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Product Photography Tips for Making Items Stand Out in Etsy Search

Great product photos can make or break your Etsy shop. With so much competition, your products need to grab attention and look irresistible to buyers browsing Etsy. Investing in quality product photography is one of the best ways to increase traffic, conversions and sales. This comprehensive guide covers everything Etsy sellers need to know about taking top-notch product photos that get your items noticed.

Why Product Photography Matters on Etsy

On a crowded platform like Etsy, standing out is a must. When you list a new product, the photo is the very first thing buyers see – so it needs to make an exceptional first impression. Consider these Etsy product photo tips:

Catch the Buyer’s Eye

On Etsy homepages, search pages and your shop, thumbnails of your product photos represent each listing. A boring photo will be glossed over. An eye-catching shot makes the buyer click for more.

Increase Click-Through Rates

The quality of your photos drastically affects click-through rates from search/browsing to your actual product listing. Better photos equal higher CTRs and more opportunities to make the sale.

Showcase Key Details

Etsy buyers want to inspect product details like materials, textures, scale etc before purchasing. Well-lit, crisp photos allow you to highlight these aspects that convince shoppers to buy.

Differentiate Your Work

Stand out in a sea of competition with unique photography style and angles. Consistent photos also strengthen your brand identity.

Look Professional

Amateurish photos undermine buyer trust and make your shop seem less legitimate. Investing in pro photos conveys quality and helps justify your pricing.

Rank Higher In Search

Etsy’s algorithm factors in many signals to display listings. Relevant, high-quality photos improve your search visibility and ranking for keywords.

Setting Up a Photo Studio

You don’t need an expensive professional studio to take great product shots on Etsy. A few key gear investments and DIY solutions can set you up for photography success:

Camera

Almost any digital camera, DSLR or smartphone will work. Focus on lighting quality more than camera quality. iPhones and mirrorless cameras offer portability and versatility for shooting various angles.

Tripod

A sturdy tripod prevents blurry shots and allows you to frame the perfect composition. Look for a lightweight portable option if shooting handmade products.

Remote Shutter Release

To avoid any camera shake, use a remote shutter release or timer so you don’t touch the camera while shooting. Many cameras and smartphones have an app for this.

Backdrops

The backdrop complements your product without being distracting. Try paper, fabric, wood and colored backgrounds. Keep it consistent with your brand style.

Lighting

Proper lighting eliminates shadows and let’s colors pop. Invest in a clip-on ring light and/or softbox lights for accent lighting. Near a window works too!

Table & Risers

Use a table at an ideal height for product positioning. Books, boxes or risers help angle items towards the camera.

Props

Fun complementary props like flowers, ingredients, etc help showcase products in context and create attractive scenes. Keep props minimal and relevant.

Preparing Your Items for a Photoshoot

Before photographing your products, take time to clean, polish and prep your items.

  • Remove tags, stickers and packaging for a clean look
  • Iron fabric smooth and wipe away lint or pet hair
  • Clean smudges, dust or fingerprints off products
  • Hide any flaws or use filler like wood putty on rough spots
  • Polish metal pieces so they really shine
  • Steam wrinkles out of backdrops and prop fabrics
  • Check for stray threads, hairs or specks and remove them
  • Charge gadgets and test products are functioning beforehand

How to Photograph Different Types of Products

The photography approach differs based on your product category:

Jewelry

Use a mannequin bust or foam model for necklaces. Arms or flat backdrops work for bracelets. Capture fine details with macro shots. Lighting is critical to show off shine, stones and metalwork.

Clothing & Fabric Items

Flat lay or clothing form shots showcase designs. Capture tiny details with close-ups – buttons, stitching, embroidery etc. Smooth out wrinkles. Watch out for distracting backgrounds.

Art & Wall Decor

Lean larger pieces against a wall for straight on shots. Tabletop miniatures just need flat lay styling. Paintings are best photographed indoors near natural light. Watch out for glare.

Food & Pantry Items

Style ingredients attractively as you would for serving. Sprinkling extras like spices or garnishes enhances shots. Angled natural lighting prevents food looking flat. Use props like cutting boards.

Bath & Beauty Products

Group complementary products into vignettes. Foam helps angle bottles/containers attractively. Capture textures close up – bubbles, shimmer, viscosity. Use props like flowers or loofahs.

Home & Living

Stage items in context – blankets on a bed, mugs on a table etc. Hero products deserve straight on individual shots too. Styling props build a cohesive scene. Lighting shows off colors and textures.

Toys & Crafts

Lay items on their natural surface – play mats, tabletops etc. Capture details and various angles. Light boxes help toy colors pop. For kits, show contents nicely fanned out.

