{Business Tips} How to take better product photos

You spend hours and hours in perfecting your art and listing your products in your shop. It should be a no-brainer that you show off the best and most perfect picture to showcase them. And as they say, pictures are worth a thousand words, right?

But  when you upload an image of a product to sell, it’s only one dimensional; just a snap shot to tell a whole story, in lieu of words. You have to “sell” through your photograph. So how do you tell a whole story, in a thousand words, when the product is displayed flat on a computer screen, where a buyer can’t touch, feel, smell and handle your product, before making the decision to buy?


Your product has to be realistic enough on the screen so that a buyer can make that decision, by just looking at the image. The image has to convince the buyer that your product is what she wants, desires, and needs. And it has to happen in a split second.

So how do you take photos of your products to grab someone’s attention in an instant? Here are some online resources where you can learn to make that happen.

Product image showing scale without using a ruler

Joys of Handmade

Here are some simple tips from Joys of Handmade, my handmade business resource website where I cover:

  1. Camera – what kinds of equipment do you need?
  2. Composition and Background – what types of background is better for your product?
  3. Light – what’s the best types of lighting? Natural? Artificial?
  4. Focus – how do you get the sharpest picture?
  5. Edit – how do you edit your images?
  6. Review – why is this important?
  7. Size – what size image is allowed on Etsy?
  8. Number of Images – how many images do I need?
  9. Consistency – what is consistency and why is this important?

Evon Cassier Bags

One factor I didn’t cover in this post is to look at shops that you LOVE on Etsy and see how they take their pictures. What do they do to answer the questions above? Also see what types of images end up on front page. How do they address these nine questions. You can learn a lot by just “window shopping”. But whatever you do, DO NOT COPY their set up. Their background or specific prop could be their signature for their shop. Except for the obvious, like a solid background, don’t copy their signature composition. It’s just not cool. Find your own unique ‘look’.


Here are Photography Tips from Etsy on everything from photography for beginners to how to take Feature Friendly Photos. It’s an important section on Etsy Seller’s Handbook as there are preferred guidelines for photography and what they look for in images. If you want your items to end up on the front page or to be chosen for a feature, learn what they are looking for in a photograph. The latest update for images by Etsy makes it easy to move the thumbnail around to fit the slot better so you can position the images properly.

build a little biz

An image is worth 1000 words – there are great tips on editing, adding graphics, borders, and text boxes. While you might not include graphics or texts on the FIRST photo in the shop, you can certainly make variations to other 4 images and include them to show different and interesting “look”. It also mentions photo editing sites – many of them FREE – for those who don’t have fancy photo editing software like Photoshop.

smile. play. love.

5 apps you can use to edit photos –  you can have some fun with apps you can use for your photos. While Etsy frowns upon using texts and watermarks for images, adding them to images #2-5 will be fun to do. I just wouldn’t use them on the ‘lead’ image.

How do YOU take great photos for your shop? What are some tricks you use?

3,976 total views, 2 views today

About Karen Lee

As a former Captain of Eco Etsy and one of the current leaders for the team, I am really excited to be hanging out with like minded team members to share ideas on how we can leave the least amount of carbon footprint.

I sell eco-handmade and vintage goodies in my Etsy shop and consult small business owners on Karen Lee Consulting where popular Etsy Starter Kit is sold. And as a retired Chiropractor, I share natural health news and green tips on drkarenslee.com. Check out my past posts on Eco Etsy!