Are you sabotaging your Etsy success? You might be.
Although, probably not on purpose, right?
In fact, you are probably working really hard on your listings. Making sure that you use your keywords correctly and that you descriptions are enticing to your customers. You are creating products that are of a super high quality, paying careful attention to each and every one.
You’ve worked really hard.
But it doesn’t matter how perfect your listings are.
Or how well you’ve worded the descriptions or how hard you work on your products.
None of that matters…if you can’t get people to click into your store in the first place.
The #1 cause of sellers not getting clicks on their listings?
The hands down biggest reason is….bad photography.
Even decent photography is often not enough to stand out on Etsy.
Whether they know it or not, your customers are a picky bunch. We all are really.
When we are browsing through the Etsy listings the items that we are more inclined to click on will be the ones with great photos.
And pictures that are grainy, blurry, too dark, too light or too complicated or too boring will be the cause of your items not getting clicked on. And if they aren’t getting clicked on then they aren’t going to sell.
“If your listings aren’t getting clicked on,
they aren’t going to sell!!”
Yikes. That is a BIG problem.
Great product photography gets clicks….and mediocre product photography doesn’t.
No clicks, means NO sales!
It doesn’t even matter if your items are of amazing quality. It doesn’t even matter if they are better quality than your competitors items. If your competition has better pictures then they will have to upper hand every time.
They will be getting the clicks AND the sales.
Because we aren’t out there looking to purchase a mediocre product are we?
Can you think of a time when you have been shopping online and clicked on the lower quality photography as opposed to the bright, clear photograph?
Unless the price difference was really huge, you would click on the better picture, every time.
Convinced that Your Photos Need to Be Awesome?
I get that it can be tricky when you’re just starting out.
You’re not a professional photographer. And unless you have had a lot of practice it’s going to take some time for you to get your head around the process.
Honestly, product photography is something that even longtime successful Etsy sellers still spend heaps of time and effort getting right.
I was totally ignorant to the importance of my product photography when I started out and I cringe to think of some of the shots I was putting out there. No wonder I wasn’t selling anything.
Yes, it can be tricky to get right but not impossible. If I can do it, you can do it!
So don’t feel bad if your pictures aren’t professional quality, yet, instead i want to get you motivated to do everything in your power to make your photography beautiful and enticing.
6 Tips to Make Photography Easier
Luckily, we have the technology….AND great photography is actually easier than you might think.
You don’t even need a really expensive camera. You can use a digital camera if you happen to have one OR you can use your smartphone, they will work almost as well.
And then I want you to keep it super simple.
- Lots of natural light
- Simple backgrounds
- Detail, detail, detail
- Angles Matter
- Use the same setup
- And then practice practice practice.
Let’s break it down…
My house sucks. No really, it does….as far as finding natural light for my Etsy photos goes anyway.
No matter how many windows I open or how sunny a day, my pictures still have shadows and are too dull. It doesn’t help that the whole thing is painted a shade of green that gives a weird tint to all of my pictures.
Lovely isn’t it.
So instead, I take all of my photos outside either under the patio (I set up my products on the chair with a cover over it) or in the direct sunlight depending on the time of day.
So if you have lots of bright, natural light in your house then pick a spot and start snapping. You could even invest in some lamps or lighting if you wish to brighten things up a little.
You could even get all DIY and set up a light tent like this one. It wouldn’t take long to make and is a super cost effective way to ensure you get perfect lighting.
Or, if you are lazy, like me, you can head outside and find a suitable place to take your pics.
Etsy is not your food blog. Or your wedding album! You don’t need to shoot in a forrest at sunset with the last of the light hitting the trees at just the right angle.
We aren’t aiming to win any photography competitions.
So let’s keep it simple.
The Best Background for Beginners
My favourite background for the products in my Etsy store is plain white, for two reasons.
- I’m not that good of a photographer to be able to use props and stage my photos in interesting ways. White works for my skill level.
- Using a white background really showcases your product. It draws the customers eye straight to your item because there is nothing else to look at!
See what I mean. White works.
