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Are you frustrated because your sales are low or nonexisting? One reason your sales might be lower than you hope for could be the images of your artwork and crafts you are showcasing online. In this post, guest blogger Bonnie shares with you some valuable tips on how to photograph your art and crafts like a pro.
Tips for eCommerce photography for Crafters
Bonnie Skott is a creative writer who left her full-time job at a publishing company to pursue her freelance career. Now she helps Skylum photo editing software company to manage their blog. She really likes planting, so if you want to chat about that or ask any questions, feel free to get in touch at [email protected] or tweet @WillowWispCB
Homemade crafts are currently on-trend. In the last few years, we have witnessed an explosion of personalized crafts being sold on sites such as Etsy and Pinterest. Arts and crafts have never been as popular. If you want a personalized gift or something for your home, for example, you can guarantee there is a crafter who can deliver!
Running your own crafts business can be difficult – there are many barriers you must overcome. You must have a viable means of selling your products online. You must also have a selection of products that make you stand out from the competition. One aspect you may not consider that is also important, however, is your product photos.
When showcasing your crafts online to the world, you must have excellent photos that really make your products pop. If you have little to no experience in photography, this can be a daunting task! We understand this and to help we have gathered a list of top tips for eCommerce photography for crafters:
1. Use a tripod for extra stability
While it is perfectly possible to take hand-held photos, a tripod can help so much. A tripod will provide extra stability and ensure your photos are crisp and totally in focus. You don’t have to spend a fortune – you could pick up a simple Gorillapod tripod for example for under $50. By using a tripod, you can also use a greater variety of camera settings and functions. For example, you can take photos with a lower ISO rating to ensure there is no background noise or grain.
2. Choose your background/surroundings carefully
Most high-end product shoots are completes using white backgrounds. These can be extremely difficult to recreate – if you don’t have the correct equipment, the background can have shadow and not have a true shade of white. To that end, consider what backgrounds and surroundings you should use instead. Place your products within a suitable setting. Ensure the background looks good but doesn’t detract too much attention from the product itself.
Consider investing in a photography backdrop
- Ensure there is sufficient lighting
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of product photography. You can have the best camera in existence, but if you have poor lighting, your photos will still look bad! Lighting can make a huge difference. Ideally, all of your craft product photos should be well-lit. Your products must be visible. There is nothing worse than looking at a product photo and struggling to see what it is because it’s mired in darkness or shadow. Use light to your advantage – even if it means purchasing a small flash or reflector.
Natural light is also a great option for shooting if you can’t find sufficient lighting source
4. Make sure the context of your products is visible
Product context is important. If your product is photographed in the wrong context, customers could be confused about its purpose and usage. If you are taking a photo of a personalized kitchen utensil, for example, it would look strange if the photo was taken in a bathroom or garden. Ideally, the utensil should be photographed within a kitchen setting. This would add to its context and reinforce its purpose to the customer.
Consider using aperture priority mode to create a shallow depth of field
As you learn about photography, you will understand what aperture is and why it is important. Using a large aperture such as f/2.8 will ensure that only your product is in focus – the surrounding background will be nicely blurred or have a stylish bokeh.
A quick guide to aperture settings
For certain products, this effect can look fantastic and really make your product photos look professional. When shooting in aperture priority mode, always consider the product and if this effect is desirable. If you want to show the surroundings and background in focus, you would use a smaller aperture such as f/8.
Use the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is one of the most important rules in photography – it can also be applied to eCommerce product photography. Imagine your camera screen is split into a 3×3 grid. When taking a photo, the central subject should be aligned along one of the dissecting lines – i.e. in the top, bottom left or right third of the picture. Basically, it shouldn’t be centrally aligned. When forming your compositions and positioning your crafts products, always use the rule of thirds. This basic rule can improve the overall effect of your photos greatly with minimal effort.
7. Use props to show features etc
Props can give your products a whole new lease of life. Let’s say for example you have created a hand-painted egg cup. While a photo of just the egg cup on its own would be suitable, why not actually show the cup with an egg inside? This will help show the functionality of your product. Don’t be afraid to use props. Your product should be the main focus of the photo, but props can still help.
For example, add some things that can help understand the size of your craft, like this pencil to a notebook
Don’t be afraid to use creative angles
We have all seen the standard top-down view of a product placed on top of a nice table. While this is certainly effective, it is not always the most creative way to display your crafts. While taking craft product photos experiment with different angles. Move lower down, bring your camera closer, step back – see how your movements and positioning affects the angle and composition of your photo. Be creative and don’t be afraid to use non-standard angles.
9. Edit your photos afterward
Post processing is an important aspect of eCommerce product photography. You do not have to be a computer wiz, but having basic editing knowledge is a huge benefit. There are many tutorials online on photo retouching and basic editing. Furthermore, you can improve the quality and boost aspects of the photos such as color saturation and clarity. Just don’t overdo it – your photo should still look natural and give the real picture.
Even simple edits can bring back the colors and make the photo brighter. Screenshot via Luminar photo editing software
We hope you have found these tips useful! Remember that product photography is just as important as other aspects of eCommerce marketing. If your crafts do not look appealing then potential customers may simply turn away from your page and go elsewhere. Use these tips today and make your product photos shine!
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