You’ve heard us say it time and time again: your photos matter, so make them good! However, taking great photos for your Etsy shop can be a frustrating endeavor. Especially if you’re not a photographer.
You’ve got this great product and know it has the potential to sell, but those listing pictures keep tripping you up! So what’s an Etsy shop owner to do? Per usual, the Marmalead team has got your back. Below you’ll find helpful tips to ensure you’re on your way to amazing Etsy photos and Etsy shop success in no time flat:
1. Light it up with a Light Box
If your products are on the smaller side, a light box might just be your new best friend! A light box is a fantastic way to get clean and bright photos, no matter what time of the day or night it is. If your Etsy shop is currently a side hustle and you end up taking a lot of pics at night, gone will be your worries about lighting. A light box will also help in cleaning up your background and keeping things simple. But don’t think you can’t make a lightbox fun!
The great picture below was shot on an iPhone by our friend @hyde.chic. She used a light box in a super fun and cute way to showcase her product. If you’re looking for an affordable light box there are tons of options like this one for you to check out on Amazon!
2. Simple is best
Speaking of backgrounds, let’s chat about those. Your background should never distract from your product. You want to choose something that will enhance your item and make buyers even more interested in purchasing it. Choosing a background that’s simple and clean is always a safe choice. A lot of sellers on Etsy use wood or a light color for their background for this very reason. A great example of this is the CrystalRelics photo below. The background is interesting yet doesn’t distract from the beauty of the bracelet. Also, if you’re opting to use props, make sure they complement your product and that they don’t distract from what you’re actually selling.
Now, if your brand calls for a more colorful background or a little more drama than a simple white backdrop, feel free to make this happen! Just be sure that you’re always, always putting your product first and making it the focus.
3. All natural
What if a light box isn’t an option? Okay, let’s talk about lighting. First, all natural lighting is always best. This doesn’t mean taking your product into the great outdoors at noon in harsh light. Don’t do this. Like ever. Be sure to utilize natural light when the lighting will be most complimentary to your photos. This would be during the “golden hours” which are shortly during/after sunrise and shortly before/during sunset. Second, utilizing cloudy days as well as shade to get naturally filtered light can be a great idea. When I’m photographing, I’ll often place my items next to a window in the early morning or late afternoon and it creates wonderful lighting for my art!
4. All the pics, all the angles
Remember that Etsy allows you ten spots to fill with photos. Do your best to use as many of them as you can! Ten photo opportunities per listing give you a great opportunity to shoot different angles and views of your products. Remember, customers can’t pick your items up, hold them in their hands, and look at them. To the best of your ability, provide this experience to your buyers through your pictures. Beautiful angles will often be a selling point for your product. Also, take way more pictures than you’ll need. This allows you the opportunity to be picky when it comes to what you’ll place in those ten spots. Until you see them all together, you won’t know which photos and angles you’ll want side by side. Taking a lot of pictures will give you the opportunity to offer a cohesive selection to your customers.
5. Do a little research
If you’re running short on ideas for backgrounds or photos in general, check out other shops! Looking at lots of shops is a great way to learn what’s out there and how other sellers are highlighting their products. You can also find a never-ending flow of ideas on Pinterest for product photography. Save your ideas to a board or folder and practice recreating certain lighting, or using different backgrounds. See how your practice photos look side by side and make sure they’re cohesive. Remember, practice makes perfect!
6. Make sense in all you do
So you’re on your way to great pics! You’ve caught just the right lighting or maybe you’ve decided to use a light box. Your product looks AMAZING and you’re totally excited about how your photos are coming out! But, your brand and the feel of your shop is dark and moody and the pictures you’re capturing/background you’re using is bright and cheery. Hold up! Pump the breaks! As with any business, you need to make sure you’re sticking as close as you can to the feel of your brand or identity. Not sure what that’s all about? We’ve got a great article on design for your shop you should check out! You want your shop to be cohesive from your shop banner to your logo to your photography. If you’re selling a beach themed product but using a background that somehow incorporates mountains, there will be a disconnect for your buyers. Be sure everything makes sense all the way through a shopper’s experience in your shop.
7. Keep at it
Above all, don’t become overwhelmed or discouraged. Do your research, practice taking photos, hop on YouTube and check out some photography skill videos, and just do the best you can! There is a wealth of info right at your fingertips and if you keep at it, you’ll be producing amazing Etsy photos in no time!
Do you have some great photography hacks or tricks you use to get great shots?? If you do, let us know about them in the comments!
Happy photographing, everyone!
5 replies on “7 Tips For Taking Great Etsy Photos”
Really useful tips. Thank you guys. As I understand, most of these tips apply to small size objects. I sell furniture and photografy is a major operating cost for my business, especially now that I am about to upload a number of new items. If you have anything about creating a low budget studio, a shooting corner or anything helpful, I would appreciate it.
Hi Tonia! Thanks for reaching out and letting us know your thoughts 🙂 I’ll definitely consider doing another article on photography for larger items! I know it can be more difficult when your products are large and not easily moved. Thanks again and happy selling!
I second this! I sell xl framed chalkboards/dry erase boards and have done the best I can with photos for my shop, but definitely need improvements. I think my biggest problem is that my home is small and I don’t have a space in my house that I can set up and decorate to model them on that’s attatched to a wall. I have been looking for sometime for solutions and guidance on photographing large items and what other under 100 sales/starting up sellers do. I would love an article specifically geared towards us large item folks!
Hi Alex! Thanks for reaching out and letting us know what you’d like to hear more on 🙂 I’m definitely working on just such an article, so keep your eye out! Happy selling!
What about photography for clothing? Too big for a light box and hard to get a tripod over the items without having a leg in the photo.