Are Product Photos Holding You Back? Maybe We Can Help

Well, this virus has certainly made its impact on this world. It is a little bit crazy to think about the things that have happened and how lives have changed since it became a part of our lives. Seriously! Did we really just watch the NFL Draft from everyone’s homes? All the players, the coaches, the team owners from their own homes and it worked! So many people are being forced into working from home or losing their jobs completely. Various social media sites are full of people asking questions about working from home. They want to know how to do it better, more efficiently and most importantly where to start.

We get applications on a regular basis for approval on GS Handmade and we will be the first to tell you to get a handle on product photos. They are probably the most important part of any business that is trying to operate online. So, we have a couple of pros around here and I got them to give me some of their best tips when it comes to product photos. If you are struggling in your business or thinking about a new one, read through these tips. Hopefully, they will help you! These first tips are from Heather at GoosieGirl

1. Remember that online shoppers can not touch, feel or examine your item in person, so photography needs to capture all the angles including the back of the item. When consumers view a product page, they are looking for proof of quality and value. Photos give viewers a first impression of you, your shop and your products. Consumers seek time-saving shortcuts all the time, and their attention naturally gravitates to the quickest way to gather information: images. Product images not only testify to the quality of your product, but also serve as windows into your e-commerce store, creating 2 very important things: Transparency & Trust. When consumers view a product page, they are looking for proof of quality and value. Images shape their first impression, creating a tipping point as to whether they will continue browsing and eventually make a purchase.

2. Use natural light. Flash creates shadows, either use natural day light, or lighting that is equal on all sides such as that found in a light box. If you can not use natural, outdoor daylight, create an indoor photo light box. Bad, shadowy, lighting or washed out, too-bright lighting is the number one deterrent to sales.

3. Crop your photos in close to the image you’re trying to capture. Nothing is more unprofessional than random or unrelated objects in the background of a product photo. Try and make the background as simple as possible in your product photos. Remove all items not related to your product.

4. If you have shaky hands, invest in a small tripod for your camera. Blurry photos turn off potential shoppers.

5. For consistency, use the same photo set up each time. The same backdrop is also a way to “brand” your photos.

6. Your watermark should be a deterrent to photo thieves, but not so big and obnoxious that it detracts the viewers attention from your product.


Another one of our shops,  Meesh’s Pieces owned by Michelle has some amazing tips for you too if you are thinking about starting your own business.

1. Natural light is your best friend, go outside if you have to.

2. Shop goodwill or the dollar store for props. Props can give your photos an extra eye catching dimension, but make sure they don’t overpower what your product is. They should draw the eye up, but not distract.

3. Backgrounds. My background is $10 bulletin board paper from Michael’s. Nobody wants to see your living room or kids!

4. Focus. Makes sure your products are 100% in focus. People will scroll on by if your focus is off.

5. Take several pictures from different angles, front and back if that’s applicable. Flatlay so people can see the whole product. Don’t do a flatlay on your living room rug. My flatlay is on the same bulletin board paper I use for my regular stand up photos.

6. I like to make my pictures uniform. They usually have the same type of set up or back ground. I feel like it adds a more professional look

7. Don’t be afraid to re photograph! When you have your photo set up out grab an older product that’s been sitting around and take some new pics. I’ve been rephotographing early items that had bad pictures

8. Make sure your items are clean and lint free! I’ve taken many pictures that I thought were perfect only to see a big piece of fuzz in the middle! I lint roll my pillows, blankets, and aprons ahead of time!

9. If you have items that might coordinate put them together in a picture even if they’re sold separately. If I have a pillow that I think would match a blanket I’ll put them together. Put your seasonal items together if you have them, it gives people more of an idea on how to use your product. Have an earring set that would match a necklace you made? Show people how to use your products!

10. Mobile phones take amazing pictures now! Don’t think you need an expensive setup for photos. I have a $1200 professional camera I’ve never used for product photos. Every photo I have is on an iPhone. Explore your settings, use editing apps to fix lighting problems or to adjust your color if your photos aren’t capturing what you’re seeing with your eye. Your photos should be honest, not over saturated. Sometimes light will play tricks with your color.

This was a cloudy day, taken too late in the afternoon. It turned out very dull.

This is the actual color of my apron. If my light had been better I could have captured the original picture better. I changed my saturation to better match what the eye sees.

In this picture the props help give dimension to my bag. I can just give you the measurements of my bag but the shirt not only coordinates it shows you it’s a really good size bag!

Products grouped together gives your customer a chance to see how your items coordinate and gives them a chance to buy multiple things.

Props show people how your products can be used. To look at this it’s just a tray.

But this picture shows you “hey! I can use this to bring someone special a cup of coffee in bed!” It’s a lazy Sunday morning with a good cup of coffee shot.

This is just a small sample of the teaching, mentoring and help that our shop owners receive in our shops and community. If you’d like to apply to join our team of makers, we ask that you become familiar with the principles GS Handmade was founded upon. Then once you are aware of all of the really cool things we believe about small business, and even better… HANDMADE American Small Business, and you agree with what we’re about, please feel free to apply to become one of our independent makers HERE.

GS Handmade is turning 3 soon!

We’ll be hosting one of our awesome auctions May 5, 6 & 7th, Save the date, more details to come! What an awesome 3 years it has been!!

Get all the latest news from GS Handmade and sign up for text message alerts before the auctions as well as news about flash sales, or special promotions HERE. You don’t want to miss any of the goodies we have planned!

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