You can get a white background happening in a few different ways
- Hang up a white sheet or a white pillow case (be sure to iron it first)
- Use thick white card or posterboard – anything A3 or bigger should work a treat
- Buy a proper white backdrop like this one
And if you don’t like white backgrounds?
That’s cool, you can use any sort of background you like. You can even stage your products if you have the sort of items that look great staged such as cushions on a couch or a rug on a bed. That certainly helps give the buyer some context with which they can imagine themselves using the product.
Whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t take the focus off of your product.
That is the number one thing you need to remember. Your product is the star.
Detail, detail, detail
It is all in the details!
When we go shopping in real life we are able to pick up the items that we like. We can look at them, hold them, feel the textures and essentially check it out from top to bottom. We can even try it on for size.
Unfortunately we cannot do ANY of that when shopping online. Our customers can’t touch or feel the item and they definitely can’t try it on to see if it fits or looks good on them!
Which is why the level of detail in your pictures matter. A. WHOLE. LOT.
How do we make sure that our customers have all of the details they need? Simple;
- Take clear, close up pictures that show the features of the item in great detail
- Take shots from close up but then also take shots from a distance as well
- If size is important to your customers, think about adding another object into the shot (such as a hand or a can of coke, something that customers will already have an idea of the size of so they can get context) and
- Carry that detail through to your descriptions (which I will cover in an upcoming post)
Closely related to detail but something that is often overlooked, but super important, are the angles at which you take your pictures.
These angles determine exactly which parts of your products that your potential customer gets to see.
Imagine if you shot all of your pictures from the front. How is your customer going to know what the back of your product looks like? Or the sides? Or the top?
So please keep that in mind when taking your photos. Don’t just stand in front of the product, snapping away. You want to give people the 3D view of your item. Remembering;
- The top,
- the back,
- the sides,
- the inside
Anything that they need to see to help them feel like they have access to every little detail.
HOLD UP – Now, the importance of this can depend on what you sell. Some products won’t need to be photographed from the back or the side, such as paintings. Some products however NEED to be photographed from every angle that you can think off.
Bags, hats, shoes, dresses and homewares are all items that buyers will want to see in detail. And part of providing that detail is shooting from all angles.
Use the Same Set
Once you have figured out what your background will look like, found your best light and taken some great shots, the hard part is over.
To keep it really simple (and so I don’t have to go through that setup process over and over) I like to use the exact same set up, EVERY time I take pics for my Etsy store.
I may alternate between two backgrounds just to keep things from getting boring but everything else is essentially the same.
- Same background(s)
- Same natural lighting
- Same camera angles
- Same camera settings
- Same camera distance/zoom
- Same time of day (keeps any shadows at the same angle)
Why? Two reasons.
- It means that set up is fast and easy because I know exactly what to use and where to put it all
- All of the photography in my Etsy store has great continuity because it all looks similar, like it belongs in my store.
Like this great example from the store LivingBEADS
Etsy Video – Photography Tips
Practice Like Crazy
Just go out there and take a heap of photos. The more photographs that you take, the better you will get.
I like to take small batches of pictures at a time and then upload them to my computer, before I get too carried away. One thing I have noticed is that sometimes my photos look great on the camera screen but it’s only when I view them on a computer that I can see if they are good enough to use in my Etsy store.
Then I can figure out what is working and what isn’t (perhaps the light was wrong or I was too far away), then I adjust my shot and keep shooting.
Practice makes perfect….
The more that you practice, the better your pictures will be. Remember to only choose the very best 5 pictures of each item to go into your Etsy listing.
“And you will get better, your pictures will be great
and people will click on your listings, I swear!”
TIP – If you have any skill with photo editing software then use that to improve the lighting or other flaws in your pictures. Even programs like Pic Monkey (which is super easy to use) can help with brightness or contrast.
And then what?
I hope you use my Etsy photography tips to help make your products look as amazing as they are. BUT I also want you to have your store up and running.
This means that your photos DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT.
Yes, they need to be very good. But not so good that it holds you back.
It’s much better to have your products out there then it is to keep them off Etsy forever because you are agonising about the quality of your photos.
Get some decent pictures happening and then put them up!
Tell me about your current setup for taking pics. Have you got any tips that will help the rest of us take better product photos? Leave a comment below!