I have been an Etsy seller since 2013. Recently I questioned myself about the lack of sales. Wondering about my product, was it quality, quantity or what? My product sells – but my pictures don’t sell my product. After all, a dark blurry photo isn’t going to bring people to your Etsy shop. However, a clear, sharp, and crisp photo will entice someone to not only visit but to look around at what else you might have in your shop. I learned a few tips and tricks over the past two weeks that might help you take better photos.
You Don’t Need: An expensive camera to take pictures, sure it helps but you can get great quality pictures with a phone or point and shoot camera as well. This photo below was taken with my cell phone.
Use only Natural Light: I Will never, not ever use a flash to take pictures again. I can’t get the right colour when I use a flash. I want my product colour to arrive to my customer in the same colour / condition they purchased it in. Flashes also make shadows on your product that distract the customers eye when looking at your photo.
Follow a Pattern: I have looked around and a lot of shops have many different backgrounds and I find this distracting. I find there is a better flow and feel to your product if your (not your product colour) background follows a pattern. If you take a look at the photos in my seaglassing shop, you will see that the background of the pictures have a flow to them. What I’m getting at is perhaps your background colours are all pastel, or they match. I am still working on this and changing things everyday to see what works and what doesn’t.
Have Fun: Take 100 photos of the same item in different directions, play with your camera and find a photo editing software to play with. There is plenty of free software available that could help you edit your photos. I am old school and I use NeoPaint, a program that I can write text, downsize photos and I’m sure do a lot more but this is all I want the program to do. These photo editing software on the market like PicMonkey, PhotoGrid, and BeFunky are all great tools.
Don’t use cover up: You have an item that might have a flaw, be sure to take a shot that includes the flaw, don’t cover it up. I mean you don’t want to hide this and surprise the customer later. I have an Etsy shop MadeByGrandmasHands where I make deer hide moccasins. I don’t believe in waste and so therefore if the animal has brushed up against a tree and has a scar on it I will use that in my moccasin to show that it is authentic material. Now I don’t use large holes, large scrapes, thinning materials, but I think you know what I mean, and I take at least one photo that shows this.
De-Clutter your Photos: I seemed to feel my photos were naked if I didn’t add clutter to them. What I mean by clutter was I would nicely place loose leaf tea, tools, maybe a picture of me, or the grand-babies in the picture. This is not good practice and shouldn’t be done. When taking a photo remove and de-clutter all the noise and mess from your pictures. I used to take and place my sea glass wire wrapped pendants on a page from a calendar so as to show off how beautiful the coast line is where I live – duh! what was I selling the Island or my wire wrapped sea glass? Needless to say I stopped doing that, now I place my item on a stick so the background has that natural earth feel. Another great way to display your item is perhaps a small print sheet of 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper. For instance, I might take a photo shoot on cork a sheet of beach sand. These are all good ideas and they are not glossy pages like a calendar.
Size Matters: I can write all the description I want but sometimes this just doesn’t help. Lets say you have a necklace, maybe one of your pictures could be of your neck shot so people can see the size of the pendant. Or maybe you just hold an item in your hand and take the picture that way, remember, you don’t want the light bouncing off that $900 dollar engagement ring that you are not selling anyway so don’t distract the buyer, de-clutter.
Shoot from all sides: A straight on shot is best but sometimes customers would like to see the back of a product to see how it was crafted. You can if using an IPhone or IPad centre hold in the screen to lock the AE/AF LOCK what this does is holds the exact light. So you can move about your item taking pictures from all sides and angles and the colour will match from one shot to the next.
So this is a tip of the iceberg, Etsy is a large marketplace. I don’t have all the answers, but learn with me. Ask me questions so I can go find the answer and post in my next blog. I, like you, want the world to see what I do, but if good pictures don’t increase visibility, no one wins. More visibility will lead to more sales – Now get going and “Shoot to Sell, because Good Photos sell Etsy Products.”
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