Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Product photography for new Etsians

I recently did a few banners pro-bono for an etsy forum critiquing new esty stores, and I got a few questions back about product photography. I have in no way perfected the art of product photography, but I have learned a few things that you might find helpful if your just starting out.
Sooo, here was my responce to that question:

As for the photography, it's a lot of trial and error, but a few tips I have learned are:
*to always take your pictures outside (cloudy days are best- if it's really sunny, use a sheet to shade your photo area- or use a cardboard box to build a lightbox- see below).

*For up close pictures, always use the macro setting- looks like a little flower.

*Always use a plain white background (white paper works great for this- fabric can show the grain of the material. If your using props, then you place the props and your product onto the white background- it helps keep the photo lighter.

*Always edit your pictures befor posting them- www.picnik.com is a great free site to help you lighten and increase contrast of photos, will even let you crop and re-size them. *Use your funnest picture for the gallery picture (the first picture). This will be the one people see when searching for you. It should be easily identifiable and not have to many small details. (a lot of people who sell sewn items like to roll the fabric or fold it several times then take an upclose picture of the rolls or folds and use that as their gallery picture- it makes an interesting picture and shows off the fabric pattern and color in a 3 dimentional way)!
Examples:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=16654109http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22112487http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15373295

There are many different tutorials on how to build a lightbox, but here's a fairly good one that uses foam board- either way works pretty well- http://jyoseph.com/diy-light-box-for-product-photography/

If you have any other advice you've learned along the way, please feel free to add it to what I have here!
Thanks, Jamie

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