Tag Archives: etsy

How to Shoot Etsy Products

Just because you are not a professional photographer or cannot access a photography studio does not mean that you can’t have amazing photos. Use these tips to take great photos outdoors or create your own photography set up at home. Prepare for the shoot; know the various aspects that you are trying to capture on your products and how you can highlight them.

This makes it easy to come up with an order for the session and choose the perfect equipment. Photo shoots can be draining and time consuming but shooting several items at once will speed up the process and create consistency. If a session goes well, note the time of day, date, lighting conditions, and weather so you can always replicate the conditions in your future shoots.

Gather Your Materials

Photo shoot Checklist

Essential

  • Camera or smartphone
  • Lighting (natural or artificial)
  • Hard surface/Table
  • Tripod
  • Background

Recommended

  • Light reflectors
  • Shutter release cable
  • Props
  • Camera lenses
  • Clips for securing background
  • Back-ups: spare batteries, chargers, memory cards, etc.
  1. Choose Your Background

Simple and orderly backgrounds draw attention to the product and not the surrounding. Clean light-colored walls, smooth fabrics, or seamless rolls of paper make for great backgrounds. Consistent backgrounds for all your shoots are also good for your brand and shop.

Using A Seamless Background

Hang your background material behind your product. You can hang it from a backdrop frame or attach it on a wall or cardboard. Let it flow down and extend it on your surface (table or floor), then place your object on it, a few inches from the curve. 

Using Outdoors Backgrounds

Outdoor backgrounds enable you to portray the context of your commodities through lifestyle photos. Use outdoor photos for context and indoor shots to give customers a closer look. 

  1. Light Your Shot

Good lighting and good photography go hand in hand. Always avoid harsh light; camera flashes, a strong fluorescent bulb or direct sunlight. 

Using Natural Light

Diffuse The Light: Use indirect sunlight. For outdoor shoots, a cloudy day ensures no harsh shadows. For indoor shoots, place your products several feet from the window. Take photos when you have plenty of light, but not too bright. 

Use bounce cards: a bounce card focuses light on your product on cloudy days. Make your own DIY bounce cards if you do not have any. 

Do not mix the light: do not mix artificial and natural light. 

Using Artificial Light

Invest in box lights: three soft box lights are enough to illuminate your product.

For small items, use a tent or light box: a light tent or light box streamlines your shoots with consistent light source and background.

Be careful with flash: avoid using the built-in flash in your camera and opt for an external flash instead. 

  1. Steady Your Shot

Anchor Your Camera

Place your cameras on a solid surface or tripod stand because if you hold it with your hands you might move and cause blurry photos.

Use Autofocus

Turn on your camera’s autofocus function for sharper images. 

Be Careful With Slow Shutter Speeds

Slower shutter speed leads to blurry images especially in a low light environment. 

Get the right Equipment

Use a macro-lens or shutter release cable to enhance focus.

  1. Frame Your Shot

Choose The Position and Angle

How would you like to position your image? Do you want to take a vertical or horizontal shot? Using the “rule of thirds” will also guide you. 

Eliminate Potential Distractions

If an object does not highlight your product, it should not show in the frame. 

  1. Test Your Setup

Take a few test shots and view them on a large monitor. 

The right equipment will help you get fantastic shots of your products. In this chapter, you will see the advantages and disadvantages of various cameras and learn about accessories that will make your photos stand out. You will come across four major types of cameras when shopping.  Smartphone cameras are pretty good and they keep getting better.

With a decent photography setup, good lighting, and of course practice, you can take great photos of your products with your mobile phone camera. Pros: smartphones are small and portable. They help you save time when you need to snap your products on the go. What’s more, you can edit and list the photos wherever you are.

Cons: unlike high quality cameras, smartphone cameras do not use a lens for optical zooming. If you zoom while taking photos with your phone, it will be low quality. Moreover, smartphone cameras are not the best for low-light environments. Compact/Point-and-Shoot Cameras come in a wide variety of styles. They can either be limited when it comes to manual settings or have fully automatic settings. Pros: they are small and portable.

