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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 always a hot topic, especially among handmade sellers. To stand out on any digital platform, your photos MUST be top quality.
We all know the importance of a good first impression, and when it comes to handmade products, a killer product photo can make all the difference.
That’s why I’m here today to chat about one of our favorite topics: product photography!
A great photo will show off the hard work and details of your handmade goodies and help you stand out in a sea of online sellers.
So, grab your camera, and let’s get ready to snap some fantastic shots!
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Lighting is one of the most crucial elements in product photography, as it can either enhance or detract from the beauty and details of your handmade product. I prefer to use natural lighting whenever possible.
To make the most of natural light, try shooting near a window during the day when the light is soft and diffused. You can also take photos outside if you find the shade very close to sunlight.
If you must shoot indoors and natural light is not an option, you’ll need a few lights or a lightbox.
A light box like this is used with lights on the outside of the box to diffuse the light:
You can also use two soft box lights if you need a larger space than a light box gives you:
You can also use a white poster presentation board to use as a “bounce card”. You can position it anywhere you need a little extra light on your product. The bounce card can be used with natural light or with other lighting.
I use a pop-up light box and ring light, even outside. In this video, I show you how I take and edit my photos using my phone:
I use the ring light for indoor videos/lives and as an additional light source for indoor photography.
Since it has a built-in phone holder AND it comes with the Bluetooth remote, it was a great deal. You can find the ring light with remote here on Amazon.
I have used this photo tent for a few years, and it’s excellent! You can find a similar pop-up lightbox on Amazon.
Composition is another critical element of product photography that can make or break your shots. When framing your handmade product, it’s essential to consider the background and surrounding elements to ensure that your product is the star of the show.
One way to achieve a clean and professional look is to use a simple, neutral background that won’t detract from the product.
A white or light-colored backdrop can work well, but you can also experiment with other colors or textures depending on the vibe you’re going for.
Just be sure to avoid busy or distracting backgrounds that take the attention away from your handmade product.
Another tip for framing your shots is to consider the angles and perspectives. Shooting straight on can work well for some products, but try angling the camera slightly or shooting from above to add visual interest and highlight different features.
You can also experiment with close-up shots of details or unique angles that showcase the craftsmanship of your handmade product.
When it comes to handmade products, the details often set them apart from mass-produced items.
That’s why showcasing those details in your product photos is essential.
One way to do this is by using a macro lens or zooming in on specific areas of your handmade product to highlight the textures, colors, and unique features.
In addition to highlighting the details, it’s crucial to ensure that the entire product is in focus. This can be achieved by adjusting the aperture on your camera to increase the depth of field, which will keep both the foreground and background in focus.
Just be careful not to use too shallow of a depth of field, as this can result in blurry or out-of-focus areas. With some practice, you’ll find the sweet spot that perfectly showcases your handmade product’s details.
Finally, show the product in use! If it’s home decor, show it in a home, on the wall, or counter. If it’s jewelry, show someone wearing the piece. Help your customers visualize how the product will fit into their life by showing it in action.
Taking photos of your products can eat up your time. I recommend setting aside time to take pictures in batches.
Have several items ready for their photos, and take all the images in the same work session.
Most of us need a dedicated space to take photos. So you have to set up your lights, set up your background, your camera, etc.
It makes sense to do this in a batch instead of for single products, one at a time.
Once you’re done taking all your photos, you can post them and go, right?
Not quite yet…
Editing takes product photos from “meh” to “WOW.” Taking a few minutes to edit your photos can create professional-looking pics that will get your customers’ attention.
While editing won’t fix poor lighting or composition, it can help to correct minor imperfections and make your handmade product stand out even more.
Basic editing tools like brightness, contrast, and saturation can go a long way in improving the look of your photos. Adjusting the brightness can help to correct underexposed or overexposed images while increasing the contrast can make your product pop against the background. Be careful not to overdo the saturation, resulting in an unnatural or artificial look.
There are several free editing software options available for beginners, such as Photoroom, Lightroom, or Canva. Each offers basic editing tools and filters to help you get started.
Remember, editing should be used to enhance your handmade product’s beauty, not alter it beyond recognition. Use editing sparingly and tastefully to make your product photos shine!
Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned pro, product photography is a skill that can continually be improved upon. So keep snapping those photos, playing with lighting and composition, and remember to have fun along the way.
Come join my free Facebook group that’s exclusively for handmade business owners like you! You’ll find a community of makers that will help you achieve your dreams of creating a business you love.
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!