wants to see your desk, your phone, your pen or papers with your item… and, yes, I have seen that in my Etsy searches. Again, its all about showing the best side of you, your shop and your craft.  Take pride in everything you do, your shop is your livelihood, right? You want to see it succeed so do the things that you can to showcase your gorgeous shop items.

Mistake number two: Blurry photographs, they can destroy your chances for sales. If you have blurry photos of your shop items how can the potential customer appreciate your artwork and desire to have it all to themselves?  You cant, because they are not seeing the WHOLE picture, they cant see the amazing detail and passion it took creating the item. Take this blurry photo for instance, would you purchase this item without seeing what it truly looks like?

ls While I am certain this is an absolutely gorgeous piece, I cant see the detail nor what all is included.

Now, here is another example of a very clear photo that shows every bit of detail:


These are just a few things to help you, while they may not be what you wanted to hear they are essential to your shop and how your potential customers perceive it upon first impression.


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