3 TIPS FOR TAKING A GOOD PRODUCT PHOTO

Parada Creations

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Hey guys it’s Andi again with another biz post to help you out! So let’s face it. Most of us are not professional photographers, nor do we need to be. But I’ll let you in on a BIG secret about selling your work online… Your photos are the most important thing in the world! They’re actually more important than your product…

Ok, wait, before I get myself in trouble, that doesn’t mean you should go out and make crappy products and sell them. Nope, you shouldn’t do that. But what you should do is take the time to learn the art of taking a fantastic  photo.

So why is this so important? Well, the photo is speaking for you when someone can’t see your product in person. Online, your customers are walking blind in to your online store. They have no idea how awesome your work is… so your photos have to tell that story for them.

So how do you express that to your customers? Well here are the three main things you need to think about first…

1 camera

I started my Etsy shop with a point and shoot camera. I used that for many many years. You can honestly take just as good of product shots with a point and shoot these days as you can with an slr camera. You don’t need expensive equipment to be successful. One thing I will recommend is getting a tripod. This will help you to create super crisp photos that aren’t blurry. However, a stack of books will also do a pretty good job if you’re on a budget.

 

2 background

The background of your image can really make your product pop! Here’s my inexpensive secret: use paper. You can buy rolls of larger paper quite inexpensively and they work fantastic! Or you can buy a sheet of poster paper in a fun color that will make a great background too! Here’s an example of me using wood printed paper for my background shots (I bought it from Michaels in the kids craft area actually). Or here’s some other ideas: Do you have a fun colored wall in your house? Or maybe some fun fabric that has a neat pattern? Or perhaps some old barn wood? There are many ideas you can use here, but I will warn you… don’t let your background steal the show from your product. It shouldn’t be too “busy”. Make sure it helps to enhance the image and not take over.

Let’s look at some examples…

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Wasted Effort does a fantastic job using unique backgrounds. This simple surface with gold flecks compliments her jewelry so well!

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Little Byrd Vintage uses a wooden table to create her background in this photo. It adds depth and works really well with the product.

3 lighting

Hands down, the best lighting is natural daylight. Artificial lighting like ceiling lights or lamps can add a yellow tinge to your photos. And even if you’re working with natural daylight and you accidentally leave a light on near by, this will leave your photos looking a little yellow. So turn them off.

Find a window in your house that has great daylight and take your photos nearby. Try a few different options to see how the light bounces off your product. For example: if you leave your blinds completely open, this might or might not wash out your product. Try closing the curtains half way and all the way to see what also happens. Take a whole bunch of test shots and do lots of experimenting. Try taking your product photos at different distances from the window and see how the light plays on the product that way too.

Different times in the day will translate differently with lighting as well. Try some tests to see what happens in the morning, noon, late afternoon, and evening. EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT!

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This mug from Oh Leander Shop uses a white surface and a white wall – you can’t get any simpler! But it works so nicely for this image as it adds just enough contrast. They are using a simple window to light their product – so easy to do and it looks great!

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This lovely photo is from Blooming Leopold. It’s another simple and super effective way to light your products … go outside! Try different times of the day so you can learn what works the best! And what a great use of grass as a background too!

Okay friends, now it’s time to go ahead, play around, have some fun, and experiment! Using these three things, how do you think you can take a better product photo? And remember, the main goal here is to create a photo that makes customers want to click on it and find out more about your product!

Stay tuned for next Tuesday when I’ll be sharing more amazing tips that are going to make your photos really POP!

- Andi

P.S. If you missed it, check out my last post 5 KEY AREAS TO FOCUS YOUR TIME ON WHEN STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  ANDI IS A FORMER HANDBAG DESIGNER TURNED INDIE BUSINESS ADVISOR & EDUCATOR. YOU MAY HAVE SEEN HER AT MARKET COLLECTIVE BEFORE! CLICK HERE GET MORE COOL BIZ TIPS AND SIGN UP FOR FREE TRAININGS. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING ARTISTS/DESIGNERS LEARN HOW TO GET OUT THERE AND MAKE A PROFIT FROM THEIR OWN WORK SO THAT THEY CAN LIVE THE LIFE THAT THEY LOVE. 

 

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