They are easy to use as they have more presets (built-in settings) automatic modes. They are cheaper than premium cameras. As long as a point-and-shoot camera has a macro setting and at least 10 megapixels, you can take decent photos. Cons: the automatic mode on a compact camera limits your control over the shots. Since these cameras also have built-in flashes, they may not be the best for product photography.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras have a lot of options for manual settings and interchangeable lenses. These expensive cameras are more complex than the point-to-shoot cameras and they take outstanding photos. Pros: These premium cameras are versatile. They are easy to use and take perfect pictures even in low light. Their large image sensors absorb more light resulting in larger pixel sizes and sharper images. Cons: they are a little expensive.

They are bulky and not fun to carry around. For someone who does not know much about cameras, learning the manual settings can be a challenge. Instead of using a mirror, light just goes through the lens, then to the image sensor and the image is relay to the rear screen. Pros: They are light. They have more functions and manual capabilities. They might be easier to use for a beginner than DSLR cameras. Cons: a little pricier than compact and smartphone cameras.

They have less functionality than DSLR cameras. Older models might not take great photos. With camera lenses, you can take crystal clear photos of your product. Always consider “minimum focusing distance” when buying a lens. A specialized macro-lens enhances your camera focus when the object is close. Tripods help you take a steady shot and are available for technically any camera type.

Get one with extendable legs so you can adjust the height of your camera. While taking photos, pressing a button may cause the camera to move. A cable release or remote control takes care of this problem. Seamless Backdrops/Sweep are usually a fabric or long sheet of paper flowing from the wall to the floor, with no creases. The continuous background makes your products pop. 

Lighting Tools

Good lighting is paramount for flattering features.

Bounce cards and reflectors

Soft box Lights

Light boxes and light tents

External flashes 

Flash diffusers

Substandard product photography, be it overexposed images or blurry close-ups, can really hurt your online sales. The following five photography mistakes are very common among new online sellers. Learn how to avoid them.  When the light is less than enough, your camera lengthens the exposure to try and compensate for that.

The result may be a grainy or blurry image. Shoppers love a clear photo of the product they are buying. So even though you are selling outstanding goods, dimly lit photos will turn away potential customers. How to fix it: conduct your photography by a sunny window and also use a reflector (a piece of white poster board will do) to focus more light on the product and eliminate shadows. 

Sometimes when you are shooting indoors, you might be tempted to use the built-in flash in your camera to make things a little brighter. What you do not know is that flash can cause shadows, mess with the colors of your product, and create unflattering glares. How to fix it: when you want to shoot your items and there doesn’t seem to be enough natural light, try using soft box lights or a light box to illuminate the product and avoid harsh glares.

Out-of-focus photos portray un-professionalism and buyers will highly doubt the quality of your products if they are considering it. If they cannot see the photos clearly, it is unlikely they will make a purchase. How to fix it: play around with focus settings. A lot of digital cameras are prompted to create a new focal point when you hold the camera’s shutter button halfway down. Likewise, for smartphones, you can tap the screen on the spot you want focused on before taking the shot.

For close up photos where you need to bring out the details of an item or for small products like jewelry, enhance focus using the macro setting on digital cameras. It is usually represented with a flower symbol. Setting your camera on a stack of books or a tripod also makes for crispier photos. Too many props in a photo leave potential customers wondering what exactly is being sold. This can happen when shooting items in a context environment like a pillow on a bed. Although it helps buyers envision the product in their lives, it can be confusing. How to fix it: avoid backdrops and too many props as they can overwhelm shoppers.

The item on sale should be the center of attention. If you are not sure, use a simple and solid backdrop to take photos of your product by itself. For you to sell your products, online buyers need to assess all the important details of the item from your photos. They should be able to tell the size, color, and other details. Otherwise, you will lose them. How to fix it: include photos taken from several angles in your listings. If there are damages, capture them as well. For items such as clothes, shoot them on a model for the shoppers to get a clear image. High quality photos and enough information will attract and keep customers. 

A Successful Start on Etsy

Starting your first ever-online business can be frustrating; with learning new terminologies, concepts, and other things that seem so complex. To be fully prepared for the first few months, it is advisable to plan ahead and figure out how everything works before jumping in. If it is your first time setting up an Etsy online shop or you aspire to have one someday, these steps will guide you.  Gather all the major building blocks in advance.

