For anyone who has tried to sell anything online, whether it's handmade or not, the importance of having great product photography becomes a realization pretty quickly. But how do you go about deciding the best way to display your items? Do you need a SLR or will your iPhone camera work?
I wanted to take a minute to share a few things I have learned selling my art on Etsy and what has worked best for me. Believe me though, I'm still learning and trying new things. So even if you feel like your images are pretty good you can always freshen things up.
1. Invest in a SLR Camera - I know I just heard some groans out there but this is something you really need to do if you want great product photos. You may be able to scrape by using your iPhone but in this day and age of photo sharing and amazing online images you really need to stand out. You don't need a $3,000 camera. I purchased a Canon Rebel T3i with a 18-55mm lens kit and it does everything I need and more. Shopping for a camera can be a bit overwhelming but there are a lot of great starter SLRs out there.
2. Who is Your Buyer? - Part of marketing any product is deciding who you are trying to sell it to. Once you know that you can take that knowledge and decide the best way to stage your photos. Much of my work is geared toward nurseries and children so I try and use colors, objects and textures that feel like a nursery and compliment my art. Think about what your buyer would want and how the images will make them feel. When all a buyer has to connect with online is your photo think about how important that image is for selling your product.
3. Editing Programs - It is much easier to deal with lighting issues and other things you may not be able to control in your photo setting if you have a decent editing program. With my Graphic Design background it will be no surprise to you when I say Photoshop or Lightroom are the best programs out there for editing your photography. There are other programs that can work but with the new Adobe Creative Cloud packages you can get photoshop for as little as $9.99 a month. You will also get Lightroom with that.
4. Mix it Up! - Take several different kinds of photos displaying your product. Since the buyer only has your images to understand the product you want to try and give them as much information as possible. Take a photo displaying your product being used or worn. Do you sell hat racks? Great! Hang one up there on your wall right now with some hats on it. Help your buyer see your product in their home.
Product photography doesn't have to be complicated. It may take some experimenting to find out what works best for you but don't give up. I am constantly changing up my images, the photos that are in my online shop now were not there a year ago. So have fun and happy shooting!