Follow Along

Never Miss a thing...

Enter your email address to be updated with new posts:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Saturday, 28 July 2012
Oscar Wilde wrote:
I always pass on good advice.  It's the only thing to do with it.  It is never any use to oneself.  ~ An Ideal Husband, 1895
So, with this in mind, and given the number of folks new to online small business (WAHM = Work at Home Mom or WOHM = Work Out of Home Mom) who wonder what it takes to do well, I thought I would pass along advice that has been given to me and the things I have learned in 3+ years.  If it isn't too pretentious, I may even do a series~ as articulating some of these things helps me to be mindful of them as well!

So. Pictures.  Like many people, I didn't start a small business with any intention of being a photographer. But good product photography is essential.

Think about it.  If you walk into a brick & mortar (b&m) store to buy a diaper, say, you pick it up, open it, feel the fabrics, the weight, you inspect the stitching, maybe, the snaps or closure.  You browse through the options in colours and sizes. You see how the large compares to the medium.  You talk to the clerk. So, if I wander into your online shop and I see one photo of a diaper (and heaven forbid it is blurry, over exposed or egads, on your carpet!) I am not about to buy that diaper. Nu-unh.

This is where your photos come in... take that diaper out and give it the supermodel treatment! Front, back, sides, insides. Show me how the gussets fit the thigh (apply this to any product~ how does it work, how is it worn?). Give me close ups of that phenomenal stitching and the special touches you have aded to make it stand out.

Good photos will go hand in hand with good descriptions, but that is another post.

This *may* seem obvious, but given the sheer number of Etsy and Hyena Cart shops that provide only one (and sometimes only a thumbnail sized! one) shot of their product, it needs to be said.  At Etsy you can add five photos/ 4 at HC + a thumbnail + others in the listing itself. USE THEM.  Every one.

For Hyena Cart users: Make your thumbnails on the larger side ~200 px is very nice, and make the thumbnail a nice closely cropped picture, due to the smaller size. Here is a thumbnail and a product shot from Lori of alfabette zoope (who uses a lightbox). Product shots should be large enought o clearly show the details and aspects of your product.
Product Shot:

And make them good.  You don't need a super duper camera, but you will need a decent one. It is a business expense.  I am not a great photographer, and I can't even talk technique, but I have figured out what works for my items, you can, too!
Here are some other thoughts/ suggestions:
  • Backgrounds are a matter of personal taste. For my items I like a clean white background, but yours may be more suited to props etc.  Just make sure the products shines through.
  • Build your own lightbox (google it) ~ I honestly just use two sheets of white bristol board!
  • NATURAL LIGHT.  The best light is on a cloudy or even overcast day so no shadows are cast (if not using a lightbox, of course!)
  • Uniformity.  Create a look and feel~ you are creating a shopping experience! I personally feel a shop looks much more professional if all of their items share a similar style of photography, a uniformity that helps create a sense of branding and personality.  A shope with thumbnails featuring a mish mash of photo styles and backgrounds lack cohesion. Check out Tickety Bu to see how effective similar shots can be.
  • Every angle. Show me the product. Supermodel it!
  • If you have trouble filling all the photo spots then use some stock photos of your items in use, or in a stack or of alternate colours etc.  I often do 3-4 shots of the silk colourway for sale and include one of a variety of pieces to show the range of the line.
  • Models~ the jury is out. Some people like things modelled, some don't. You'll have to decide!  But generally, no one likes to see the EXACT item for sale on a model. So, if you have a pretty red beret for sale, I suggest picturing a model wearing the same style beret in blue, so there is no hint of possibly receiving the one now on your model's head.
  • The carpet. oi. The carpet. I have to say this. Do not photograph anything on your carpet. Or couch. Or bed. Or if you do make darn sure I can't tell it is your bed!  A sheet of bristol board is less than $1. I don't shop in people's bedrooms in real life, so at least give me the illusion of NOT being in yours online!
  • Crop. Crop. Crop.  If you do nothing else, crop tight so I can see your fabulous product!
  • Some simple adjustment of levels/ lightness on photos can make a big difference. Consider investing in a simple editing product, or use those available online if need be (Photobucket etc).
  • Make note of what works. Keep track of the listings that people admire~ when and how you shot them. Your own style will begin to emerge.
  • Take lots of photos. Shoot from different heights and angles. Pick the best.
I think that is all for now... go take some fabulous pictures and rock those listings!


Kate said...

Great tips! Over the years I've gotten better at my product pictures. I cringe at some of my earlier shots. But sometimes I get lazy in my listings and use older, less crisp photos of my products. Thanks for reminding my how much it matters to update those less experienced shots!

Unknown said...

You're welcome! I actually forgot I wrote this and never published it... it was scheduled to some way off date... which arrived without my realizing it LOL

Angela said...

Thanks for the tips! Your products are beautiful!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search This Blog

Playsilk Primer

Join the Link Party!

Go Creative!

Supply Kit for Silk Fairy Mobile DIY

Supply Kit for Silk Dolly DIY