Friday, June 24, 2011

Etsy Tips: Take your pictures all the way to the front page!

WARNING: I am not an expert-- etsy tips are my personal opinions and things I have noted. I don't mean to attack anyone's methods but only get you thinking and re-evaluating because that is what I seek constantly as a growing artist on etsy. Hope you all feel the same! Here goes...

Sharing what I've noticed about pictures on etsy...where to begin?

When I help out other shops with a shop critique, I often have to say that their pictures could be better. Two things people rarely take advantage of: natural sunlight and that poster board you never used in high school that's sitting in a corner, rolled up or tucked behind a shelf...I don't know... is it just me?

Natural lighting is one of the best options to avoid extraneous photo editing before posting a listing. It's great-- the colors of your products are not manipulated because there aren't wall colors bouncing off of anything! Recently, I took my watercolor paper book outside and used it as a backdrop for my origami pieces. You've seen those pictures-- perfectly white in the background and awesome for treasuries! Well, you can do it too!

I know that it depends on what you are selling, but don't be afraid to take it outside and off your bed or nightstand. Try out different props and angles-- have fun! Here's a new pair of earrings I made and I discovered the clothes line in my backyard is a great angle for earrings. It's bright and different, with a very natural backdrop of trees.

The more you explore and try different methods of photography out, the better chance you will have at making it to the front page of etsy. The amount of treasuries people included me in significantly increased after my pictures got cleaner and more versatile. I believe it will happen to you as well if you take the initiative! But if you are limited to where you can take pictures and can't experiment outside, try free photo editing websites such as fotoflexer.com or befunky.com. They are free and easy to use!

Also, (a little fyi for jewelry shop owners) I noticed with people who sell jewelry, they end up using a lot of black backdrops and it really takes away the beauty of the necklace or ring. You know what I'm talking about-- those black stands where you can display your jewelry... It's impossible to put them in a treasury without it really sticking out as well. So another tip to keep in mind! --> Think light backgrounds. Black is not in. Don't have your pictures be swallowed in by the dark backdrop. I don't even bother clicking photos like that when I'm making a treasury unfortunately. :\

Another thing: How to choose which photo is number 1. The default photo is the one people get attracted to initially before they click! You want the shot that shows off the product in a unique way.

Here are three pictures of baby origami turtles. Tell me which one gets front and center spotlight:

Now, if you have been following my guide, you would pick the first picture. It's clear, direct, angled differently, and an overall fun shot on a tree trunk. The other shots show other angles, size, everything else-- it's just too much at once! I usually take a good 6 pictures for each item and pick at the end which one doesn't make the cut. Since etsy changed the listing process, I can preview and click through all the pictures to see which one works best before publishing the listing. That way, you don't have to unknowingly save and go back to try every other shot as the front picture. Yay for etsy advances!

And of course, make sure you tag those colors. Use all thirteen tags no matter how little you can think of. It will lead people your way! Hope this helps. :)

Added tip: If you have not tried making a treasury for yourself, please do.  Understanding the procedure will not only help you tag your items in the most beneficial way but also help you develop an aesthetic eye towards item listings. The more exposure-- the better!



  1. Posterboard! Duh, Paige.

    Before I started my current prop setup, I was trying to find a good white background. Not once did I think of posterboard.


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