We as humans are very interactive creatures - we love to completely SENSE what we are getting. We want to touch, smell, taste, look at, and listen to everything. If you have one shot at getting a customers attention, your pictures will certainly have a huge part in it. This isn't a photography lesson - obviously I cannot teach you how to use your camera, but these are some pointers that will generally help you to get the best results. A good example of the use of some of these tips is the photo off to the left that I took of my latest creation - Bertram the Mechanical Birdie.
- Lighting is extremely important! You can't take your pictures in the dark, can you? If your lighting in the house is minimal and dingey, invest in a few inexpensive clip-on desk lamps -they can be found in hardware stores as well as big box stores. But don't go for soft light bulbs - go for Daylight bulbs. They give off the same type of natural light as the sun does. Colours are more true, and brightness is at it's best.
The best light you will ever have is the natural light of the sun. If you live in a sunny climate, or it happens to be Spring/Summer where you live, take your pictures outside! There really is no comparison - the colours are their truest when the light is natural.
- Show your product in it's true environment! If you are selling prints, you might want to stuff it into a frame and take a picture of it hanging on a wall. If you are selling bracelets, show the product on somebodies wrist. You don't have to do this of course, but it really aids in helping the customer visualize how it would look in their own environment.
- Your product really needs to steal the show! Don't take pictures of it on top of a busy or clustered background. You need a background that will allow the product to practically POP off the backdrop! Say your product is purple - take a picture of it on a green, yellow, or orange background. You can use the "Color Wheel" to find some great colour complements and opposites. Another good tip is to take pictures of light objects on dark backgrounds, and dark objects on light backgrounds.
- Keep your photos clean! I know it is extremely tempting to add huge borders and decorations while editing your photos, but it can be really distracting on Etsy. Try to skip out on adding names and words on your photos as well, as they can be very distracting.
- If you do use watermarks on photos, add a disclaimer! Especially if you sell prints, most people tend to add watermarks to avoid having someone steal the image. If you use watermarks, make sure you add a disclaimer to your listing that says something along the lines of, "If you purchase this print, it will not come with a watermark on it." I know it sounds sort of obvious, but you'll be surprised how many people can get confused by this, and think that your photos really do come with "Copyright so-and-so on such-and-such date" plastered across the entire print!
- Make sure your photos are large enough that customers can see all the details. If it's too small, people will be scared off because they can't see what they are buying.
- Nobody likes blurry photos. Especially if you are taking pictures of smaller objects, use the Macro setting on your digital camera to get a well focused and sharp photo.