Finding your Spark : Product Photography – The “BIG NO” For Your Product Photos

Product Photography - Getting The Best Out of Your Photography
*Photography by Nay of Moonangelnay on Etsy*

Common Problems: I find myself talking about this particular subject in product photography more than any other when it comes to discussing a seller’s photos, particularly ones that I that I may review like on Link Referral as I have to offer constructive criticism in that area.  With handmade venues like Etsy you are heavily limited with what you can do to the face of your shop, and for that reason certain things are going to stand out.  Your banner being the primary thing, and the item photos being the next thing. You MUST make it look good where you can.  I won’t even say that some of those on Artfire, Zazzle, Zibbet, Folksy etc are immune to this problem.  Fact is most people that join these venues are crafters/artists just looking to share their work with the world and most are NOT photographers.  Not that you need to be to take a good photo.  But it amazes me that some people take clumsy photos, and settle with them without even considering a retake.  I can only assume that they think that a “photo is a photo” and as long as the general item is vaguely discernible then it’s good enough.  Wrong!

Does your product come in different colors or style? Selling children T shirts for example need to cover all the color combinations, prints and designs and the emotions which really could make a difference in their daily life, the focus should be on the product, the efficiency and the comfort all conveyed though the visual medium, Crypto Code trading robot does effective trading with a high winning ratio of more than 80% on the trade signals executed.

Your photo  does not only showcase your item in its finished glory, but it’s a reflection of you as a seller.  Those that take the time and care into their photos whether they make hundreds of sales, or hardly any at all look both professional and positive about what they do.  Dark, over exposed, fuzzy shots look like someone is in a rush, doesn’t have a professional approach and definitely doesn’t have the time to sort it out.  And if you look like you can’t take the time to do your photos, your customers will assume you don’t have time for a lot of things, INCLUDING your business.  That’s not the impression you want to be giving.  And I’m trying not to be harsh as I know most people hold down real jobs, have no idea when it comes to photography, or have really busy lives but I ask these people the same thing every time.

If you looked at any product with photos of the above description, would you be prepared to purchase them, or at least likely to consider purchasing from the seller if you could?  Honestly, I haven’t had someone turn around and say yes to that.  Which says it all.  First impressions are everything, and as a species we are stupidly cosmetic in our outlook to our ideals which is why the commercial fat cats use all the tricks in the book with their products to make us want them!  We don’t have to be dishonest, but we can at least give our work a chance to shine like the best of those do, and all it takes is good NATURAL lighting or a lightbox, a decent camera, a bit of composition know-how alongside great descriptions full of relevant keywords, fair pricing and good advertising.

Here is what I suggest you look out for in your photos.

Top 5 :
 1- Do NOT accept your photos as being presentable if there is glare present on your items (NO FLASH!  Please avoid your flash!), especially heavily over exposed shots.  Glare overpowers your images so all the natural details disappear only to be enshrouded by a beaming great white light.  If someone can’t see your product they won’t be willing to buy it.  Don’t take pictures at night and TRY to find a good source of daylight to avoid the flash where you can, or learn how to bounce light if it’s impossible.

2 – Do NOT submit blurry shots into your inventory.  Particularly if they are close ups.  For close up shots you NEED a macro function or lens on your camera.  Most cameras have that function now.  DSLR’s have the biggest advantage and have the least excuse for getting it wrong.  But that attractive focused image/blurry background you seek… that can only be achieved with a macro function or the technical know-how of managing your aperture and focus.  Not just placing your camera up close and taking the shot.  This may require trial and error if it’s totally new to you and if that IS the case, then I’d recommend a bit of research into both your camera and shooting macro.

3 – Do NOT submit dark or heavily shadowed photos into your inventory.  Just like with over exposure, darkness or heavy shadowing when not intended can hide the true details of your item including the finer details, color and all that love and effort you put into making it look good in the first place!  Always opt for natural light, using white walls/reflectors to bounce the light back onto your items, or if you are out on a bright sunny day, use mesh or a diffuser to take the harshness from the sun away so the shadowing isn’t so prolific.  Better yet, make a home-made lightbox for next to nothing and enjoy being able to take some excellent professional looking photos!

4 – Do NOT take photos with unintentional clutter from your home scattered in the background.  Give your photos purpose and give them their own makeshift “intentional” space.  This is one that I am always surprised to find as it’s one people generally don’t think about when they do it, but it’s not a good look to have your item’s identity tainted by the background.  It’s better to give them a setting, a purposeful space where the item is the only focus as THAT is what you want your customers to see.

And 5 – Do NOT try and disguise the photos that are bad for the above reasons with PHOTOSHOP!  I see people actually try to emulate lightboxes by cutting images away from the background and pasting them onto a white background, i’ve seen photos that have had their brightness played around with, with extremely dark photos.  I’ve sharpness used with blurry photos… my goodness the things.  The problem with photoshopping photos with the above attributes is that they are not high quality enough to work on to begin with TECHNICALLY and not just by appearance.  Dark photos for example have a lot of noise, so brightening them has a more detrimental effect on their appearance, the finer details being further destroyed by the enhanced red and green that dominates images that have loads of noise.  Blurry photos have no sharpness to begin with, so trying to sharpen them is only going to enhance the fact that they’re blurry, and not create sharp fine details.  You get the picture.  Don’t photoshop to disguise!

With a bit of research and application your photos can look amazing and your sales will come from your amazing products!  They have to look as good on screen as they do in real life you your effort is vital.  Keep positive and you’ll do great!