Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to Improve your Product Photo's Part 3 of 3!!

Staging and Styling Your Product

Backgrounds: Shoot against a background that will complement your item. I think one of the mistakes many make are having backgrounds that are too busy and distract from your product. The product should be the star. Go to the fabric store and just have fun searching for several options, consider different textures. Go to a scrapbooking store and try different patterns of pieces of paper.

Think about color: What color background will create the mood that you are going for? If you're going for a sophisticated look, a monotone look would be good . If your work has a more earthy feel, natural… then consider sand, or seashells and things of that nature. Simple white backgrounds can be great for just about any type of item as well, and this will put the focus on your item. Have fun, and experiment.

Think about unique props that could enhance your product. I have seen people use a sheet of music, to a book, the edge of a glass to hang earrings… take some time to search the internet and your favorite magazines to see what you like.

Consider including a photo that shows the item being used. This will give the potential customer important information, such as what the item is and how big it is. It will also allow them to envision the item on themselves or in their home.  I have eyeglass leashes in my shop where I show the leash on a pair of eyeglasses.


Angles: This really just requires you experimenting. Take a necklace and carefully place the chain in a snake design, then experiment with where your camera will sit. Play with the height of the camera by taking pics straight on, take some looking down onto your piece, take them from the side on an angle. Try to create movement in the piece.

Cropping: Photos that crop in interesting places create movement in the photo. If your item is symmetrical, cropping off 1/3 of the item will still show what the item is, create intrigue and show more details of the item.

Avoid crops that are too "tight” this will make it hard for a person to imagine the full object, and will make the picture feel squashed. Etsy will automatically crop your photos for the thumbnails when you upload them. Consider while you are taking your pictures that vertical shots will crop mostly from the top, and a bit from the sides, and vice versa for horizontal shots.

Another trick is to cross promote with your photos. For me I am planning on showing multiple rings in a shot. To show the variety, and choices and if the customer really likes a ring in the photo they can find it in my shop.

Additional photos: Your potential customer can't touch your item or try it on. Show them everything they want to know in the photos! USE all 5 slots on Etsy. Show a close up of the beads, show a cropped pic of the clasp, show the back of a piece, and sides. Show one shot of the entire piece as a whole.

Consider the 5 senses of humans. If you are selling soap or incense, that are strawberry… take a photo with a strawberry with a drop of water on it! Now that will get someone thinking of the smell and taste. When possible try to show the size, I see bead sellers place a coin in the shot to help convey size. Get creative though, and use any object that is very familiar, it doesn’t have to be an ugly coin.

Upselling: This is tricky. For jewelry if you are selling a necklace and have a separate listing for a matching bracelet use the photo’s to show both pieces together. And place a link in your listing to the other item. The tricky part is to be extremely clear in your description what a person gets in that listing. Showing both the necklace and bracelet could mislead a customer to think they get both for the one listing.

You can find the 1st part of this series here:

The 2nd part of this series can be found here:

I hope this has helped some of you :)  Please come back and comment and share how these have helped.  Share your lastest ideas here in the comments!



  1. I'm glad you did this photo series, your pictures always turn out amazing

  2. even more amazing advice from an amazing seller!!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this! I like the cross promotion idea:)

  4. Thanks for sharing your tips! I particularly like the upselling ideas for the photos.


  5. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips, very well done.

  6. Good to point out that the customer needs to have a variety of shots to really get a feel for the item.