Creating the Perfect Photos of Your Items:
Taking pictures of the items you sell in your Etsy store is one of the most important parts of your listing set up.
Good photos that have been set up well and that show the potential buyer exactly what they’re getting are what can push a browser into hitting the buy now button.
A bad quality photo can lose the sale for you, so it really is important to pay attention to the photos you take and use for your store.
It’s not hard to set up a great looking photo. You need to remember what the objectives are for your photos.
- To show all aspects of the item such as condition, detail, special features, etc
- To show scale (how big the item is compared to a commonly recognized item)
- To entice customers to buy
- To show uses for the item
- To show color choices or design choices
How you set up your pictures is a very important part of the listing process, regardless of what type of items you sell in your store. Backgrounds, angles, surrounding items in the shot and other factors all contribute to a well put together photo. Outlined below are the ways to set up terrific shots no matter what type of items you sell. Ensuring that your pictures are attractive and that they contain the elements needed to attract customers will increase the number of buyers you get that purchase your items.
Choosing the Right Backdrop
Backdrops can enhance the item you are photographing or it can detract from it. As a rule of thumb, never use a backdrop with a pattern on it.
Solid colors work best because the focus can stay on the item rather than the design of the print. Darker colors photograph better than lighter colors, and allow you to show greater detail regardless of the size of the item, but you don’t want the lighting to be dark, just the backdrop.
If you’re photographing small items such as jewelry, small knickknacks and other small items, use a table or counter and lay your backdrop over it. Lay your item in the center of the table and make sure that you frame the item as close as you can get without losing sharpness and clarity. You don’t want there to be a lot of backdrop showing around the picture. Customers are going to want to see as much of the item as they can and the closer the better.
When photographing larger items, if you can hang a backdrop behind it to eliminate distractions in the background. If you can’t hang a backdrop, try to use a blank wall or some other “non-busy” area so the focus stays on your larger items.
Shoot Different Angles of Your Items
Take pictures of your items from several different angles. People love to see as much of the item as they can.
Front, back, sides…even jewelry can be photographed laying flat on the table and hung on a small stand so they can see it as it would hang or lay when worn.
Don’t take weird angles of your items. Although people do want to see as much of the item as possible, random close up shots of the item won’t make sense to the customer. Close up shots of a particular feature on an item is fine and preferable, especially since small detail can sometimes not show up in a photo that is taken from farther away.
Don’t Add Items to the Shot that Don’t Belong
Although it may be tempting to add food to a photo of handcrafted plates or glasses, don’t add anything into the shot that doesn’t go with the item. The only exception to this would be if your items are functional in some way such as drinking glasses or flower pots and then you can “set the stage” so to speak and fill the glasses with a drink and the pots can be filled with flowers. In those cases, make those pictures extras and not the main sales picture of the item. Those pictures where the item is in use are good for showing use and value of the item, but as a standalone picture they take away from really being able to see the item in its entirety.
Make Your Pictures Clear and Sharp
Clarity is probably the most important element of your pictures. A well set up picture with the perfect background completely loses all value when it is blurry and out of focus.
It is extremely important to make sure that your photos are as sharp and crisp as possible. If you’re taking close ups of an item and need to use macro to get good close ups, be sure not to forget to do that. Clarity and sharpness can turn browsers into buyers so pay attention to this very important detail.
No matter what you sell in your store, remember to have fun with the pictures. Being clever is fine and can add some interesting elements to your store, but keeps the clever photos as extras or for your blog and not for use as sales photos. You don’t want them to be boring of course, but too busy and people will start paying attention to what is going on in the picture rather than what you want them to focus on.
Why Scale is Important
It happens with food pictures all the time. You may have even had it happen to you…a photo of a piece of cake or a tin of candy. It looks like a TON of food, so you order it thinking you’re going to get this gigantic tin of candy or nuts.
It arrives and it looks like it’s been through the shrinking machine. What has happened is that there was nothing in the photograph to indicate size or scale and the photo made it look larger than what it was.
Although it is a commonly used tactic, you don’t want to do this in your Etsy store because it disappoints people and you want to give them MORE than they expect, not less.
When photographing items that can appear to be bigger or smaller than they actually are, if you don’t put something in the photo to indicate size, then list the measurements prominently where the customer can see them. It also would not be a bad thing to add something in the description that can be a verbal show of scale. A sentence like “roughly the size of a silver dollar” or something that is relevant to your item will give your customers a visual comparison that will help them know exactly what they’re getting and what size to expect and that will ensure happy customers when their items arrive.
- Your photos of your items are extremely important to set up correctly
- Choose the right backdrop to enhance the item
- Shoot several angles of your items
- Don’t add unrelated items in the photo
- Sharpness and clear photos is crucial
- Scale is important to avoid disappointments