When it comes to selling on Etsy, one of the most important features of your listings is product images. It can be challenging to get good photos, though, especially if you’d like to take them yourself. The buyer’s main deciding factor is how your items look in photos. It is absolutely vital to take photos that are both flattering and informative. As a successful Etsy shop owner, here are a few of my best Etsy photography tips. I’ve also included links to the items I use to help me get stunning photos, every time.
Have the Right Supplies
White Foam Boards
It may seem a little odd to have white foam boards at the top of my list of photography supplies, but I have found a lot of uses for these guys. If you’re not sure what I mean, this is the sort of board I am referring to. I have used them as backgrounds, light reflectors, and underneath my light box to stabilize the products. They are inexpensive and very handy to have around for photography.
Whether you are using your cell phone with a good camera, or a professional camera, always use a tripod to achieve the best photos. Using a tripod gives you the ability to adjust your product and lighting until you get it perfect. Every time your camera moves, you are getting a slightly different angle and lighting. It is nearly impossible to get a photo perfect when every time you adjust, your camera is moving too.
Tripods are not very expensive and fold up for easy storage. I use one made for my cell phone, I bought it on Amazon here.
Photo Light Box
For most items, a foldable studio tent is the best way to get amazing images from all angles. Because I photograph glass, it was absolutely vital for me to get one. This is the one I got from Amazon – it comes with lights and different options for background colors as well. With a light box, you can set up a seamless white background and create soft, diffused light for your items. I don’t have photoshop on my personal computer, so getting perfect photos with just my camera was important to me.
When photographing merchandise, natural lighting is ideal. If you are able to go the natural route, either set up your light box near a bright window or set up your own little studio. One way I sometimes photograph my items is by using a few white foam boards and working with surfaces I already have. If you have a table with a nice, plain surface, move it over to a well-lit area and set up one of your foam boards as a background. This is a great setup when creating lifestyle photos for home décor.
If you have trouble with natural lighting or, like me, have to photograph glass, try using small photography lights with your light box. The light box I use is designed to diffuse the light to prevent glares and shadows, so I am able to get my products better lit with photography lights than with natural light.
What Sort of Photos to Take
For each item, I would recommend putting up five to seven photos. Take at least three showing the item at various angles (including the back, even if there’s nothing there), at least one close-up, and at least one “lifestyle” image. A lifestyle image shows your product in action in a flattering way. For example, if you were selling a headband, take a photo of the headband being worn by a stylish model. Give users an example of what the product could look like on them or in their homes.
Aim to have your photos look as professional as possible. If you aren’t quite sure how to make your image look professional, look up online businesses that sell similar products for ideas. For your merchandise photos, use as plain a setting as possible. Do not have any glares on your products and beware of reflections when using glass. Never settle for “good enough” when it comes to photography; work until you capture the best representation of your image possible.
Etsy Photography Tips
These tips should get you on your way to taking professional quality images for your Etsy shop at home. Have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments!