Hi Makers! Alison here - Back at it this week with a brand new Tip Tuesday!
Along with the rest of the OML team, I have been so blown away by how many of you have connected with us here on the blog and with how quickly our readership is growing! If you're new to OML, I want to welcome you and let you know what Tip Tuesday is all about. On Tuesdays, I take over OML's blog to share tips, tricks and maker's secrets on everything from photography, knitting, social media, and yarn just to name a few. And if you're an OML Tip Tuesday vet, -- welcome back!
I love getting Tip Tuesday feedback from you all and this week's tip came directly from an Instagram comment on one of my photos - thanks much in part to Meryl of Chain Twenty, I'm kicking it off this week with a subject that is so important to growing an online store: product photography.
While I make no claims to be the world's most professional photographer, I'm learning and am intrigued by the study of photography. While I'm learning, I'm also growing in my expertise and want to share my insight with you into what I think makes a great product photo, and what I've found works for me stylistically.
When I first started my Etsy shop, I was excited to quickly post new listings and, admittedly, had no real consistency for my product photos. As soon as I completed a project, I would often snap a picture wherever I was at the moment and list it. This means a lot of my shots were taken at night, with the yellow, shadowy overhead lighting of my small apartment, surrounded by the day's clutter. But as my craft journey continued, I began to take note of the amazing product photos of some of my favorite shops: they looked bright, clean and warm compared to my rushed photos. As my listings grew, so did my photography patience and I began thinking, how will this new product photograph even before beginning my project? For example, ever tried to take a project picture with black yarn? Yea, talk about tough. And although I still offer my knit products made to order in black yarn, I now choose charcoal, (or any other color) to make a photography listing sample.
Ready to learn more on my must-haves for a great product photo? Let's go!
1. A Neutral, non-distracting background
Let your products do the talking! By using a neutral non-distracting background and de-cluttering your photos potential buyers will be able to focus on the product you are trying to show off. Anything that takes the eye away from your product is not helping, and in my opinion needs to be removed from the frame.
2. Having another item in the picture for Scale
When trying to sell large items, such as blankets, I've learn't that it is essential to have another item in the photo for scale. Often if a blanket is just laying on the floor it is very difficult to determine how large it is, how thick it looks, or how it can be used. I usually use a chair to photograph all of my blankets so that viewers can gain an immediate sense of it's size.
3. Take advantage of these 4 must-have shots
I have found that Etsy's 5 frame photo template on listings is actually the perfect number of pictures to display your item. I always include a yarn color chart with every listing for any custom/ made to order items, leaving me with 4 other frames to play with.
Here are the 4 shots that I usually use to take full advantage of this space: the Overall shot orderly/ organized shot, the detail shot, the overall messy/ movement shot, the lifestyle shot, or shot with a person in it. The lifestyle/ personal shot is so important because it allows people to imagine themselves using your product.
4. Proper lighting
Proper lighting is at the base of any good photograph-- not just a good product photo. However, I find it particularly important in product photography so that you can accurately portray the colors of the product you are trying to sell. For example, if you are trying to show off a blue item, but the lighting is yellow then often your item will appear green, making it hard to fulfill customers expectations of the product once it is shipped and does not arrive looking like the color from the photo they ordered.
5. Keep your sizing consistent
Keep your frame size consistent with one listing. If you start using a square photo on your first shot then continue with this size frame for the rest of your shots. This will provide viewers with a seamless experience when scrolling through photos, and lessen their need to adjust their focus (and eyes) away from your beautiful product.
Did this inspire you to step up your product photography? Tag #Ourmakerlife in your new product photos so I can see how you guys are applying these tips to your own shops. Have a maker tip idea of your own? Email us with "OML Tip Tuesday" in the subject line. We'd love to work on a maker feature with you!
Alison, OML dream team
Alison is the knitter behind @la.reserve.design She has always loved making things with her own two hands and the idea of turning strands of yarn into warm, wearable garments gets her itching to pick up her needles. With a background in textile design she currently works as a design assistant for a menswear company in Montreal, Canada. Her favorite thing to knit is warm chunky blankets made of cozy, thick wool.