Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creating Great Etsy Listings - Part 1 - The Perfect Photos

Lightbulb Airship By Tangled Metal

Creating the perfect listing for Etsy is the biggest challenge you can face for your shop. For me it starts with the perfect set of photos. Well, it actually starts when I create the item but that isn't what we are going to talk about today. Today we are talking about photography.

Chances are you are not a professional photographer. (If you are that is great!) The first image is always the hardest. You want to have an image that will represent your item and be somewhat artsy, especially if you want people to put it into a treasury. Just remember to try not to get too artsy. Your item should always be the focus of the pictures. If the customer has to guess what the product is by the image than you have done something wrong.

The four subsequent images should try and get the item from each direction and be clear and concise so that any question the customer has is answered. Remember, your customer cannot touch the item so they do not know how it feels. Of course some questions have to be answered in the description, but we'll get to that later in this series.

I personally like white backgrounds. Some people have good results with dark backgrounds. (Not me. I just cannot seem to make them work) Using props is acceptable, too, as long as they do not distract from the item. For small items a light box is about as necessary are it gets. You can pick one up on eBay or build your own from a cardboard box. I will work on a tutorial for you on how to build one soon.

Lighting is also very important. Remember that hard surfaces need soft light and soft surfaces need hard light. I will get more into this soon as well. Nothing is worse than a dark blurry photo with a lot of distracting props. Maybe that is why I am so fond of plain white backgrounds.

That is all for now. Sorry I wasn't around yesterday, I was getting over being really sick. I am much better now and back on schedule.


  1. Hope you're feeling much better today.

    Great post about about a subject that many of us have trouble with.
    Photography is the hardest part of marketing for me. I have tried so many tips and followed advice on creating the picture perfect photo yet, for me anyway, it is always a gamble. Sometimes I get a good shot and sometimes I just have to delete the photo - very seldom do I experience the euphoric moment of having achieved an unbelievably beautiful photo.
    I too have difficulties taking acceptable photos against dark backgrounds - which is a shame as I have a number of black flocked, jewelry display easels. When I attempt to use one in a photo shoot, the results are always the same - disastrous ! Maybe it is just something that my inexpensive little point and click Cannon camera just can not do?

    Also to get those true to life colors, I've read that it's best to shoot in sunlight. I will agree it does give me the true color that I am aiming for but I find I'm fighting stark shadows and the wind is always a pest . . . not to mention clouds that play hide and seek with the sun. I keep searching and hoping to find the perfect solutions so that my indoor photos will look etsy "treasury perfect". :)

    1. One issue most people run into with lower end cameras(under $500 cameras) is that when you attempt to get true white balance you wash out colors. This is usually a result of using lighting that has color tint to it rather than bulbs that emulate sunlight. Then some people go too far with light and end up washing out the color because of too much light.

      You are right, every photo is a gamble. Photo editing can help but it is always best to try and get the photo as close as you can to perfect before editing. I will be talking about editing next week.