One of the most important things I have learned about selling crafts online is that the quality of your photos makes a huge difference. Many new craft business owners make the mistake of using lower quality photos because they are in a hurry, don’t own a good camera, or simply are not aware of how much of an influence the photo has on how many things you sell and what prices you can charge.
The quality of your photos absolutely affects the success of your online craft business. You need to be taking good, clean and attractive photos in order to succeed at selling handmade products online. It simply won’t happen unless you do.
Here are some tips for taking high quality photos that will sell your crafts.
1. Use a decent camera.
You don’t have to have an expensive camera, or be an expert photographer, to take good photos of your craft products. Basically, you need a camera that will take sharp photos that show off the detail of your work. A smart phone with a good, 8 megapixel camera will do.
When you use an inferior camera, you run the risk of not being able to get clear, focused photos. Photos with lots of shadows, grainy backgrounds or that are out-of-focus will detract from your work. You might as well list the item for sale without a photo rather than list it with a poor photo, because a poor photo will absolutely discourage a customer from buying.
2. Shoot your photos in good light.
The best way to ensure that you get really good photos of your crafts is to shoot them in good, direct light. There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this and you won’t need any fancy or expensive equipment.
The easiest way to get good lighting for your photos is to take your camera outside on an overcast day. A slightly cloudy or gray day will give you direct light that’s not too bright or glaring, which usually results in stunning photos.
If it’s raining, or you don’t have a good place to take pictures outside, you can get a similar effect by shooting in a windowsill. A white windowsill with no curtains or blind makes an ideal place for taking pictures of your crafts.
Further, if you want to ensure good lighting but the weather isn’t cooperating, or you need to take photos at night, you can build a light box very inexpensively. You can find lots of tutorials for building them around the Internet.
3. Use simple backgrounds.
When photographing your craft products, you want your creative work to be the star of the photos. Shooting photos with a very simple background will ensure that the focus is on your handmade products and not on whatever’s behind or underneath them.
Plain white walls and hard surfaces make wonderful backgrounds for photos of your crafts. You can also use simple backdrops like flat stones, brick walls and grassy fields. But avoid busy and complicated backgrounds like colorful flower gardens or patterned fabric that might distract customers from the real purpose of the photo.
4. Use a limited number of props.
The concept of using a limited number of props in your craft photos goes hand in hand with the simple backgrounds. Sometimes a prop or two will help enhance a photo and show off an item but other times props just get in the way and distract.
For instance, a good prop to use when photographing a handmade ring is a metal ring sizer or a mannequin hand. Bad props, which might distract the customer from the main attraction, might be other rings that are not for sale in that listing, piles of other jewelry or a full mannequin figure.
A good rule of thumb to remember is: keep it simple. This way you can ensure that potential buyers will be focussed solely on the item for sale and not on the props.
5. Wearable products should be modeled.
When you’re selling wearable handmade products, such as scarves and hats, jewelry, or sweaters, you should have these items modeled in your photographs. Being able to see what an item will look like on someone really helps to sell the garment or piece. Think about all the clothing catalogs and Web sites you have used in the past to purchase items. All of the items are modeled, aren’t they?
You don’t have to hire a professional model to get good photos of your wearable items. Anyone can model and do a great job, they just need to look clean, presentable and happy. You can ask friends or family members of all ages to model for you.
Models wearing simple clothes , neutral colors and minimal makeup and jewelry will help to keep the focus on the items you are trying to sell.
6. Edit your photos.
Once you have taken a good selection of photos, upload them to your computer and use an editing program of your choice to make them even better. A few simple changes can make a big difference in the quality of your photos.
Cropping the photos can help to really focus the photo on the craft product. Cut out any extraneous background or anything that shouldn’t be, or doesn’t need to be, in the photo.
Adjusting the lighting of the photos can help too. Brighten photos a little to enhance the colors, especially if they appear different in the photo to how they appear in real life. You want your photos to offer the most true-to-life presentation of the product as possible.
With these simple tips, you can easily learn to take great, high quality photos of your craft products. Remember to take your photos as seriously, or even more seriously, as you do your descriptions, pricing and everything else involved in selling online.
The photo is probably the first thing a customer will see. Make it a photo that they won’t easily forget so they’ll want to see more.