Friday, June 19, 2009
Photography and online selling
Online selling is mostly about effective photography. How else will someone realize they are hopelessly in love with your handmade item when they can't fondle it in person?
I have no groundbreaking photography tips. And I can't recommend a fancy camera. I use a Kodak Easyshare which is an automatic point-and-shoot, I like it fine. OK, here are all the same things everyone else will tell you:
Don't use a flash.
Try to use natural light. The best is indirect sunlight on a windowsill in the afternoon, maybe filtered through gauzy white fabric or tracing paper to cut harsh shadows.
The most important thing you need to take clear product shots is the Macro feature, the symbol for which is this Tulip.
A tripod helps too.
And try to think of what would make a pretty picture more than just showing the product, this is the hardest thing for me. You will of course want some straight up product shots but maybe the first pic can be the eye catcher. The one with that ineffable feeling.
That's all I got. Because everything after that is how well you can use photo editing software. I almost never put a pic online without tweaking it somehow. Often the pics are dark straight out of the camera so I lighten them. Sometimes the color is off so I correct that. Etsy likes square pics so I crop.
I use Photoshop, which is NOT intuitive. I have been using it for years and still only know about twenty things I can do on it. I understand GIMP photo editing software is free and people recommend it, I've never tried it.
Here's an example with my new cupcake pincushion listing in my 1000 Markets shop:
Straight out of the camera:
My pictures have been an evolution. I am always learning new Photoshop tricks and thinking of new ways to make my product shots stand out. But you have to start somewhere so don't let your lack of photo skillz stop you from just getting started. You can replace images as you improve. That's what I do. For example, I just replaced a product shot for the Farmstand Bouquet cards I made from my mom's amazing watercolor.
I keep trying to do my mom's gorgeous illustrations justice! Every little photography improvement keeps me interested in working on building a better online shop.
at 3:30 PM