Sunday, 12 April 2009

Photography, the necessary evil ...

When you are running an online store or a blog, taking pictures of your products is a necessary evil. Presenting your products professionally is part of the deal and taking lots of photo's is a necessary evil! I dont' profess to being a professional photographer, these are just some tips that I have gathered over the last 6 months running my online business.

So, a few things that have helped me ...
  • I set aside one night a week to take all my product pictures. I find that when I am in the zone, I just go snap, snap, snap. Set up your pictures one night and then you have enough material to do handfuls of listings each night on your online store.
  • I like to sit my items on a white towel which absorbs some of the flash. A neutral background is probably best so that the focus of the pictures is your item, rather than the background.
  • For something more formal, and if you don't want to pay $350 for a product photography box, you can coating the inside of a 4 sided box in white felt (using spray adhesive). Use a lamp in the top of the box to light your items. You might need to experiment with bulbs to get the right "soft" light.
  • You can also cover small boxes in white felt to sit things on. I have a white hook on a white wall that I use when taking pictures of bags and that seems to work well.
  • You might want to sit a tape measure next to one of your pictures to show the users the size of your product. Easier than putting the details in the description.
  • If you have time, take pictures of the item in it's packaging and with one of your business cards or logo's in the background.
  • I tend not to have the time to do much photoshop editing, the picture above was taken with a white towel and a creatively placed piece of A4 white paper with a circle cut out to reveal my star logo which appears on my shoe packaging cardboard.
  • My camera is 12 megapixels and I am forever re-sizing the pictures. For me, it is one extra step that I just don't have time for, so set your camera to a resolution which can be uploaded easily to your blog or your online shop without alteration.
  • Set up your camera on a tripod, so that you are not mucking around. If you have issue with keeping the camera steady, use the timer feature.
  • I use props (see above) sometimes to show the function of the item. So one picture of the item as the focus, one with function as the focus, one of the back of the product. The more pictures, the longer someone stays on your page or etsy site, the higher probability they will return and buy from you.
Do you have any tips and hints in this area?


CurlyPops said...

I always have trouble taking decent photos. I'm going to use some of your tips! Thanks.

Carmel said...

Great tips, especially changing the resolution on my camera. Thank you.