5 Photography Tips For Etsy

I’ve had my Etsy shop for about 4 years now and I haven’t been active with it for all of those years.  So, it’s experienced a little bit of neglect.  But, since the beginning of the year I’ve been working on it every day diligently.  But, as much as I search for the perfect keyword or the enticing product description.  If I don’t have good pictures I will, most likely, not be selling much.

5 Photography Tips for Etsy Sellers - Carmen Whitehead Designs

Think about it, when you’re shopping online and searching, what prompts you to click on an item?  Most of the time it will be a nice picture of the item, no matter what the price may be.

That philosophy is no different on Etsy.  So, as shop owners it’s crucial we spend time improving our product photography.  

But, it doesn’t have to be complicated. I’m certainly not a professional photographer.  I do have a simple point-shoot digital camera, but I prefer taking pictures with my phone.  I don’t even have an iphone, I have an android Samsung J7 and it works beautifully.  So, you see it doesn’t have to be fancy.

I’ve put together a list of 5 tips that are things I’ve learned on the photogenic journey in getting the right picture.

  1. Lots of light – Position your table by a fairly large window to let in as much natural light as possible.  Natural light is best when available, but not everyone has that capability.  I have  large window in my front room but it faces east and after noon it doesn’t get much light.  So, I invested in a studio light to give me that missing natural light.  This studio light kit comes with the tall stand, umbrella and light bulb.  It’s easy to set up and move around.  Don’t use a flash to try and get more light.  The flash is too harsh and will wash out your pictures.  Natural or diffused light is best.


2. Create Your Own Backgrounds – Depending on the size of your product, you can create your own portable backgrounds.  I have note cards and journals that I sell and wanted to try a “flat lay” style with them.  A Flat Lay is a photo styling that takes the shot from above the product, like if you’re at a desk.   To create this I purchased some white foam boards 22″ x 28″.  I placed one on a small table and used another one to reflect some light on to it. This crisp white background really makes your product pop.  To change up my background some, I then purchased a roll of self-adhesive wallpaper with a faux wood design.  I adhered one side with the pattern horizontal to use for flat lay shoots and the other side vertically to give a wall effect.


Photography set up for Etsy products - Carmen Whitehead Designs


3. Use the Props you already Have – Once I had my backgrounds set up, I started looking around my house for props to use in my “flat lay” photo shoot.  I have a large collection of things I’ve made or items I collect, I even snatched a small clock to use.  The table I have my foam board on has a little shelf, so it makes it easy to store the props I’m not using. The only prop I purchased was the small potted succulent plant.  Succulents are really popular right now in flat lay photos.  

4.  Steady Your Hand with a Tripod – To help me take better pictures after all of this preparation, I purchased a 50″ tripod with a smartphone mount.  My hands are very shakey and that’s so frustrating when you’re after that perfect shot.  This alone saves me so much time in having to retake blurry pictures.  The tripod can also be shortened and used on top of a table for really small items.  It’s very versatile.


Here is how I set things up. As you can see it’s in front of my china hutch and out of the way from family and pets.

To help me take an even steadier picture, I also purchased this remote camera shutter release for phone cameras.  Simply download the app and you’re ready to go.  

5.  Consistency in your photos – When you look at the photos of the very successful shops on Etsy, you’ll notice one thing about them…Consistency.  They have a consistent style about them.  They’re not all exactly the same, but they are within the same style.  I changed my props around to match the look of the product I was shooting, but they all went together in a cohesive look.

This also applies to my shots I did for my larger artwork.  These pieces were too large to lay on the foam board and I also wanted them in a more natural setting, artwork on a wall.  So, I searched my house for a bright wall.  I selected a corner in my family room by a window that had a book case for adding my props. I set up my light source and placed the tripod on a table to make sure I was looking at the art straight on.  Here’s some photos…

Angel Fairy Canvas by Carmen Whitehead Designs

Love in a Cup canvas created by Carmen Whitehead Designs

You see?  All different props, but same cohesive look and style.

Bonus tip:  Edit your photos until they’re perfect…

Taking the pictures may be the more labor intensive part of the process (setting up, breaking down, moving things around), but your job is not complete until you edit the photos and  make them showcase ready.

I don’t know how to use PhotoShop, I know that’s the most popular editor out there now, but I just never got around to it.   What I use, and have been for the last couple of years, is the free online editor PicMonkey.  This will give you all the options you need to have quality pictures, as you can see in the before and after below.  Etsy suggests using png or jpg images that area at least 570 px wide and recommend 1000 px wide.

Well there you have them, all of my tips that I’ve learned in my recent hands-on learning of upgrading my product photos.

Looking to upgrade your #etsyshop photos? Here's 5 tips to help you... #photography #tips Click To Tweet

Do you have a tip you would like to share?  Something I  missed?  Or perhaps a question.  Just let me know in the comments.

If you’re wanting some more photography tips, you can follow my Pinterest Board with even more information…

Photography tips by Carmen Whitehead Designs Pinterest board

Thanks so much friends as always for visiting and enjoying my blog.  Until we meet again…





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