Teaching Thursday: Photos for Etsy Listings

Cherry Blossoms: take the photo

(Photo credit: Kamal Zharif)

Number 1 rule for photos on Etsy listings: Use all 5 available photo slots! This is so important to make sure that buyers can see all aspects of your items.

At least 4 of the photos should be of just the item for sale. The 1st photo should be a good, overall shot of the item. Then 3 photos taken from different angles and at least one detail shot, if possible. Show the back of the item if you are willing to (some sellers feel the back of an item reveals proprietary info about the item assembly, others don’t — vintage sellers should definitely show the back, and my items (tassels) are pretty much the same on the back as the front). The 5th photo can show other similar items in your shop, or be the back shot.

If your item has any defects, make sure you show those in a photo and mention which photo it is in the description.

Solid backgrounds, preferably white, are best. Solid backgrounds mean they won’t detract from the item. White backgrounds make you more likely to get into treasuries.

The best photos have even lighting and are not blurry. Many Etsy sellers swear by OTT lights, or photograph outdoors. If this is not an option, or you want more options, you can use a lightbox. Making your own lightbox can save you a lot of money. Some Etsy sellers get fantastic photos without a tripod, but they are rare.

You don’t need a fancy camera, but one that you can adjust a few settings on will make your life a lot easier, as will a photo editor. Picasa is free and easy. Gimp is free, but a lot harder to use. Photoshop is what the pros use, and is quite expensive (Gimp is the free equivalent). For Mac users, iPhoto is good, but Gimp or Photoshop has a bit more functionality. What is your favorite photo editor?

Do you have a favorite tip for taking good photos? Please share in the comments!

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