Photography tips

Tips on creating an image for a listing

What makes you click on a thumbnail to find out more?

Should the image be cropped tightly, framed, a close up of an impressive detail or perhaps the leading image should clearly show the entire item? There’s certainly no ‘one size fits all’ answer with the enormous variety of handmade goods available, but there are a few pointers we can give to help you boost your views.

Items should be in focus, well-lit and clearly showing the item for sale.

A good tip is to search for your items (or get a friend who will give you honest feedback) and look at your photos at thumbnail size in context of all the search results. This is often how a buyer will see them. Do they stand out? Is it clear what you’re selling? It’s amazing how many photos lose their impact in a thumbnail – perhaps because the lighting is a bit dull, the item appears too small, or the background is too fussy.

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Buyers will often be searching for a specific item so your goods will be competing against everything else returned in the search. It may benefit you to experiment with taking a lot of shots, particularly close ups (see our post on macro photography) and using interesting angles to create eye-catching images.

Consider the following points when taking and choosing your leading image:

  • Focus – Make sure your images are in focus and are very clear. Blurry photos are a real turn-off.
  • Background – Choose a background which does not distract from the product. Simple styling can be really effective but if you use props, make sure they are well-considered.
  • Composition and framing – Is the angle of the shot the absolute best it could be to show it off?  Using an angled shot (rather than flat and ‘square on’) is considered by most to be more pleasing to the eye. Laying pieces out flat and ‘square on’ can look dull.
  • Detail – If your piece has a particularly attractive detail why not focus in on this for your leading shot, especially important with jewellery and can also be a helpful tactic for larger items such as paintings.
  • Variety – Your leading image should cover the whole product with supplementary photos providing closer detail and where possible, shots of it being modelled or ‘in situ’.

Processing photos

To help manipulate your photos after you having taken some product shots try using some photo processing tools. Pixlr is a free, online tool that enables you process your photos so you can do things like enhance colour, change saturation and crop and image.

More photography tips and tutorials from Folksy

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