Getting really sharp clear photos is vital to increase buyer confidence. Now you can add 5 images to your listings here at Folksy there is no excuse not to get in really close and use some of these new image slots to show potential buyers the beautiful details of your handmade items and supplies. Sellers like Folksy’s Owl on the Sill make it look so easy! But how do they get such crisp close up images?
In a recent seller interview, Sarah from ‘Babylonglegs’ commented “Good photographs are essential, as the person looking to buy your product can’t touch or see it for real. You have to make them feel like they can, so they share your confidence in its quality and desirability.” We think she’s right!
But how do you get in close without ending up with out of focus, blurred images?
Use your Macro setting!
The macro function on your digital camera (usually denoted by a little flower) allows you to get really close to your subject, showing off all its details at larger than life size. Your buyer will be assured of the quality of the fine detail of your handmade item if they can clearly see stitches, fastenings and joints, as they would if they held it in their own hands in a bricks and mortar shop.
It’s not just tiny things that look good up close! Although if you do sell small detailed items like jewellery, beads or even tiny hedgehogs like Moss Mountain, using your macro setting is vital.
There are a few important factors you need to take into consideration when using your macro setting to avoid blurred and out of focus images. It’s important to take your time – sharp, bright photos are one of the vital elements to a professional look and a succesful shop so it’s worth the effort.
Where possible use a tripod – camera shake is magnified when using the macro setting. You can buy tripods second hand, just ask in the forums, one of our members will happily recommend somewhere to pick one up!
If you can’t use a tripod then make sure there is lots of light available to allow for an increased shutter speed. The quicker the shutter opens and closes the less chance of blur. Lighting is one of the most important things to consider when taking good product shots. Also when you are getting in close with your camera bear in mind that both you and the camera will cast shadows over the subject. Moving position or using a tripod and either a shutter release cable or self timer can help eliminate this problem.
Depth of Field
Using the macro function limits the ‘depth of field’, that is the area in the image that is in sharp focus. Check in the lcd panel or viewfinder that you have the right area in focus. This is especially relevant if using a super macro setting as the plane of sharp focus can be reduced to just a few millimetres. Folksy seller Chain of Daisies has used this to great artistic effect in her listings, as with these earrings above.
Even macro lenses have a limit. Your manual will give you the exact figure of how close you can get. Many modern digital cameras are virtually point blank! A lot of whirring and an inability to focus usually signifies the camera is struggling. If you half depress the shutter, to allow the camera to find its focus before finally taking the shot this may help. Alternatively take a step back, focus on and then slowly move in closer.
We’d love to hear your comments and the tips you have for improving the photographs in your listings.