A few weeks ago, we tackled 7 Tips For Taking Great Etsy Photos. This week, we’re going to tackle tips on photographing large items specifically. Since our last photography article was aimed more toward Etsy sellers who sell smaller items, we didn’t want our large item sellers to feel left out! 😉 So let’s get down to business!
Take a deep breath
Photographing large items can feel somewhat daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, you may have to get a bit creative, but that’s what you’re all about anyway! It’s why you chose to be an artist/seller. Setting the scene for photographing your large items will obviously be quite a bit bigger than what can fit into a normal sized light box, but that’s no problem! With the right backdrop and set up, your photos will grab your customer’s attention and interest.
1. The space
The first thing you want to do is brainstorm the space you’ll use for taking pics of your large items. You’ll need a large space where you can maneuver your items with relative ease. If you’re photographing your products in your home, be prepared to move your household items out of the way in order to achieve a unified and professional aesthetic. The space you choose should be at least three times the size of the item you’re photographing. This will give you adequate room to capture as many angles and views of your product as possible.
2. Your surroundings
Making sure your backdrop appropriate is key. A blank wall is awesome for photographing larger items. You can also use a smooth white sheet or roll of paper as a plain, clean background. Large paper rolls can be purchased at your local craft store and are a budget-friendly way to create a backdrop. Setting up your own DIY studio is pretty easy. You’ll need a background stand, roll of paper, and a few clamps. The paper can be easily clipped onto your stand and as long as the space is three times the size of your item, you’ll be good to go!
Stylizing your furniture or large item is also a fantastic way to show customers how they can use your product in their home. Check out large brand companies like Anthropology or Pottery Barn to see how they stylize their shoots. This is a great way to find new ideas and to better understand how to showcase what you’re selling. As always, you don’t want to distract from your product, but want to compliment it when you’re setting up your picture.
3. Lighting and light kits
When photographing large items, just like with small items, you must consider the kind of lighting you’re utilizing. If at all possible, try to use natural light whenever you can. If there is a space in your home that has better natural light than others, try to photograph your products there during the “golden hours”. The “golden hours” are shortly before/during sunrise and shortly after/during sunset. Be aware of harsh shadows and avoid shooting in direct sunlight or when sunlight is streaming through an open window. If you can’t avoid this, a great tip for diffusing harsh light is to use a sheet or white piece of paper. This will make the light softer and it will wrap around your item instead of warping its appearance.
However, especially with larger items, this is often not possible. Investing in a light kit is a great way to capture the same effect as sellers using a small lightbox. A light kit like this is a great investment when photographing large items indoors and will make consistent lighting much more attainable.
4. Don’t skimp…show all the angles
It’s important when photographing large items that you capture at least one picture of the entire piece you’re selling. This is why it’s important to have a space at least three times the size of your product. It allows you to back up as far as possible while not losing your surroundings. Another great tip is to take your picture from an adjacent room. If you’ve stylized your picture beautifully, shooting from another room where you can capture a different angle will keep things interesting.
Also, make sure (if it makes sense for your products) that you’re using all ten photo opportunities for your Etsy listing. Shooting multiple angles will give your customers a better idea of how they can use your product and exactly what it looks like. Remember, taking way more than just ten photos will allow you to choose the best images to place in your listing photo spots. Don’t be afraid to take a ton of pictures! You honestly can’t have too many. Also, don’t be afraid to take detailed shots. Showing hardware, stitching, etc. up close is a fantastic idea. The more you show, the more likely you’ll be to sell your item.
5. Scale, Scale, Scale!
When photographing your large item on that lovely, clean background, remember that your customers will likely have a hard time knowing the size of your product without some clues. Taking a picture with a person or object to show scale or comparison will be helpful for potential buyers. For example, if you’re selling a side table, try placing some books or a plant on it, or if you’re selling a headboard, you could also use a model in your images to give your shoppers an idea about the size of the product. And remember, stylizing your item is another great way to show customers how your product will fit into their home.
6. Practice makes perfect
We said it before and we’ll say it here again: practice. A lot. We can give you tips to try to help you capture your images for your larger items, but we don’t know your lighting situation or the space you’re working with. Try moving items outdoors on a cloudy day (just make sure it’s not about to dump rain on you) when the light is naturally diffused. Use different setups and backgrounds and remember…take tons of pictures! Experiment and get creative with your images. But just remember to not distract from the item you’re selling. Above all, stay positive and think outside of the box. If you keep at it, you’ll be capturing awesome images of your large items in no time!
Happy photographing, everyone!