Photographing beautiful product pictures is essential if you want to survive in the online world of selling handmade. While craft and art shows allow potential customer to pick up, feel and play with your items – an online store lacks the touching of products. Thus, it becomes your job to photograph each element of your piece and ensure your audience understands the detail work.
Use your resources
The background of your product pictures can may all the difference. I notified my family of the theme I had planned for my etsy shop and asked them to keep an eye out for usable backdrops. My sister collected wine bottles and corks for me. And my mother purchased an inexpensive can that had imagine carved out of it. Garage sales, thrift stores and even the trash can offer neat background items. It’s important to only use background images and items that will represent your store, brand and items. Experiment with a variety of items to find what works best.
Additionally, I asked around to identify a friend or coworker with a fancy camera that I could borrow. Though it’s not a requirement, borrowing a camera from my coworker was a great addition to my photo shoot. Utilizing the resources around you can add a little extra to your pictures, helping you get noticed.
Take more pictures than you’ll need
We’ve all taken our share of bad pictures. This is especially a problem when taking product pictures. You should never post your bad pictures in your online store. You want to represent your items in the best way possible, so your pictures must reflect your pieces in the best lighting, setting and detail as possible. It’s always a good idea to take more pictures than you think is necessary. As you sift through your photo shoot, you will quickly realize that photos that appeared perfect on your small digital camera screen look vastly different when enlarged on a computer. Things that appeared clear are now fuzzed out and details are blurred. Shooting product pictures can take many hours and it’s a real pain to go back and re-shoot certain items when the pictures didn’t come out.
With this time comes the advice of: give yourself enough time to take your product pictures. Though it may seem like a simple task – photograph each piece – it can be a very long process. If you have goals set or a deadline to meet, give yourself plenty of time to photograph your products. Also, remember that any editing and organization you do will take additional time.
There are plenty of tutorials out there to teach you about proper lighting with taking product pictures for your online shop. But the truth is – the lighting depends on your product. Proper lighting for my bronze-toned jewelry will be different than someone working with sterling silver. And again, it would vary for someone doing mixed media art. No matter what kind of light your product requires, natural light is always best. When preparing to do a product photo shoot, always start as early in the morning as you can – giving you several hours of sunshine to work with.
Photograph Real-Life Situations
Potential customers need to understand how things will lay, how they will be used and what position an item will naturally rest in. If you sell jewelry, be sure to include pictures of earrings and necklaces dangling off or something. If your shop is dedicated to baby clothing, share pictures of a child wearing your line. If customers cannot get a sense of how your items would fit in to their lives – they won’t bother buying them.
Your product pictures should also be a little artsy. Bland, dull or boring pictures won’t attract buyers, store features or bloggers looking to write about handmade goods. It’s important to do everything you can to ensure your online shop gets noticed!
Do you have any product picture tips? I’d love to hear them!