Product Photography Tips for Exceptional Shots

Follow these tips for taking stellar shots guaranteed to stand out in Etsy search:

Mind the Background

A cluttered or distracting background diminishes your product and composition. Use solid colored or subtle patterned backdrops. Or blur with depth of field.

Perfect the Angles

Shoot from multiple angles – straight on, profile, above, shots with depth etc. This highlights the entire product for shoppers and provides all the visual info needed.

Get Close

Take macro detail shots to showcase artistry, textures and intricacies. But balance with full product shots for scale. Zooming in on key features helps convince buyers of quality.

Focus on Order

Clean composition beats clutter. Arrange items pleasingly in the frame. Group related sets close together with space between groupings.

Embrace White Space

Don’t crowd the frame! Allow generous white space around and between items so buyers focus on your products, not a chaotic jumble.

Harmonize Colors

Make sure colors of items, backgrounds and props complement each other. Avoid clashing tones or colors that distort the item shade.

Control Lighting

Direct window light, reflectors and fill lighting prevent shadows while accentuating details. Avoid overhead lighting which creates unflattering shadows.

Shoot Raw

Raw image format captures maximum visual data for editing exposure, color etc later. JPEGs compress image info – stick to high-res uncompressed RAW files.

Steady Your Shots

Always use a tripod for crisp, clear shots. Timed shutter release also prevents camera shake. This brings out the best image quality.

Mind the Orientation

Shoot both landscape and portrait options. Vertical shots work well for clothing, portraits and tall pieces. Landscape emphasizes landscapes, groups, and width.

Style Thoughtfully

Avoid bombarding products with distracting accessories and props. Include only complementary, relevant items that add context and showcase offerings naturally.

Work Your Angles

Varying the angle you shoot from helps showcase all facets of products and reveals you took time. Avoid just straight on – go low, high, side etc.

Play with Perspective

With cameras or phones, it’s easy to subtly play with perspective – come close, zoom from farther, shoot from above or below. This livens up your angles.

Post-Processing Your Product Photos

After your shoot, some post-processing ensures images are optimized for Etsy. Never misrepresent products, just enhance positives.

  • Use photo editing software like Lightroom to fine-tune lighting, colors, contrast etc
  • Carefully adjust brightness, shadows, highlights and saturation
  • Remove imperfections like dust specks and straighten any crooked edges
  • Use filters subtly. Avoid going overboard with effects or presets.
  • Crop for best composition but avoid excessive cropping that misrepresents products
  • Resize images for Etsy requirements and web resolution
  • Add subtle watermarks if desired to protect your work
  • Optimize file types for web – JPEG, PNG, GIF etc. Save uncompressed versions as backup.

Writing Descriptive Image Tags & Titles

Optimizing image file names, titles and alt text improves Etsy search visibility. Include prime keywords buyers would search plus specifics like:

  • Item type – ex. necklace, candle, print etc
  • Materials – wood, cotton, silver etc
  • Style – boho, modern, abstract etc
  • Product features – hand embroidered, gluten free etc
  • Keyword themes – floral, rustic, turquoise etc
  • Dimensions, shape and other specs

Showcasing Your Items Attractively in Listings

How you arrange and display product photos in your listings also affects conversion rates. Best practices:

  • Put your best photo first – this acts as your hero image and first impression
  • Arrange shots in a logical order that reveals all product views
  • Use gallery view to let buyers conveniently scroll through images
  • Allow plenty of zoom for inspecting details up close
  • If using video, lead with a great static image first before showing motion
  • Keep page layout clean with ample white space so photos stand out
  • Optimize images for fast loading – compress final images
  • On multi-photo listings, uniquely name each image for improved SEO

Additional Tips for Etsy Photography Success

To stay ahead of the competition, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be consistent across product lines – match styles, branding, backgrounds etc
  • Re-shoot product images regularly as you improve your skills
  • Take seasonal photos to stay fresh – winter holiday items, summer colors etc
  • Outsource pro services if you don’t enjoy photography
  • Invest in better gear over time – build a home studio setup step by step
  • Learn about lighting, composition, color and camera settings – YouTube tutorials abound
  • Gain inspiration from top brands – what do their shots have in common?
  • Use photo props and backgrounds creatively – don’t settle for flat basic shots.
  • Aim for clean, bright and realistic – resist over-editing or relying on filters
  • Space out introducing many new items – start with killer shots of your newest/best products

Conclusion

There’s no substitute for eye-catching product photography on Etsy. When listing items in your handmade shop, dedicating time to take stellar shots that make your work irresistible is a must. Keep leveling up your photography skills and gear over time. The impact great photos have on your shop’s success makes the effort and investment well worth it!

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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