Product photography is KEY in a handmade business. It can make or break your business because people can’t touch or feel your products. Good descriptions are nice but in my 9 years of selling online I’ve found most people ONLY LOOK AT THE PHOTOS.
You Need to Make them Count.
Here are three photo ideas that I recommend every product listing should have:
1. A Great Main Photo
Main product photos should be simple, clean and draws attention to your item. It is important because these main product photos are what everyone is going to see as they’re scrolling and searching.
Your full item should be fully visible. Don’t cut anything off. Why? Honestly, people are lazy and don’t want to click and will just scroll by if they have to do too much. Make it easy for them and show your whole item. These main product photos should show exactly what you’re selling. No one should ever have to guess.
- Keep it simple
- Don’t cut anything off
- Make sure it’s obvious what you are selling
Note: Main product photos can also be your model photo (it doesn’t have to be a studio one). Even if you do use a modeled photo as your main photo, I would still always have a studio one with your item on a simple background.
Sometimes when I want to switch things up, I switch my photos around a little. For studio photos, I have used seamless backdrop paper or you can use a piece of poster board from the dollar store. You can find more about getting a great studio photo in these related posts:
Do’s and Don’ts of Product Photography
Product Photography Backgrounds
Product Photography 101
2. A Photo to Show Scale
These photos show the relative size of an item. People really need to have a visual idea of the size of the object they are getting. I’ve seen this time and time again with my own shop and others. People do not like to read sizes, they’d much rather SEE it.
When I started adding scale photos (pictures of jewelry in my hand, on a model…), I had a lot less complaints of people saying things like “It was great but bigger/smaller than I thought”.
I still occasionally get them because some don’t even look past the first photo but the complaints are a lot less than what they used to be. Photos showing scale will save you so much time in the long run and can actually lead you to more sales because there is less confusion.
Confused people don’t buy.
Ideas to Show Perspective – I wouldn’t recommend using a coin, they are overused and don’t look as professional.
- Your hands holding the item
- Being modeled or used – I highly recommend this for any clothing if possible
- With coordinating objects that have commonly known sizes (like for something having to do with cooking using a wooden spoon, photographing a notebook put a pencil in the shot)
- The item in its natural surroundings (a decorative pillow on a couch, a child’s toy on a bookshelf)
(Earrings by Sugarsidewalk)
3. Pictures of Details
Details are important because many times a main photo is not enough to fully show off the product. Also with handmade products, the details are what really sells it.
Details are what make you different than mass-produced products. Show the stitching, the wood grain, the details of faceted beads. Details help sell and really give people a better idea of what it is they’re getting. Also, if your item has an interesting back, make sure to show that off as well!
(purse from Shusha Handmade)
Ideas for Detailed Shots:
- The back of your product
- Inside (if applicable)
- The object in its natural setting (a stuffed animal on a bed, a wooden sign on a mantel)
- A close up of the details (maybe the print of the fabric, the seams, the wood grain)
- If it’s jewelry, show the clasp
4. Remember to Use All Your Photos! (Bonus!)
If you’re selling on Etsy, remember that you have 10 product photos to show off your work. So use them! On places like Shopify (which I use and love) or your own website you will have more, so use them to show off your work and convey as much information as possible in your photos and graphics such as size or options available.
Ideas for Other Photos
- Have a collage with variations, if you have different fabrics, colors, fonts (you can easily make collages with PicMonkey or Ipiccy)
- Packaging – show how their item will look when they receive it
- Make up a graphic if you have any special instructions you really want them to see
- You making the product – people who buy handmade like to see hands at work
- Make a graphic with sign up for your email! I just did it for my etsy shop and it’s helped a lot
Here are some ideas from members of our Handmade is Better Community of how you can use your photos to convey information:
Having these three types of product photos will help entice people and turn browsers into buyers. Also these product photos can convey a lot of information and lessen confusion which you don’t want.
Remember, confused people don’t buy.