Photo This

Photography - not such a tricky task.

When we first started our Etsy shop, photography did not seem thaaaat important. As long as we had photos of our items we were good. Boy were we wrong! Photography has been the key, it is actually more important that the product itself (well, initially at least). 

It was April, 2012 (our shop had only been opened for about three legitimate months). Suddenly we were getting these random sales - back to back, and we couldn't explain why. Well, here is why:

Within a weekend, this photo was published in an Etsy newsletter and the Food in Jars blog. We were total rookies, and had no idea what any of this meant. And the funniest thing, we had no idea how we even got this photo to look so good. 

(If I were to post the other photos taken in the same photo shoot you would laugh. Trust me, our good friends that run Degno di Nota on Etsy have been with us all along; and have seen the growth, and have laughed with us, a lot.) 

White Background

Really, there are a few essential things that we believe will help your photos, because they have really helped us! And neither of us are professional photographers - nor did we go to art school (yet).

1.  Create a "white background" - this is much easier than photoshop (unless you're a pro).

  • Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy some hardboard - we bought two sheets and then cut them into 4 pieces (two larger and two smaller).
  • Paint them white
2. Photograph indoors in a space where there is natural light (overcast days work even better).                                        
3. Use your camera's macro setting (whether you have a DSLR or a point and shoot, this setting really helps to capture and define details). 

4. Take a variation of photos that describe your product
  • Close up - show details and craftsmanship 
  • Distant - show the entire product
  • Solitary - just the product, no props
  • Staged - your product shown in use - with props
5. Mix up the background. As the white background looks clean, professional, and vibrant, it is good to experiment with a textured and colored background as well. This will give your shop a more "colorful" feel - if that's what you are going for. This also helps your customers understand how they might use the product.

6. Just remember, your brand is what is most important. Consider the props you use, and the colors, the lighting, does it describe and support your brand?

Solitary - Distant

Staged - Distant (the caddy is being advertised)

Etsy published on their blog more great ideas for improving your photography and why it is so important:

"How to Make Your Photos Publicity-Ready"

Just a few shops we recommend looking at for photography ideas:

Small items -> Reclaimer

People/Fashion -> Naftul

Building a Brand -> Illuminated Perfume

Pretty Things -> For Such A Time Designs

And that's about it for now. If you have other ideas or want to share what has worked for you, please leave a comment!