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Hi! I’m Lucy. Chardonnay and vintage finds lover, founder of the handmade jewelry brand bel monili *and* your new guide to making your handmade business WORK online.
Product photography is a skill all online sellers need to master. And the types of product photography you use for your listings are extremely important to getting the sale.
If you’re selling your handmade items online, then your pictures need to be the eyes and hands of your customers! Okay, that sounds slightly weird, but think about it. Your product photos must show your customers exactly how your items look and feel, since they can’t hold them or see them in person.
When developing your marketing strategy, having a list of these product photos will help ensure you’re showing off your products in the best way possible.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to taking photos that sell. And having a checklist helps, so you can make sure you get those prize shots.
Remember, some of these photos you can take while you’re actually making the items. Your marketing content can include more organic photos as well as styled, studio shots.
Here is my list of the types of product photography that will help you sell your handmade items.
A bright, in focus, clear photo of your product, front and center, is the “hero shot” for your handmade product listing.
This is the introduction to your product. The background should be clean and minimal. White or a very light colored background is best for most items, but bright colors can work as well, depending on what your item looks like.
What won’t work is a cluttered background, filled with other things besides your product. Make it easy for your customer to see what you’re selling.
Showing multiples of the same product is a good way to show any variations you may have. If you sell a product in different colors, styles, sizes, etc, you can group them together in one photo to show the differences easily.
Group shots also work great for social media posts. Even if its a group of the same exact product, there is something eye catching about a photo showing a group of the same product together.
A type of product photography that many handmade sellers leave out is the lifestyle shot. Showing the product being used is SO important for selling online.
Remember, your customer can’t feel or see the product in person, so you need to help them visualize what it would be like.
If you sell jewelry, show someone wearing it. If you sell housewares, show them being used – a handmade pillow in a living room, pottery filled with fruit on a kitchen counter, a wall decoration hung in a bedroom.
These types of photos can also be used for social media content, so they will help you with your marketing as well as your product pages.
Because customers are shopping from photos, it can be very difficult for them to understand how big or small your products are. Perspective is skewed in product photography, and an earring can seem huge while a handbag can look very small.
Put your products next to something that most people know well. Any common household item can be a great way to show the size of your product. A pencil or pen can work well for this purpose. Showing a model wearing your item if it is jewelry or clothing is a great way to help communicate the size of the piece.
Many times, it’s the details of a handmade item that sell the piece. Be sure to get up close and take these shots! Show the textures of the canvas or fabric. Show the stitching that you labored over, or the subtle change of colors.
If you’re taking photos with your phone, try to get as close as possible while remaining in focus. Then edit the photos by cropping them even closer to get that detail shot.
Lighting and stability are especially important when taking this type of product photography, so make sure you have good light and a steady hand (or tripod).
If you make something that might be given as a gift, it’s always great to have a photo that shows how you package your products. Many handmade sellers take great care in designing their packaging, so make sure your customers see it before they purchase!
Even if you sell something that’s not traditionally a gift, showing the packaging gives your customers all the information about your products, and establishes a sense of trust. They know exactly what they’ll receive and how it will look when it arrives.
The more types of product photography you take for each of your products, the more information you give your customers. As they shop online, they are depending on your photos and product information to be their eyes and hands!
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After running bel monili (my handmade jewelry business) for 10 years, I launched Bloom in 2019 to create a community where handmade business owners could learn, grow, and support each other in this wild venture of small business ownership. Welcome to Bloom!