This way, the shop opening process will be fast, easy and manageable. Prepare all-important things such as photos, your bank information, and item prices. Choosing a business name is not as easy as you might be misled to think. Sometimes you might come up with the perfect name for your business only to be told that it is not available when opening your shop. This can be disappointing but do not lose hope, go on and open your shop.

If you encounter this setback, add your initials, location, “boutique” or “shop” at the end of the name. Before you open your shop, you have the option of changing the name as many times as you want, until it feels right (go to Your Shop > Shop Name). However, after you have opened the shop, you are limited to changing the name just once.

It is normal to have big goals and dreams for your shop. Creating a task list and strategies based on one huge long-term goal can burn you out. Instead, set smaller milestones that will lead you to attain your ultimate goal. Achieving these smaller milestones will encourage and keep you going. Make sure the milestones are small and realistic.

When a buyer comes to shop at Etsy for a specific product, they will type certain phrases or words into the search bar. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Which words or phrases are they likely to type while searching for your products? Brainstorm and come up with as many words and phrases as possible.

After writing them all down, underline the strongest ones. Now go to the listings editor and incorporate those phrases and words into your item titles, product tags, and the beginning of your product descriptions. Each week check your stats to see which keywords are effective and remove those that are not.

Your photos should be simple, illustrative, and sharp. Consider studying a little photography to learn which camera, setting, and angle will work for you. In this case, a lot of practice is needed until you get it right; so do not give up.

You have definitely come across a shop that was so well designed and organized you felt like buying everything. Implement that into your Etsy shop. Encourage customers to buy multiple products and come back. Do not wait until everything is right—just start. Everyone has to start somewhere and grow from there, don’t hold back, just do it.  

Etsy is an online retail community just like eBay only that it focuses on vintage or handcrafted commodities. Most of the goods sold there are in the jewelry, arts, crafts, housewares, artisan candies, baked goods, or paper-goods categories. For an item to qualify as vintage it has to be at least 20 years old and can be anything from photos, costumes, housewares, jewelry, and clothing.

Etsy provides a great avenue for you to sell your homemade goods—but that’s not all. You can find a limitless number of items on Etsy that will help your home business.  For instance, if you use The Happy Planner, Filofax, or Erin Condren to schedule and organize your life or business, there are downloadable stickers and inserts that you can buy and use in your planner.

If you need promotional items that have your logo on them; there are a good number of Etsy sellers that can make custom swag for you. They will not only make coffee cups and pens, but also cosmetics, jewelry, bookmarks, and pretty much everything with your logo and name on them.

For a very long time, a majority of artisans and craftsmen sold their commodities at open markets, fairs, and on consignment. Although the Internet widened their market, most craftsmen did not want to go through the trouble of creating their own ecommerce platform, website, or credit card processor just to sell goods online. Sure, eBay and maybe other e-commerce DIY sites might have helped with the situation but Etsy offered a platform designed specifically for craftsman. 

Etsy makes it easy for each seller to create an online “shop” with total e-commerce capabilities with the easy-to-use setup wizard. It is a simple, affordable, fast, and convenient way of reaching customers. Creating an Etsy storefront will cost you $0.20 for every item listed. For instance, if you sell handmade baskets, and you list four of them (of the same kind), the cost will be 4 x $0.20 = $0.80. In addition, you will be charged a 3.5 % transaction fee. If you decide to use the “Direct Checkout” feature, you will be charged a 3% fee for each transaction.

If you compare the total cost of creating a website that has a shopping cart and acquiring a merchant account (which also involves processing fees), Etsy is way cheaper. Decide what item you want to sell. If you deal in crafts, you might already have an idea of what you want to sell. You can sell multiple products. However, it is advisable to start with one type as you learn. Set up an Etsy account.

The first step is coming up with a username. Make sure it represents your product and at the same time remains open in case you decide to expand your product line. Set up and stock your shop. When adding your products, remember that great photos and product descriptions are important. Price your items wisely too. Provide excellent customer service. You want the buyers to leave nice reviews. When a product is in demand, keep the supply steady to build a lucrative home-crafting business.