Thursday, May 13, 2010

Letting Your Etsy Photography Evolve

When you've been on Etsy for awhile (okay... I've only been on Etsy for 7 months, but that's still long enough to notice a difference) your photography will hopefully evolve.  What do I mean by this?  Your photos will naturally improve as you learn how to use your camera to its advantage, how to compose a photo, and how to edit your photos to your item's best advantage.

To illustrate my point... I will be providing "before/after" style photos from my shop as well as from other Etsian volunteers.  The other Etsians are shops whose photography I have always admired.

First... an example from my shop.  This photo was the second photo from the first item I ever sold.  So bad.

This is the photo from the last item I had on the Front Page.

You might be able to immediately notice some differences.  Brightness, clarity, life... the fact that you can actually tell what the item is (or SEE what the item is).

This photo is from my dear friend GlitzGlitter's shop.  This was her first sale:

Although it is significantly better than my "first sale" photo... There are some obvious changes that need to be made.  And thank goodness she made them!  Look how luxurious and expensive her jewelries look now:

This next photo is courtesy of the earlier work of peaseblossomstudio

Not terrible, but that blue background just isn't doing much for those lovely cards!  I admit that I ditched my fun/different background for a neutral tone simply to be put in more treasuries and hopefully more FP's.  It has paid off.  peaseblossomstudio also uses more neutral backgrounds now... and don't her photos look lovely?

This next example is courtesy of ChelseaVanTol.

Not bad... just a little dark.  Also, when Etsy cropped it for the display, it was a little off.  But seriously... when you look at her photos now, you can see such a fantastic evolution in the photography.  Absolutely beautiful!

Finally... an example from one of the first shops I hearted on Etsy... knockknocking.  This example is a detail shot from this shop's first sale.

Wowza!  A little bit blurry there... plus the colors are totally washed out at the bottom of the photo.  However, knockknocking has now beautifully mastered her shop photography, including the "detail shot".  She even made the detail shot the display photo for this wreath.

The point of this "lesson" is that as long as you are actively involved with your shop... your photography skills will evolve.  Get feedback in the virtual labs, forums, Etsy twitter friends, and wherever else you can.  Listen to their advice.... but ultimately YOU are in control of your shop and will find out what works best for you. 

My photography motto:  NEVER think that you've "made it" with your photography.  Continue to try new things with your camera, photo composition, and editing programs.  When you get stuck, try something new or ask for help.

Remember.... a good photo is an evolving photo.


  1. What a cool post, Ash! Isn't it amazing how far we have come? And we're still working on it every day.

  2. Thanks for including me, Ashli. We've come a long way, baby!

  3. Great blog post. It's so true. We all evolve in photography. Mine certainly were horrid and dark.

  4. What a fantastic idea for a blog post! Love the before and after shots :-D Very inspiring, and a wonderful reminder that every part of Etsy and online selling is an opportunity for artistic expression and creativity.

  5. Ahaha! I did a blog post like this a while back of some of my photos. My first sale photos were taken at night with lamps and were all yellow and gross. Lol. Like you said, you've only been on Etsy for 7 months, but just in that time, there is huge, nay HUGE!! difference. It's awesome to look back and see how we've improved. Good post. :)

  6. Great post with helpful examples :) Thanks x

  7. Such a cool post! I love seeing the before and afters. If you look at my first sale and my recent photos there's a huge difference so I know what you mean!

    I'm really happy with my photos now, but we'll see how I feel in a month or so!

  8. All the people who complain in the forums should look at this. Great photos make the products sell and you're doing a great job!